February 19, 2013

Study Abroad Trip Leads to International Recognition

Coerte Voorhees (second from right)

Through a New Lens

Most students travel abroad and come back with global knowledge and souvenirs. Industrial design student Coerte Voorhees, ’13, is coming back with an international design prize. 

Voorhees participated in Wentworth’s Study Abroad Berlin program during his junior year. While there, he based his studio project on the guidelines of the 2013 International Eye Wear Design Competition, hosted by the German eyewear company OWP Brillen, which was going on at the time.

The project was collaboratively guided by Wentworth Assistant Professor Ralf Schneider from the department of industrial design and Professor Andre Witting from the Kunsthochschule Berlin Weissensee, a nationally ranked art school in Germany.

Instead of letting his project sit on a shelf, Voorhees submitted it and beat out 72 other students from 27 countries. He won $2,000 euros (approximately $2,700) and his designs will be shown at the 2013 Eyewear Trade Show, as well as published in several magazines.  

Voorhees used a ball-in-socket hinge, making the frames able to withstand high impact and easily be taken apart and put back together. His eyewear concept, he said, came from his experiences as a child. “It seemed I was constantly dropping my glasses or breaking them while playing outside."

Because of the Wentworth Study Abroad Berlin program, Voorhees is now considering living permanently in Germany. He is currently enrolled at the Kunsthochschule Berlin Weissensee. After he finishes his last semester at Wentworth in the summer, he plans to return to Weissensee for a one-year Master’s program.

“I really fell in love with the culture here,” Voorhees said. “I feel more at home here than I have in 21 years back home.”

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