Gifts Today magazine

Innovative plate secures IHA Student Award

A plate that assists people with only one hand to cut food has secured an award in the 2017 IHA Student Design Competition

The IHA's Student Design Competition’s annual challenge to students is to redesign a current housewares product to meet the needs of the future, or to create a concept for a new product. Winning projects are selected for their innovation, understanding of production and marketing principles, and quality of entry materials.

First place runner up and $2,500 was awarded to Michael Laudi, a senior at the Cleveland Institute of Art, for Rose Plate, a plate that assists people with only one available hand to cut food, promoting their independence and enhancing
quality of life.

The surface of the plate features textured rubber thorns that hold food in place and create cutting channels for a knife. The plate’s form provides an ergonomic grip for easy one-handed carrying and a basin for food to collect near the side wall for easier scooping.

Michael's plate will be seen by some 62,000 attendees and more than 2,200 exhibiting companies from more than 100 countries at the 2017 International Home + Housewares Show, March 18-21. Joining him at the Show will be the overall winer, D Montante, who won first place for his concept, Klima Indoor Climate System, and the second-place winner and two third-place winners. 

Altogether, there were 297 entries from 28 schools—including universities in Israel, India, Portugal and Denmark. 

Vicki Matranga, who heads IHA’s design programs and services and manages the Student Design Competition, says: “IHA’s program has become known as the gold standard for college-level competitions. Many U.S. professors assign the program annually to industrial design students because it is a real-world exercise and every entry receives feedback from two industry professionals. Students must identify user needs and opportunity spaces in the marketplace, research competitive available products, test models with users, and consider production issues.”

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