How Industrial Design Has Innovated This Spring

May 4, 2020

computer design of a sneaker

Wentworth’s Industrial Design faculty members have adapted to distance learning by building home classrooms, offering students remote control during Zoom classes and hosting guest lecturers, among other adjustments. Students have responded in kind, producing work that has “demonstrated their creativity and tenacity to overcome the new challenges they are facing,” said Sam Montague, chair of the Department of Industrial Design.

He noted that students miss being in the studios, but that they have also provided positive feedback for the way they have been able to stay involved in other ways.

Below are a few examples of the adaptations made and the projects that resulted during the Spring 2020 semester.


Professor Simon Williamson utilized Zoom’s screen sharing and cursor control (wherein a student could directly take over work that Williamson was showing to the class) functions to continue to provide detailed instruction in his Computer Aided Design (CAD) classes. Rhino 3D and Keyshot were among the programs used. Pictured are (clockwise from top left) “Lego Olaf” by Elsa Mohlke, “Lego” by Colin Powers, “Camera” by Cole Carson and “Toy” by Colin Powers.

Professor Nick Ortolino built a classroom in his studio so he could replicate a familiar learning environment for students.

Professor Jeff Michael rendered a shoe design in real time for his class. He is now building an online library of his demos for Wentworth students to continually reference.

Without access to labs on campus, sophomores embraced the opportunity to enhance their freehand drawing skills and CAD modeling proficiency. Pictured is a final project from Kolbe Correia.

Professor Derek Cascio started a Zoom lecture series entitled “Lockdown Lectures” to inspire Wentworth students during this crisis. Each lecture is an hour long with a Q&A period provided at the end.

This past week Cascio invited UPPAbaby’s lead industrial designer and Wentworth alumnus Luis Cañas, BIND ’06, to share his professional journey. All lectures have been recorded for future students.

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