• Tracy Bulla

Metaproject 07 Winners Unveiled at ICFF

Housewares purveyor Umbra partnered up with the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) as sponsor of the school’s seventh iteration of Metaproject, an annual industrial design studio project that showcases the top ten designs at ICFF. The semester-long course pairs approximately 20 design students with a client for a real-life product design competition, with the goal of providing students with the resources to create a commercialized item.

Past companies to partner with RIT include Herman Miller, Areaware, Kikkerland, The Corning Museum of Glass, and Poppin. Through Metaproject, students make contacts at design companies and also have the opportunity to exhibit their products during ICFF.

Jeff Bruha’s Pail is a minimal compost collector with a charcoal filter. Jeff
Jamie Jamie Samuel Moore’s Teardrop Storage creates modular, over-the-door storage.
Chris Groves’ Rocket creates bathroom storage with a tiny footprint. Chris
Jon Jon Fratti’s Pop Shelf is a convenient storage space that also dampens sound.
Mick Bartholomew’s Waver Basket is a playful interpretation of a fruit bowl. Mick

Metaproject kicked off in 2010 and has since built strong industry partnerships, bringing student work to a global platform. The project leverages RIT’s Vignelli Center for Design Studies assets to help students produce designs that are pragmatically understandable, as well as visually powerful and intellectually elegant. This year, the students were tasked with designing for small spaces – creating exceptional products that embody Umbra’s ethos to make compact living more efficient and enjoyable.

From the end of August to the end of November 2016, students worked closely with designers at Umbra, taking a class trip to Toronto to observe the Umbra Studio and Umbra Store first hand as well as hosting the company’s designers at RIT’s main campus in Rochester, N.Y. The resulting designs were realized as high-quality, functional prototypes, with the final products being judged by Matt Carr, Umbra’s vice president of design, and Mingus New, product designer at Umbra.

Tracy BullaTracy Bulla | Product Editor

Native North Carolinian Tracy Bulla has been Home Accents Today's product editor since 2002. As a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill's School of Journalism, Tracy's first foray into reporting involved covering the financial markets. This short-lived enterprise resulted in no great loss to the world of finance when it became apparent that the reporter could not balance her own checkbook. Tracy then followed her lifelong passion for fashion into the glamorous world of design where she is continuously in thrall to the lure of beautiful, well-designed objects of desire. Lo, Tracy's pampered Pekingese, shares her appreciation for exquisite style by choosing to only chew up the most expensively embellished Italian shoes.

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