Skip to main content

A University of Washington Course Gives Design Students Real-World Experience

Published on April 4, 2019

Natalie Hartkopf (center) with the UW Advanced Industrial Design class.
Natalie Hartkopf (center) with the UW Advanced Industrial Design class. Image Credit: Gray Mag

For ten weeks, seniors in the University of Washington’s School of Art + Art History + Design Advanced Industrial Design program: Professional Practice course mulled over things like materials, functionality, and empathy. Their challenge was to create workspace furniture—everything from stools and accessories to informal meeting tables with integrated power—that would follow a complete design process, from an initial sketch to a finished prototype. The pieces also needed to adhere to core design philosophies of the Seattle-based furniture manufacturer Hightower, which partnered with UW on this project and provided students with mentorship, business expertise throughout the process, and the possibility of manufacturing their product and adding it to the company’s portfolio.

“The students spent a lot of time reviewing our collection and identifying gaps,” says Natalie Hartkopf, cofounder and CEO of family-owned Hightower. “Our products are multifunctional, with an element of simplicity while also being thoughtful. We work a lot with mixed materials, so we challenged them to think about what next-generation materials might be.”


Continue reading at Gray Mag

Originally posted on Gray Mag by Gray Editors 
Search by categories

Twitter Feed