Design process student captures
$10,000 prize for tax kiosk concept


A student in The Design Process class offered by Texas A&M's College of Architecture won $10,000 in a contest sponsored by Coinstar Inc. from an idea he developed in a class assignment.
Kyle Klansek, a sophomore business major, placed first in the "Next Big Idea" contest with his concept of a kiosk-like device where consumers can file their income taxes. The award was announced at the October Consumer Engagement Technology World conference in New York's Javits Convention Center.

"The proposal was a direct result of a Design Process assignment," said Rodney Hill, professor of architecture, who leads a section of the popular class that focuses on creativity skills and entrepreneurship. "Each week, students enter an innovation in their journals that has commercial potential. The tax kiosk was one of Kyle's journal entries."

Klansek's idea calls for installing the tax-filing device at retail locations in advance of tax day, April 15.

"The concept serves a sizeable consumer market and it is innovative, creative and different," said Alex Doumani, Coinstar's vice president of engineering. "Kyle showed ingenuity and ability.”

He learned about the competition from the class syllabus, where Hill lists contests such as Coinstar's that are looking for entries that rely on innovation and creativity.

It's the second year Coinstar, which was founded on an idea of turning consumer change into cash at a self-service kiosk, sponsored the contest.

Last year's winning concept featured a kiosk where consumers can recycle cell phones. Since then, Coinstar took an equity stake in the concept, and the kiosks are being piloted in a number of locations.

Doumani said the tax kiosk concept fits a sector with great growth potential that Coinstar calls "pop-up" retail. These are shops, or devices, that meet a large but temporary consumer demand. They are broken down and put away until the next time they are needed. Doumani noted that eBay garnered some publicity last year with a "pop-up" store in Manhattan that primarily promoted the eBay brand.

Every October, “there are many "pop-up" stores that serve a significant consumer need centered around the Halloween theme,” said Doumani. “We see that this could be the same with the 'IRS kiosk.' It has a large potential and it serves an attractive retail market,” he said.

The "IRS kiosk," he added, could fit in the growing market for self-service applications for government services. Several states have received positive reviews for installing kiosks where citizens can renew their driver’s licenses and conduct other activities at motor vehicle offices. In addition, libraries are installing self-service kiosks that patrons can use to check out and return materials.

The Design Process class, open to all majors since 2003, is a workshop in which students spark, explore, discover and develop their creative problem-solving abilities and entrepreneurial spirit, both individually and in multidisciplinary teams.

The highly sought-after course, led by Rodney Hill, professor of architecture, and Jorge Vanegas, professor of architecture and dean of the college, typically fills up within the first eight hours of registration.


- Posted: Nov. 17, 2010 -

— the end —

Contact:   Phillip Rollfing, or 979.458.0442.


Kyle Klansek

Update your contact info and share your news!

The College of Architecture strives to keep up with former students and share their successes in the archone. newsletter. Please take a moment to update your contact information and tell us what you've been up to. Click Here
bottom page borders