Industrial Design Grad Honored as IDSA Student Merit Finalist

Ledong Chen, who graduated in May from Auburn’s Industrial Design program, was a finalist in the Industrial Designers Society of America’s (IDSA) 2020 Student Merit Awards. According to the IDSA’s website, this annual competition showcases students who represent “the very best creativity, problem-solving and design brilliance in each of IDSA’s five North American Districts.” Chen was chosen as one of eight finalists from the Southern district.

Since the regional presentation in Atlanta was cancelled due to COVID-19, Chen presented his work via videoconference to a panel of industry leaders and design educators. His level of skill and talent for design made him stand out and he advanced as a finalist to the second round.

Originally from Guangzhou, China, Chen holds an undergraduate degree in thermal engineering, but he realized shortly before graduating that it wasn’t his calling. “I was so confused with my future,” he said, “because I knew that I never loved thermal engineering. What I knew is that the best major that combines art and engineering is industrial design.” His experience with technology and his love of sketching led him to find that Auburn’s industrial design program was a good fit for him. Having just graduated from Auburn in May, he intends to complete an internship this year and will attend Savannah College of Art and Design in 2021 to attain a Master of Fine Arts in Industrial Design.