Design Camp students craft innovative projects

The Design Institute hosted more than 100 high school students at the weeklong camp.

Riham Feshir

Inspired by life’s necessities and everyday objects, high school students designed fonts, clothes and water fountains at a University camp last week.

Design Camp 2005 participants worked on their projects last week and presented them to jurors and an audience of friends and family Friday at the architecture school in Rapson Hall.

More than 100 high school students from Minnesota participated, said Wendy Friedmeyer, the camp’s coordinator.

The camp consisted of six different groups: pointing, moding, toting, sampling, playing and bubbling.

The pointing group, whose job was to design fonts and make messages with them, walked around campus at the beginning of the week taking photos for inspiration. River Berens said she took a photo of a sign in a Dinkytown parking lot that read “funk,” and the “K” in “funk” gave her the idea to create the shape for the letter “R” in her message “Robot in the Rough.”

Berens is home-schooled and plans to attend the University next year. She said she thought about studying architecture, but now “graphic design seems very cool,” she said.

The moding group made clothing based on everyday necessities. Members decided to focus on medication and water and added the objects to vintage clothing. Alex Olevitch wore a vintage suit with a tie that hid a straw and water that he could pull out and drink.

The group’s goal was to “present vintage clothing with a hidden function,” said Kelly Dobson, moding instructor.

“Most of the outfits designed by students are inspired by something,” she said.

The toting group had a similar goal. Students went to downtown Minneapolis and observed what people were carrying, said Stephanie Schwarz, toting instructor. Then they started designing modern bags and pouches that match different styles.

Kaitlin McGee from Foley High School in Foley, Minn., is already a professional fashion designer and makeup artist who presented a pink dog-carrier bag that matched her trendy outfit.

Friends and family of the participants as well as jurors gathered outside of Rapson Hall to see more projects.

The bubbling group made original water fountains with water pumped from underground. The water supported all of the fountains, but each fountain was built differently.

Erick Larson, who will enter his first year in the fall at Southwest High School in Minneapolis, built a water fountain using metal pipes, rocks and a bowl.

“The piping was bought and cut into proper links, the rocks were a collection of my brother and they had metal bowls for everyone,” he said.

Students completed their projects in one week.

“I see college students all of the time, and I see their work,” Friedmeyer said. “The high school students do the same quality of work in a very short period of time, so I’m just inspired.”