Western Industrial Design students' work on display in 2020 junior and senior shows

by Cooper Campbell

Office of University Communications Intern

August 5, 2020

Students from Western’s Industrial Design program are showcasing their work in junior and senior online shows featuring everything from therapeutic lighting concepts to app design.  

This year the shows are online for the first time; typically, the event would’ve been held in Seattle at a design firm. Instead of figuring out how to transport concepts before the event, students focused on the creation of online portfolio sites.  

Senior Show 

The senior show, put on by the Industrial Design department and hosted at www.wwuid.design, comes as spring 2020 graduates begin seeking work in the field. According to Western Washington University Professor of Industrial Design Arūnas Ošlapas, the shows represent students' main opportunity to display their work. For seniors, the show is a critical opportunity.  

Even with the online format, senior Autumn Dirksen said the shows were still a networking opportunity they didn’t want to pass up.  

“It’s a great opportunity for us to talk with potential employers,” Dirksen said. 

Over their final school year, the seniors worked on individual thesis projects imagining solutions to a variety of design problems. This year, senior designers worked with computer manufacturer Acer, which provided each student with a laptop to push their design work forward. The senior cohort of students who contributed to the show are:  

  • Henry Dahlgren, Seattle 

  • Autumn Dirksen, La Centre 

  • Ezequiel Guzman, Everett 

  • Daniel Hager, Duvall 

  • Kyle Hamm, Bellingham 

  • Andrew Jernberg, Seattle 

  • Ben Lorimore, San Francisco, California 

  • Max Lucy, Bellingham  

  • Ryan Moorleghen, Seattle 

  • Jared Pabon, Bellevue 

  • Ryan Rothaus, Olympia 

  • Gian Umemoto, Kailua, Hawaii 

  • Tommy Olseon 

  • Taylor Brown 


Ošlapas said the shows were one more chance for an important industry collaboration for the students and a critical final hurdle before they enter the workforce. 

"Our junior and senior Industrial Design studios are limited to 12 students each, and these talented students were selected from a very large pool of applicants in two separate portfolio reviews during their freshman and sophomore years. The portfolio work you will see on these two websites represent four years of creative problem solving, innovative thinking, and many late nights of failure and success," Ošlapas said. 


Junior Show 

For junior students continuing to hone their skills, the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), puts on the junior show. Student designs are sent to more 1,000 design professionals through the IDSA network.  

The junior exhibition includes work from both Western and University of Washington students and demands innovation and hard work, according to Ošlapas.  

“We need things in our program that help motivate, and sort of up the ante,” Ošlapas said. “And these shows do that.” 

WWU’s Industrial Design program juniors completed a  wide array of projects this year, from faucet design to toaster concepts. The department brought in local expert Ken Hanna as a guest lecturer for the faucet project. Hanna has designed for companies like Koehler and Broan-NuTone. Student Jo Bloomfield of Baltimore, Maryland received a special mention for toaster design in the national “Boast Your Toast” competition sponsored by Sustainable Minds and IDSA.  

“There are sleepless nights, hours spent modeling, long critiques with a tight knit group of studio-mates that is finally brought together to make the junior show. For me the junior show gives me perspective, putting an immense amount of work in one collective space,” Bloomfield said. 

The WWU Industrial Design juniors who contributed to the show are:  

  • Matthew Koscica, Bellingham 

  • Jasmine Schubert, Redmond 

  • Jo Bloomfield, Baltimore, Maryland 

  • Israel Amador, Marysville 

  • Mitchell Hiers, Seattle 

  • Dylan Willis, Olympia 

  • Austin Scott, Tacoma 

  • Thomas Montgomery, Richland 

  • Trenton Schroeder, Monroe 

  • Natalie Sturdy, Kalamazoo, Michigan 

  • Chris Doran, Huntington Beach, California 

  • Grace Gonzalez 


These projects are viewable online at https://idsajuniorshow.wordpress.com/. 

For more information about the Industrial Design junior and senior showcases, contact Western Washington University Professor of Industrial Design Arūnas Ošlapas at arunas.oslapas@wwu.edu. 

Industrial Design student Chris Doran's projects
Industrial Design student Grace Gonzalez's projects
Industrial Design student Natalie Sturdy's projects
Industrial Design student Gian Umemoto's therapeutic light project