On March 22, 2012, CMU School of Design hosted its annual IDSA Merit Awards. The award, sponsored by the Industrial Designers Society of America, recognizes talented student designers in their senior year with exceptional academic records. The six students showcased included Lauren Beckwith, Daniel Chow, Alex Fischer, Eric Habich, Brian Mizrahi, and Regina Sin. The students presented their portfolios to a board of professionals in the design field representing the IDSA and other design companies.
The judges looked for designers to tell their personal stories through their work and a live presentation. The student designers were challenged to demonstrate their point of view, design thinking style, and aesthetic in seven short minutes. Judges were most impressed by the wide range of work students produced including, but not limited to, system design, interaction design, and service design, showing that industrial design is not restricted to tangible products, a school of thought strongly advocated by CMU.
Daniel Chow, a dual major in Industrial Design and Human Communication Interaction, was selected as the winner. His journey and growth as a designer was the theme of his presentation. Chow says design is, “an opportunity to influence my world and make it a more livable place.” As the winner of the CMU challenge, Chow was also invited to present again and represent CMU at the Mideast Design Dialogue Conference along with students from seven other schools.
The IDSA Merit Award is highly regarded in the design community and represents an extraordinary level of rigor and professionalism recognized across the industry. As the winner of this honor, Daniel Chow will receive a year of professional membership to IDSA, a subscription to Innovation Journal, and a highly unique recognition that distinguishes him from other designers.