By Zach Samalonis
Jefferson University East Falls campus is home to the Jefferson Industrial Design Department. And its location is truly everything. The East Falls location is unique, one that many universities can’t say they have. Located only 20 minutes from Center City Philadelphia, students on the Jefferson East Falls campus can reap all the benefits of one of the largest cities in the country, without having to deal with the troubles of living right in the middle. It also means that students are close to several large art museums and galleries, many of which design students can enter for free. But one of the greatest benefits is being in the Philadelphia area is its proximity to other major cities such as Washington DC (a 3-hour drive) and New York (a 2-hour drive).
Recently the Industrial Design 4 class, led by Professor Lyn Godley and Ken Root, arranged a full day trip to New York. The class first ventured to NY NOW, a tradeshow for wholesale buyers looking to filling inventory for the year. With over 2,300 vendors in categories such as the HOME Collection (“discover innovative designs, wholesale home décor, including furnishings and home textiles, tabletop and gourmet housewares”), and the HANDMADE Collection (“for artisanal cross-category crafts, from production designer maker to global handmade resources”). Students were tasked with exploring what vendors had to offer in terms of both innovative designs as well as sustainability practices and measures.
One of the focuses of the Design 4 semester is lighting design, so the class ventured uptown to visit Jason Krugman, public artist and lighting designer based in New York City. After viewing some of his work, Jason explained his journey of becoming a designer and how he began creating his innovative lighting installations. “It was inspiring to know that he had troubles making the lighting pieces but eventually found the right process to make it work,” said Tori March “in the end the pieces came out beautifully.”
The final destination of the day was a visit to Material Connexion. Material Connexion is the world’s leading materials library and consultancy, where a global team of materials scientists and experts help creatives across industries. Here, students were able to explore a library of new, innovative materials and integrate them into their designs. Jefferson University also has a digital subscription to the Material Connexion database. With this, students are able to explore materials online, and even request samples from manufacturers.
Trips like these are what makes the Jefferson Industrial Program unique. Students gain both the experience of visiting various galleries, trade shows and museums, while also getting the chance to network with designers who are currently working in the field. Philadelphia is a continuously growing in the world of design and Jefferson University is right in the mix.