The Design Observer Group


Posted 10.21.11


Georgia Tech

New Interactive Product Design Laboratory at Georgia Tech



Workstations are equipped with soldering stations, fume extraction and high definition video conferencing. [Photo courtesy of Georgia Tech]

The School of Industrial Design at Georgia Tech has launched a new Interactive Product Design Laboratory, a 900 square-foot workshop to support the exploration and development of “intelligent” products and systems. Students in the lab will leverage the capabilities of a new generation of sensor-based technologies for portable, wearable and networked applications. The public is invited to tour the new Industrial Design Studios and Lab at an open house event on Friday, October 28, 6:30 to 9:00 pm.

Conceived by Jim Budd, Chair of the School of Industrial Design, the lab is a new model for the design studio, featuring collaborative workstations equipped for prototyping fully operational concepts for interactive products and systems. All workstations in the lab are interconnected with videoconferencing capabilities. For example, the instructor can broadcast intricate wiring, soldering or assembly techniques to each workstation in the classroom. High definition videoconferencing affords remote interaction with collaborators, lecturers and studio sponsors.

Each Lab workstation is equipped for electronics assembly with a power supply, soldering station and fume extraction. A shared workbench equipped with a set of small stationary tools spans the back of the lab, and a series of rolling storage cases housing hand tools and project supplies can be rolled out to each workstation.

The lab is a valuable addition for students who want to pursue careers in the application and interpretation of interactive technologies in new product design.

“It’s not just about objects anymore it’s about networked products and connectivity,” said Budd. “We are building the resources to provide our students with the capabilities to effectively design, prototype and test new ideas and concepts for the next generation of intelligent interactive products, systems and services.

In its inaugural year, the lab is scheduled to host industrial design classes, including an introduction to sensor-based technologies and new applications in wearable technologies, both available to graduate and undergraduate students, as well as collaborative classes with engineering and interactive computing.

The open house event will be held in the West Architecture Building, second floor, 247 Fourth Street NW, Atlanta GA 30332. It is free and open to the public, and parking is available in Peters Parking Deck.

The College of Architecture at Georgia Tech is one of Places’ partner schools.