CADC Hosts Second Annual Day of Design
On Monday, September 26, the College of Architecture, Design & Construction (CADC) hosted its second annual Day of Design, an event that brought together students, educators, alumni and guests to hear from industry professionals in the fields of architecture, graphic design and industrial design. The day-long event, held at The Hotel at Auburn University, featured speakers from the disciplines represented in the School of Industrial and Graphic Design (SIGD) in the morning and the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture (APLA) in the afternoon.
Kicking off the day’s events was 2002 graphic design alum Zach Hobbs, the Co-Lead of IDEO’s Cambridge, Massachusetts, office. At IDEO, Hobbs has led the rebrand of the humanitarian organization Alight, created an entirely new fan experience for a professional soccer team and shaped the visual brand and values of Dubai’s innovation hub, Area 2071.
The next speaker was 2010 industrial design graduate Heather Bybee. She is the Director of Packaging Design at Ammunition, having worked in packaging design since graduating from Auburn. Working with both in-house teams and design agencies, Heather has created packaging experiences for brands including Beats by Dre, Lyft, Microsoft, OtterBox, Polaroid and Square.
The final speaker of the morning was Tucker Viemeister, an industrial designer famous for OXO Good Grips, the first Universal Design products. Viemeister is the President of Viemeister Industries and is a faculty member at both The New School’s Parsons School of Design and Pratt Institute.
After a break for lunch and networking, APLA featured two alumni speakers who are leaders in their fields. 2008 architecture graduate Drew Merkle is an Associate at Zaha Hadid Architects. He has played a pivotal role in the design, development, and delivery of the Bee’ah Headquarters project in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. He has been project architect throughout the advanced stages and is responsible for client liaison and on-site supervision.
The day’s final speaker was Lesley Braxton, Principal at Trahan Architects and a 2004 graduate of Auburn’s architecture/ interior architecture program. She and her team are pioneering design that profoundly enriches the human experience. Her work is a process of continual listening, research, and observation to serve as a humanitarian first, architect second.
Industrial design major Ashley Haley, a senior who is wrapping up her time at CADC, said that Day of Design helped her to visualize how an academic major turns into an actual career. “There is a lot of uncertainty around graduation, so to hear about that real-world experience after attending Auburn was truly encouraging to all of us,” she said. “I learned that you may not start out where you want to be after graduation, but that is absolutely fine and typical. You should always make the best out of it and learn as much as you can so you do eventually land that dream job.”
Landscape architecture student Jaden Polidore found great value in the afternoon’s speakers from APLA. “Although some concepts of architecture don’t align exactly with landscape architecture, I was able to find a lot of ideas that will help me in my path through landscape,” he stated. “I was most encapsulated by Mr. Merkle’s explanation of some of his projects. I learned that when you create something spectacular, you must also make sure this idea is plausible to be built by modern technology.”
CADC Acting Dean Karen Rogers stated, “It was exciting and energizing to see and hear such powerful lectures by our speakers, and so gratifying to finish the day by acknowledging the students and faculty who make our programs shine. “
“Day of Design is an amazing event,” Haley said. “Our SIGD professors strongly encouraged students to go, so it was nice to see many of my classmates in the crowd.” Industrial design student Abby Freeman agreed. “I left feeling genuinely inspired and it was so great to sit with my peers and discuss our individual experiences,” she stated. “Day of Design was awesome last year and even better this year. I definitely got inspiration to get through my senioritis!”