For the One-Armed Cook Who Has Everything
Business and design solutions plus teamwork a recipe for success.
ANN ARBOR, Mich.— It looked like an in-home kitchen gadget show gone
wild on November 29 at Tishman Hall in the University of Michigan Computer Science
and Engineering Building, as people sliced and diced their way through vast
amounts of vegetables and cheese—all using only one arm.
2006 Integrated Product Development (IPD)
The on-campus trade show was the second leg of the 2006 Integrated
Product Development (IPD) course's "One-Handed Kitchen" competition featuring
students from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, College of Engineering
and School of Art & Design. The course, sponsored by the Tauber
Manufacturing Institute, is taught by William Lovejoy, the Raymond T. Perring
Family Professor of Business Administration and chair of Operations and Management
Science at the Ross School, and Shaun Jackson, associate professor at the School
of Art & Design and the A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture &
The assignment for the eight multi-discipline student teams: Design, build
and present self-contained food preparation systems to allow people to prepare
a complete meal with the use of just one arm.
At the on-campus trade show, voters munched on crudités while receiving
tutorials—and tasty examples—of the unique design features and functions
of each kitchen system by their enthusiastic creators.
"Our design looks so simple, but it went through many incarnations before
we arrived at our final product," said Charles Covey-Brandt, a junior
in the School of Art & Design and member of the Hip Grip team. "I
loved working with students from the other disciplines. I've never been
part of a team that has worked so hard."
William Chen, an engineering student and member of the Enjoy team, explained the functionality, beauty and sustainability
of the bamboo used in his team's preparation cart. "There is more
than meets the eye at work here. We've taken the upstream and downstream
processes into consideration," he said.
Left to right, TMI student Alexander Lee and Professors Shaun Jackson and William Lovejoy watch TMI teammate William Chen demonstrate the Enjoy team's product.
Behind the Scenes
In addition to researching the market needs and designing a functional product,
the competition required each team create a Web page to market its system.
Before launch, the teams designed a manufacturing process and estimated the
fixed and variable costs of production. These calculations influenced the prices
they were to declare prior to competition. During product reviews leading up
to the contest, designers and engineers from industry critiqued the students'
designs and offered advice on improvement.
Just like real life, the market determines the winners. Following an intense
14-week course, the products were put on display for online voters and guests
at the trade show to review. All eight fully functional products were ranked
by both features and price, and the top three prototypes were selected. Market
results from the online and actual trade shows determined students' grades.
And the Winner Is…
The Hip Grip team received the most votes in the online and trade show competitions.
The winning teammates are
- Justina Chiang, Master of Industrial and Operations Engineering
- Charles Covey-Brandt, Bachelor of Fine Art with a concentration in product
- Vince Giovannetti, MBA
- Steve Kren, Master of Industrial and Operations Engineering.
Lovejoy Overjoyed with IPD 2006
"The problem students faced was more difficult and complex
than in years past," said Lovejoy, who created the course 16 years ago
while at Stanford University. He is impressed with the results of the 2006 competition
and hopes the top teams will take their products to the next level. "In
fact, we are trying to create a follow-up class through the Samuel Zell &
Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies that will focus on the
entrepreneurial side of product development," he said.
For more information about the IPD course and to view the "One-Handed
Kitchen" competition entries, visit www.tmi.umich.edu/IPD/2006/.
Written by Nancy Davis
For more information, contact:
Mary Jo Frank