PupRub garnered Dronen, who graduated in May, third place in the International Housewares Association Inspired Home Show’s annual Student Design Competition. She garnered a $1,000 award.
The IHA created the competition in 1993 to invigorate the housewares industry with the fresh ideas of top student designers and to encourage young talent to consider careers in the housewares business. Now in its 28th year, IHA’s competition is in the U.S. as the longest-running, industry-sponsored, merit-recognition program for industrial design students.
Dronen is elated with placing in the contest. “There were 146 applicants,” she said. “There were entries from last year and this year so there was a larger pool.”
Design Professor Jennifer Astwood taught the class in which Dronen developed PupRub. “She was headed in a specific direction during the midterm part of the project, but she trusted her instincts and she followed her design research,” Astwood said. “Claire chose to pivot her final direction to an area that made more sense. She continued to develop her design work and do additional prototyping to develop a more successful design.”
Dronen works full time as an associate industrial designer at Avient Design in St. Louis, a product manufacturing, design and testing company. She was an intern at the company from September to December 2020 as part of the Cooperative Education and Internship Program at Career Services.
After working at Avient Design, Dronen said she would have incorporated a broader knowledge of injection molding to her PupRub design, which she does not plan to market at this time.
Research and thoughtful testing lauded
Judges’ comments included calling the design an “informative, clean presentation with fine sketches and narrative.” They noted Dronen had done “deep research into available products and thoughtful testing with various dog sizes.”
UW-Stout assistant professor of industrial design David Richter-O’Connell was one of the judges.
In the game jams, Brown usually works on game environment art and prop art.
Being a part of the jams gives Brown more experience beyond the classroom in game development work and provides networking opportunities.
“I enjoy the ability to step back and do my own best and get a strong pipeline developed,” Brown said. “With game jams, we have constant communication and an awareness of each other and of the slowly impending time limit. Additionally, everyone knows their role well and gets help when they need it.”
Brown urges others to take part in game jams.
“They are an incredible way to network with great people and make fun games,” Brown said. “And for any hesitancy, roles inside game jams are more than simply art and code. Other roles like SFX, music, game or puzzle design, project management, engine implementation and level building are all excellent roles to pick from that don't solely rely on one proficiency and are also in high demand.”
Brown chose UW-Stout for its location to home, affordable tuition and quality education. Brown’s goal is to become a 3D/2D environment artist with some prop and creature design experience.
Falck part of panel
UW-Stout student Eleanore Falck of Ashland participated in the virtual Games for Change Festival July 12-14. She was part of the panel Reframing Educational Games Through Indigenous Lenses.
Falck, a senior majoring in game design and development-art, created Growing up Ojibwe: The Game during a summer internship with the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission in 2019 and then expanded the game during an internship in the summer of 2020.
Highly ranked programs
In game design, Princeton Review this year ranked UW-Stout No. 5 in the nation for its undergraduate program and No. 7 for the Master of Fine Arts in design program among public universities.
For both programs, UW-Stout was No. 1 in Wisconsin and the top 25 in the nation overall.