AMES, Iowa — More than 50 Iowa State University graduating seniors in industrial design will share their final projects Thursday, May 9, at the Student Innovation Center. 

Titled “Coalescence,” the senior show will run from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. in the first-floor atrium and Step-a-torium. Guests are invited to come and go throughout the four-hour event. 

Physical and digital work was developed in the industrial design senior project courses taught by industrial design associate teaching professor Dan Neubauer, assistant professor Bruno Oro and associate teaching professor Grit Sadtler. Portfolios will include footwear, furniture, toys, small gadgets and more. 

“Students have identified an audience and a problem to design for,” Neubauer said. “This will be a great opportunity for them to showcase their unique skills and approaches to the development of designed solutions.” 

Fashion for a cause 

D. I. Fly sneaker kit

Kalon Thompson’s project was all about combining his love of sneakers with being a mental health advocate, he said. Thompson, from Cedar Rapids, describes “D. I. Fly” as “a fusion of art and sneaker culture designed to equip individuals who are facing mental health challenges with a stress-relieving outlet.” 

While doing research to develop his project, Thompson discovered art therapy is used as a means of alleviating stress and anxiety. The product he designed consists of paint, brushes, a pair of sneakers and a sneaker box for the recipient to decorate. 

“I’m just hoping to introduce a creative experience for those who are looking for ways to improve their mental health,” Thompson said.  

Staying connected 

Connect Crew bracelet

Looking to keep young, ill children and their loved ones digitally connected, Grace Estenson developed “Connect Crew.” Her concept is a bracelet with a small screen designed for children aged 6-12 years old that partners with an app.

“A family’s whole sense of normalcy is thrown out of the window upon receiving a childhood illness diagnosis,” said Estenson, from Ely. “Using the corresponding app, family and friends can send photos or drawings to the child. These bracelets can foster meaningful connections when hardships arise.” 


Dan Neubauer, Associate Teaching Professor, Industrial Design,
Grace Estenson, Graduating Senior, Industrial Design,
Kalon Thompson, Graduating Senior, Industrial Design,
Lauren Johnson, Communications Specialist, College of Design,