Product design students showcase "disruptive innovations" at festival

Wed, Nov 4, 2015

Richmond, B.C. – Being disruptive in class is highly encouraged at the Wilson School of Design, and it's that disruption that's given 10 students the chance to showcase their work at an international festival this week.

Running throughout November, the three-week-long Disruptive Innovation Festival features open access sessions that bring together some of the most creative, intelligent and innovative minds around the world to discuss system-level changes that would make the world a better place.

Those bright minds include a group of final-year product design students studying at Kwantlen Polytechnic University's (KPU) Richmond campus. On Nov. 5, they'll showcase capstone projects related to sustainable development or sustainable design as part of a two-day Vancouver Economic Commission event.

“This two-day event is the opportunity for Metro Vancouver innovators to share with the world what they are doing to promote a better and more sustainable future,” said Victor Martinez, product design instructor and researcher at the Wilson School of Design.

Student Kirsten Taylor’s version of a more sustainable future includes improving the user experience of apparel that is adaptable for use in remediating man-made environmental crises.

“I wanted to investigate the necessities of the equipment used in the response to an oil spill,” said Taylor, who analyzed the relationship between body function requirements, toxicity and apparel to answer the needs of those involved in high-risk work.

Cara Tam's project takes a critical look at Metro Vancouver’s food system, and the social, economic and environmental impacts of food waste: “My work is looking to deconstruct the system and build future possibilities,” she said.

Jaymes Williams is examining innovative solutions for occupational hazards in high-risk industries. His work focuses primarily on increasing the physical and mental performance of wildfire fighters.

“I will be developing new equipment for hydration and thermoregulation in the extreme environments faced by wildfire fighters,” said Williams.

As an international event, this exhibition will be broadcast around the globe to thousands, allowing Martinez and KPU students the chance to showcase their work in a big way.

The exhibition is free and will be hosted at the Dutch Urban Design and Development Centre (Dudoc) on Thursday, Nov. 5 from 1-4 p.m. at 1445 W Georgia St. Those who can’t attend in person can check out the students’ “disruptive innovations” at

The bachelor in product design program at KPU offers students the opportunity to transform their ideas into tangible, marketable products while keeping in mind a sustainable and ethical process relevant for Canadian and international economies. For more information on this program, visit or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has served the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 200,000 learners. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs in business, liberal arts, design, health, science and horticulture, trades and technology, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 120 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates, citations and apprenticeships.Learn more at

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Hayley Woodin
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