If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that while we humans are adaptable, our societies and systems have major flaws. By acknowledging this issue, Staach challenged the students to design objects which in their own unique ways, deploy educational content through their function, demanding justice, empathy, sustainability, equity, and inclusion.
In the fall of 2019, the Vignelli Center for Design Studies challenged our students to follow Vignelli design principles to create a product that incorporates their own definition of timelessness. The partnership celebrated the 10th anniversary of both the course and the Vignelli Center.
In the fall of 2018, Theresa Fitzgerald, RIT graphic design alumna and Vice President of Creative Services at Sesame Workshop challenged our students to design products addressing the 'Urgency of Play' in contemporary life. In this experiment, 15 students created new, modern Sesame products by defining opportunities with physical objects intended to make kids' lives better.
In the fall of 2017, Chuck Cerankosky, RIT industrial design alumnus and owner of Good Luck restaurant in Rochester, NY, challenged our students to design a pop-up restaurant within a restaurant. In this experiment, 17 students acted as a singular voice to reimagine how dinner out can be interpreted through the lens of industrial design.
In the fall of 2016, Umbra - a Toronto-based designer and manufacturer of housewares selling more than 2,000 home products through 25,000 retailers in 75 countries - challenged the students of Metaproject to create a design for small spaces.
In the spring of 2016, a relationship was created between Metaproject and Poppin, the New York-based one-stop-shop rethinking every type of office product in new, colorful ways. Students were challenged to create innovative accessories to enhance Poppin’s recent line of furniture that would accent or improve their use.
In the fall of 2014, Metaproject partnered with Kikkerland - an international hub that designs, produces and markets original products in a variety of consumer categories such as gift, stationery, and housewares - and Bed Bath & Beyond, a national retail chain that specializes in home furnishings.
In the fall of 2013, student designers, in partnership with award-winning, century old furniture manufacturer Herman Miller, tackled the challenges associated with building and enhancing relationships in the workplace. Focusing on the Living Office vision and Herman Miller’s recent history, students debated the evolution of work and the current definition of "relationship."
In the fall of 2012, world-renowned, avant-garde accessories manufacturer Areaware challenged the third generation of Metaproject to explore the properties of wood as a primary material in object construction. Students researched culturally specific historical and contemporary toys in pursuit of defining a universal toy.
In the fall of 2011, a partnership was forged between the world-renowned Corning Museum of Glass (CMoG) and Rochester Institute of Technology. Moving the nature of the Metaproject to a new level, industrial design students worked with RIT's glass program students to explore design concepts that capitalized on glass as the primary material.
In the fall of 2010, 20 Industrial Design seniors at the Rochester Institute of Technology participated in the first Metaproject course with Professor Josh Owen. They were given the task of creating seating prototypes that celebrate the richness of Wilsonart International’s laminate surfacing materials.