This past fall, 15 Pratt industrial design students in New York City were tasked to design the perfect gift for book lovers.
To vie for a chance to see their product come to life through production by Kikkerland, stocked on shelves at Barnes & Noble stores nationwide, and earn the title of 2024 design challenge winner.
Classroom setting at Pratt where the students conceptualized their designs.
Throughout a single semester at Pratt, students immersed themselves in all facets of the design process from conducting market research, ideation, and development to refinement and prototyping.
Isabela and Iris's product sketches.
The students experience working with real-world clients, receiving invaluable feedback from Barnes & Noble merchant buying team, and Kikkerland Design’s product development team.
Fortuitously, the class, aptly titled Prototyping I, focused specifically on bookstores, motivating and preparing students to present their best concepts within the framework of the design brief.
Students visited the Upper Westside Barnes & Noble.
The assignment was to design an object for book reading enthusiasts while incorporating the distinctive and playful Kikkerland character that resonates with the Barnes & Noble customer base. At the end of the semester representatives of both companies attend a final review, providing guidance and evaluation of the projects.
Professor Constantin Boym talking to the class about their projects.
The design challenge event concluded with an award ceremony to decide the Academic Choice Winner, chosen by representatives from Barnes & Noble and Kikkerland.
Each student showcased their projects at the Barnes & Noble flagship location at Union Square before the design challenge jury, who faced the challenging task of selecting a single winning design.
Isabela and Iris presenting their winning products to the panel of judges.
The panel of judges survey the students work.
James Daunt and Jan van der Lande address the room.
After the brief intermission, Barnes & Noble and Kikkerland jointly honored Isabela Nery’ as the Academic Choice Winner for her design for the Book Voyager.
The Book Voyager in action.
The clever portable book stand caters to readers on the move. James Daunt, Barnes & Noble CEO, commended Isabela for delivering a project that exceeded all the parameters, while also making it clear how difficult of a decision it was!
Isabella receiving the Academic Winner trophy from Kikkerland founder Jan van der Lande.
Isabela in the company of design challenge judges—a panel featuring executives from Barnes & Noble, Kikkerland, and Paper Source.
Traditionally, Kikkerland design challenge events culminate with two winners: The Academic Choice Winner and The Popular Vote winner.
On the day of the ceremony, a two-week voting period commenced, allowing the public to cast their votes for their favorite design.
Today, we tallied the votes and in a public referendum, Iris Guo emerged as the Popular Vote Winner for her design of the Hourglass Reading Lamp- an ambient reading lamp designed to provide a calming reading experience.
Iris's award winning design.
Iris designed the Hourglass Reading Lamp to bring tranquility into book lovers lives.