Since my last post, the final two sets of “good product, bad product” examples were submitted and student groups wrote summaries and gave presentations on them. The first of these was aesthetics, elegance and sophistication, and the second had to do with products that were consistent with a finite earth. For the first, students were asked to choose a product that they thought was simply beautiful and one that they thought was unbelievably repulsive. Also to choose a third product that they believed to be extremely elegant and sophisticated. They were then asked to justify their choices, and conjecture upon how they could be improved, and what the improvement might do to the cost of the product. A student paper summarizing the products is here. Examples of beautiful products from the 2011 course, are shown here;. Repulsive ones are here. Ones showing elegance and sophistication are here.
The student groups chose Cartagas (two companies of this name produce “Cuban” cigars, but only one of them is in Cuba), Tesla Motors, Ziiro watches, and Victoria’s Secret.
For the second, the students were asked to think of products that that harmed the earth's environment, and changes could lessen their negative impact . A student summary of the responses is shown here. And examples from the 2011 course are shown here. I missed the final student presentations, as I was out of town. However, Professor Beach and Julie Shryne, the teaching assistant in the course, had many positive things to say about them. And judging from the quality of the students and the preceeding presentations, I am sorry I missed them.
Speaking of Professor Beach, those of you not having taken the course might be interested in knowing a bit about him, since is not only a superlative teacher, but has been responsible for turning what were the traditional student shops into not only vastly improved facilities, but an extremely exciting and innovative center at Stanford (the Produce Realization Laboratory). He has an interesting back ground which includes study in the liberal arts, manufacturing experience, engineering degrees, and a strong dedication to video production. He best of all, a wonderful person, filled with good spirits, high motivation, and a dedicated and hard worker. I am proud to count him among my friends. A good overview of David Beach and his interests can be seen here.