William G. Gilroy | February 18, 2017
A pair of University of Notre Dame students received awards in the 24th annual Student Design Competition sponsored by the International Housewares Association (IHA). The students will have their entries showcased at the International Home + Housewares Show from March 18 to 22 in Chicago.
Senior Dan Lopes of Laguna Niguel, California, received a third-place award, and senior Erin Rice of Lincolnshire, Illinois, received honorable mention.
The Student Design Competition’s annual challenge is to redesign a current housewares product to meet the needs of the future, or to create a concept for a new product. Winning projects are selected for their innovation, understanding of production and marketing principles, and quality of entry materials.
Lopes and Rice created their projects under the direction of Scott Shim, a professor of industrial design in Notre Dame’s Department of Art, Art History & Design, as part of his “Design Thinking” course.
Lopes’ project is called “Scoop Pet Food Dispenser.” It was designed to make feeding our dogs a more enjoyable process. Its flexible spout and funnel features enable users to scoop their dog’s food out of its bag and dispense the food into dog bowls at a comfortable standing position. After gathering a scoop of food, users turn “Scoop” upside down to funnel the food into its hollow handle. The food is held in place by the flexible spout cover, so with a slight push against the surface of a dog food bowl, the cover bends and allows the food to pour cleanly into the bowl. When done feeding, a slit that runs along the handle of Scoop allows it to nest on the top of the rolled-up bag, doubling as a clip to keep the food fresh and spill-proof.