Maggie Banks, a senior in the Product Design track at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Design, recently won a 2018 Undergraduate Student Merit Award from the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA). The award gives Banks a professional membership in the IDSA and she will go on to represent CMU at the IDSA’s Central District Conference on April 27th.
“Putting together a presentation about myself as a designer was challenging,” said Banks about the presentation that won her the merit award. “For the first time I had to reflect back on fours years full of projects and growth. I'm glad I had this opportunity because through taking a step back, and reflecting on my work, I have a better idea of who I am as a designer and where I want that to take me as I go out into industry.”
Banks’ work touches on multiple areas of design. As a double major in Human-Computer Interaction, her experience in school projects and internships has spanned product/industrial design, and UX design/research.
“The output for each project is based on the overall goal of that project,” said Banks. “For example, the final deliverable might be a physical artifact, digital rendering, wire frames, concept map, storyboard, etc. Although at surface level they may seem different, the thing that ties all of these projects together is the process of design research, exploratory sketching, and form giving to craft a solution.”
“Maggie’s presentation was a personal journey from being first inspired by assistive medical technologies, and later showing her work on collaborative team projects, personal furniture pieces, product concepts, to teaching others how to draw and visualize,” said Associate Professor Wayne Chung, Product Design Program Chair for the School of Design. “The IDSA Merit Award presentation is a wonderful culmination of the last fast four dense years of a senior’s experiences. The evening is always a treat to hear each presenter's stories and reflect on how much as been learned and accomplished.”
After winning this award, with graduation on the horizon, Banks looks back on her education at the School of Design.
“It has been an exciting and challenging four years here at CMU,” said Banks. “Some of my favorite classes were Visualizing, Products Mini, Experimental Form, and Furniture Design. All of these courses have an emphasis on sketching, form giving, and making. I have found that this is the most exciting and satisfying part of the design process because I love to think visually and work with my hands.
“I would come to CMU to study product design because you will be exposed to a wide range of areas of design,” added Banks. “I was able to learn about woodworking and furniture making, all the way to designing for futures in 2090. The School of Design sets you up to succeed in any area that you want to dive into through its amazing professors and resources.”
After graduating, Banks will be joining Google as an Interaction Designer in the Associate Design Program where she’ll design hardware products that improve the lives of others through working at the intersection of interaction design and industrial design.