Industrial design graduates Sammy Dietrich (left) and Nate Wiersma (right) with Professor Tim Haats (center) at Prototypes for Humanity in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The capstone projects from industrial design graduates Sammy Dietrich and Nate Wiersma were selected as the top 100 globally for the showcase at the inaugural Prototypes for Humanity event held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates this past November.

Formerly known as the Global Grad Show established in 2015, Prototypes for Humanity has evolved to become one of the most diverse assemblies of innovations that have the power to change the world, with programs and activities to raise awareness of global problems, celebrate solutions, and catalyse action for positive social and environmental impact.  The initiative brings together key stakeholders to leverage academic innovation and harness the power of partnerships.

Sammy and Nate, along with Professor Tim Haats, were invited to join many other graduates and professors from over 35 countries, with leaders in government, corporate, and entrepreneurial ecosystems, to celebrate innovative solutions that address critical problems from around the globe.

Sammy Dietrich presenting her capstone project at the Prototypes for Humanity exhibition in Dubai

Nate Wiersma presenting his capstone project at the Prototypes for Humanity exhibition in Dubai

FLIGHT, designed by Sammy, is an assistive device for individuals suffering with osteoarthritis.  It is a transportable, light-weight adjustable handle which can be attached to any stair rail to assist users up and down stairs, without the need for expensive or major structural alterations.  This solution reduces the difficulty, pain, and danger for those with osteoarthritis to ascend and descend stairs independently.

PELTO, designed by Nate, is a wearable accessory allowing users to safely use mobile devices while driving.  It applies the knowledge and understanding of human intelligence to reduce cognitive demand by facilitating specific gestures and actions that minimize the levels of distraction experienced when texting, calling, navigating or changing a song.  This solution can reduce driver distraction, which has become one of the greatest threats to road safety worldwide.

Sammy, Nate, and Professor Haats were honored to participate in this internationally recognized event; and the School of Industrial Design looks forward to future representations at Prototypes for Humanity to continue sharing the great work we do on a global stage, and to contribute innovative ideas and solutions for real-world impact.

Thursday, February 16, 2023 in
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