A person stands before a table that has a display on it that reads Rhythm.

Several Humber College students won awards, including first place overall, at the Association of Chartered Industrial Designers of Ontario’s (ACIDO) annual Rocket Show.

ACIDO is an organization of accredited industrial designers formed to develop and promote the profession. The Rocket Show, which started nearly two decades ago, is an annual competition for Ontario’s graduating industrial designers that serves as an opportunity to showcase students' thesis projects while competing for recognition and prizes.  

The event is also a chance to further enhance students' connections to the industry by displaying their thesis projects to a wider audience.

Humber’s Melissa Stocco won the overall ACIDO Rocket First Place Award along with the Health and Wellness Award and the Agency Award. Also, fellow Humber grads Harry Cotaras and Anthony Grguric won the Consumer Product Award and the Innovation Award, respectively.

Stocco’s project was called Rhythm. It’s a smart and gamified fitness equipment set for seniors that emits music, lights and haptic feedback to inspire movement and exercise.

Cotaras’ idea was ReCess – a tutoring pod designed for children aged 8 to 12 with dyslexia that brings specialized education and multi-sensory learning directly to schools.

A person stands before a table that has a display on it that reads ReCess.

Grguric’s design was called Aerus and it’s an avalanche survival unit designed to give its users a heightened chance to endure and survive an avalanche until search and rescue personnel can arrive.  

A person stands before a table that has a display on it that reads Aerus. A mannequin wearing winter clothes is next to it.

As part of the competition, graduates from Humber, Carlton University, OCAD University and Sheridan College had the opportunity to pitch their design projects to a jury of industry professionals with the top winners being announced at the Rocket Show ceremony. The show shifted back to being an in-person event this year and was held at the Sam Sorbara Auditorium in Brennan Hall at the University of Toronto at the end of May.

Professor Catherine Chong said the Senior Level Thesis Project is the culmination of the Bachelor of Industrial Design student’s career at Humber. It is the result of continuous development over the academic year, leading to their capstone project. Chong added the Thesis Project is a demanding journey swimming through ambiguity, balancing logic with creativity, and ultimately trusting the design thinking process to deliver a successful innovation opportunity.  

“Witnessing the dedication and hard work put forth by the students, I am incredibly proud of their achievements,” said Chong. “We are grateful for the opportunity to present students' design projects on a professional platform such as the ACIDO Rocket Show. It's a chance for the students to connect with industry as well as to validate the importance of what they do, which is essentially applying user centric design to solve design problems.”

The thesis projects are supervised by Chong and Professor Fredric Matovu with technical support by Michael Vander Velde.  

Humber’s Bachelor of Industrial Design program had a dozen students present their thesis projects at this year’s show. In addition to Stocco, Cotaras and Grguric, other students to present included Hannah Dumancas, Thomas Ferreira, Alec Freda, Maximiliano Garcia Sosa, Justin Ho, Ricky Saluja, Mary-Beth Scully, A'shantee Spencer and Charlotte Watkins.