Engineering | Entrepreneurship + Innovation

ASU alum and current employee Benjamin Sitzia (left) listens to senior business major Nick Goin talk about his group’s project Virstride, a virtual stride analysis tool, at the Mid-Year InnovationSpace Exhibition, on Dec. 7. Sitzia went through the same program in 2006. 

Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

Changing the world with a product is not a one-man job — which is why the InnovationSpace program at Arizona State University combines the expertise of students in five different disciplines: industrial design, visual communication design, business, engineering and sustainability.

Sponsored by companies Adidas and Johnson & Johnson, this year’s InnovationSpace program encouraged six student teams to research, create, design and narrow down three products that not only solve a complex problem, but also reflect and adapt to their surrounding environment.

On Dec. 7 from 6 to 7:30 p.m., the program held a mid-year exhibition that showcased the teams’ projects on the lower level of the Design North Building.

“What we do in InnovationSpace is teach [the students] how to take on a complex problem, work in a transdisciplinary team and come up with solutions — solutions that are good for people, good for the planet, have business value and are well engineered, and that people can appreciate and need,” said Prasad Boradkar, director of InnovationSpace.

Sydni Alaniz, a senior studying graphic design, worked with Johnson & Johnson and her team, Prism, to create a product that reduces the mosquito problem while also using principles of biomimicry.

Using the carnivorous pitcher plant for inspiration, one of the team’s product ideas, Moscape, was designed to mimic flowers and water droplets to attract mosquitoes before sucking them inside.

“InnovationSpace is a class, so we do have lectures mostly surrounding how we can make things more innovative, how we can approach our research, how we can approach our brainstorming,” Alaniz said. “We started out with over 200 general ideas, and then we had to narrow it down first to 40, then to 10, and then to the three that you see here today.”

Next semester, each of the six teams in the InnovationSpace program will select a final product to further develop and market as their final project.

Read more