Design Process students again fare well
in annual ‘Ideas Challenge’ competition


Students in the Design Process class at Texas A&M's College of Architecture once again dominated the annual Ideas Challenge sponsored by the Mays Business School’s Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship.

Cameron Brown, an industrial distribution major, won first and second place in the 2010 competition. A team entry submitted by Tyler Behm, Christopher Chen, Mary Hesse, Steven Laxton Luis Lopez and Liz Roberts earned one of the contest's three third-place awards.

The Design Process class, open to all majors since 2003, is a creativity workshop in which students spark, explore, discover and develop their creative problem-solving abilities and entrepreneurial spirit, both individually and in multidisciplinary teams. Students in the class regularly turn in the top entries to the annual campuswide competition.

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 withing the first eight hours of registration.

Vanegas said the class also teaches the students to think, trust their instincts and work in teams.

Hill puts it another way: “This class is designed for students to discover themselves.”

Brown's first place entry, "Automated Bike Lock System to Insure Bicycle Helmet Usage," is a sensor system that prevents cyclists from riding without their helmets.

"Bicycling injuries to children account for more than 300,000 emergency room visits each year and between 500 to 600 deaths, said Brown in his contest application. "I personally want to develop this idea because of its marketing potential and implications concerning consumer safety. If it saves only one life, it will be worth it."

In his second-place entry, "We Bake It, You Make It," Brown outlined a new, faster way for people to create custom-made baked creations for any event. He teamed with Paul Morin, who was not in the Design Process class, for the entry.

"Children and adults alike enjoy decorating cakes, cupcakes, cookies and other baked goods, but rarely have the time to go to the store, collect the materials, bake the cake and then decorate it," said Brown and Morin in their application. "Even if they do have the time, most people typically have a very limited supply of colors and tools to decorate with."

After visiting ceramic shops where customers enjoyed buying and decorating the products offered, Brown and Morin thought the idea will also succeed with baked goods.

The third place entry, "Aggie Wheels," is an on-campus bike rental system.

"It would provide a much quicker, easier, efficient, and reliable means for students to travel," the students wrote in their contest entry. "This plan will benefit both the bike users and Texas A&M … to make the university a better place."

Brown won $3,000 for his first place entry, and his collaboration with Morin for the second-place entry netted $2,000. The third place entry brought the creative team $1,000.

- Posted: July 12, 2010 -

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Contact:   Phillip Rollfing, or 979.458.0442.


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