by Halle Johnson, Student Public Relations Writer
Two 2022 graduates of the industrial and innovative design program at Cedarville University have won national and international recognition for projects that were identified, designed and developed for their senior capstone projects. The industrial and innovative design program is held at the International Center for Creativity in Dublin, Ohio.
Emma Parsley was selected as a finalist in the Healthy Mom and Baby 3.0 contest hosted by the Parkview Mirro Center for Research and Innovation in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Parsley was one of eight semi-finalists chosen in the national competition, and the only student in the field of participants. The other candidates were professionals in the medical and biotech industry.
Parsley’s design, “Loquet,” helps mothers breastfeed babies who have difficulty latching. The device is intended to be for home use, serving as a more convenient and beneficial alternative to formula or breast pumps.
“I started pursuing research for this project for my senior year capstone project,” said Parsley. “My family had previously fostered an infant with a cleft palette, so finding a solution for babies that cannot correctly latch was a problem that I was interested in trying to solve.”
While creating the visual rendering of “Loquet,” Parsley conducted nearly 10 weeks of research, centered on the health benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and infant.
“Design is very research focused,” said Parsley. “As I learned from Cedarville’s program, industrial and innovative design is the intersection of art, engineering and business, so while the actual visual design element is what you see, most of my process is researching the problem in depth to come up with a final solution.”
Parsley was one of only five designs chosen by the Parkview Mirro Center to participate in their incubator program to finalize and build prototypes of “Loquet,” with the goal of placing her product in the center and on shelves.
"We are extremely proud of Emma and of all of the hard work that she invested in her senior capstone project,” said Jim Stevenson, a supporting instructor at the International Center for Creativity. “She created a powerful and innovative solution! Her stand-out performance in this competition is affirmation of her idea, her research, her design and her ability to tell her story."
Another industrial and innovative design graduate, Mahiro Sano, was one of only 46 students in the country chosen as a finalist for the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) 2022 Student Merit Awards. This high honor recognizes excellence in undergraduate design portfolios, examining different projects to observe technical skill, visual communication and groundbreaking innovation.
Sano was born in Japan and later moved to Slovakia, an experience that has influenced the way she now views design.
“Living in different countries has given me a love and appreciation for everyone’s unique values, stories and needs,” said Sano.
This mindset is evident in her work, including projects focused on temporary residences for Syrian refugees and sensory bracelets designed to allow deaf people to experience vibrations from music. Her portfolio was selected by her professors to be submitted to the IDSA, which was then presented to a panel of IDSA judges.
"Mahiro is a very deserving finalist,” said Stevenson. “Not only did her design highlight her development and skills, but she also let her caring for others shine as well. Mahiro is a joy-filled and extremely talented design student who is inspired and fascinated by the world around her. She has already started to answer the call to serve and to help solve those problems even when she was a student."
As students, both Sano and Parsley attended The International Center for Creativity (ICC). The ICC is a creativity firm that is dedicated to innovation in education through advanced program development and deployment. The ICC partners with Cedarville to deliver the B.A. in industrial and innovative design and the new M.A. in innovation, a concentration in Innovation and Entrepreneurship inside of Cedarville's M.B.A. The ICC has also launched digital badge programs, and corporate and K-12 programs nationally and internationally. Focused on delivering both technical skills and developing an others-focused mindset, the ICC prepares students for practical careers in the design field.
"People often look past the second descriptor in the title of our major: innovative,” said Stevenson. “We have been training our grads in both the undergraduate and master’s programs to see things differently. They are trained to identify problems worth solving and to have a wide range of skills and knowledge to design viable, market-relevant solutions to those problems."
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 5,082 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including the Bachelor of Arts in industrial and innovative design, high graduation, and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit cedarville.edu.