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-B e n

R o d g e r s-

Purdue University Industrial Design

Arch Table The Arch Table was inspired by my vision of a bridge rising through a barrier of some sort, whether it be water or cloud. It is made of poplar, steel tubing, and plexiglass. Rather than bend the wood I wanted to see if I could make the half arc from

laminated curved segments.

I had to make several miniature models to get it right but I finally succeeded in making the full scale piece from half and third-arc staggered segments. It was a finalist in the 2010

Design Emphasis furniture

contest and displayed in Atlanta at the Congress Building during the International Woodworking Fair.

Arch Table

Assist The idea for a product such as Assist came to me during a sponsored project with DePuy Orthopedics. They had asked each student in my class to design a product that would assist idividuals with a disability of our choice in a paralympic event. I chose kayaking as it is a favorite outdoor activity of mine. From there I sought to find ways to aid persons who had lost a hand or arm below or near the elbow. As I researched problems and situations associated with amputees a more difficult problem came to my attention. What if a person has lost both hands or arms? Having only one natural hand to manipulate objects with can often be dificult enough but having none raises several new problems. Particularly how one secures or removes their prosthetic limbs.



From the many video clips and interviews I watched it became clear to me that people are very clever beings. Several had found their own solution to removing and attaching their prosthetics on their own. I recognized and respected this and thereafter made it my goal to streamline the process and bring individuals with these challenges beyond the need to use teeth or feet. The one sure requirment to be able to take advantage of Assist would be that the individual’s prosthetics be operated by myoelectronics. Myoelectronic technology detects the firing of nerves under the skin that once coresponded with digits and limbs that have been lost. This is used to control the prosthetic limbs and digits that have been made to replace them. This

is necessary because the user must still have command of at least one hand after the straps, suction, ect. have been loosened. Myoelectronics

allow this, where as other systems rely on a secure limb.

Assist Assist works by clamping both prosthetics within the two rings.

The clamps in the center push outward when the user twists his or her arms downward and out from their center.

This function could be achieved by a threaded axis or by a system of lobes shaped similar to those on a cam shaft.

The outside rings can be adjusted by the allen bolt behind each of them to accommodate different sized limbs. The strap is a necessary part as it allows the user to push against something and ideally could provide them with a means to hang their prosthetics in

a place within easy reach when they need them again.


Senior Thesis


“To create a family of furniture that stylishly addresses the comfortable, portable, and affordable wants and needs of young adults.�


As a young adult with a passion for furniture and an appreciation for clever mechanisms it seemed only natural that I should focus on functional furnishings to meet the demands of the young adult livestyle. It seemed to me that many individuals in my age group (18-25) seemed to have the same combination of problems: small living space, lack of funds, and a transient livestyle. Further observation of these conditions shaped my statement of intent into thus:


Senior Thesis: (in progress)

Senior Thesis

The Problem:



“Multipurpose furniture is awesome, if I can buy one thing that has several functions it benefits me and sells the product more.”

This is especially important for college students. Often times everything they own must be moved in and then out again at least twice a year (out of the parents and into the apartment, then vice versa.) This causes crowded cars and

difficult moving. Space Efficiency:

Much of the furniture available to young adults is second hand and likely not meant for a cramped apartment. It is not uncommon to see most of a college apartment or dorm consumed by large upholstered furnishings. In other cases certain peices of furniture are often needed but would be in the way the rest of the time. Affordability: Young adults tend to not have much money at their disposal. For the right price almost any domestic space could be made pleasent but often it would come at a high cost. Because of this many are quite limited in their quality of options.

“Furniture needs to be more portable. I move around a lot.”

“There’s no good way to clean your furniture.” “Add features to help a single person move their furniture with ease.” “I think if something looks really cool (assuming it is still ergonomic and comfortable) it would become my favorite piece of furniture...”

“Proportions are clutch...”

Senior Thesis

Hasbro Stretchmobile The Stretchmobile is a concept developed for Hasbro during a sponsored project intended to bolster ideas for the new Stretch Armstrong film currently in development. Each member of my class designed a toy based upon a design vision that we presented at the begining of the project. My vision was for a toy made for boys 6 to 8 years old. I wanted to make something that

utilized the elastic qualities of the character but without the lethargic nature of the original toy. It needed to be fast, active, and surprising.

Aside from sporting large wheels and an aggressive look the toy also jumps into the air with the jolt of two springs. Before pushing the Stretchmobile toward any ramp or obstacle the child first presses the toy flat which brings the shoulder joint directly between both ends of the spring. This locks the arms and front wheels out ward. When the toy is pushed forward and is jolted by the ramp or obstacle it then bumps the shoulder out of alignment and causes

the locked springs to snap back inward and launches Streche’s ride even higher!

Hasbro Stretchmobile

The working model was only a skeleton of the production design but worked just fine. It was made from masonite, dowel rods, 2 inch tension springs, and parts from other less fortunate toys.

As shown to the right through frozen video images the model actually jumped completely over the ramp never actually needing

to touch it.

48:2 Design Competion 48:2 is a sponsored event done every year by the Purdue Industrial Design program. 2010’s sponsor was the Hon Furniture Company who asked that we design furniture for the classroom and learning environment. There are five teams with three or four seniors leading each. The

rest of the team is comprised of juniors and sophomores.

Each team has 48 hours “to” develop and explain in a layout 24 concepts. It was definitely a test of teamwork and leadership abilities, not to mention technical difficulties which included the building’s shared drive crashing eliminating our ability to access shared files for the remainder of the competition. The other senior leaders and myself soon found that ingenuity and a calm demeanor were the only means by which positive

progress could be achieved and a friendly environment sustained.

A few of the best concepts can be seen on the following page along with a small fraction of the rest of our ideas in the box below.

Concept Examples

Ben's Web Portfolio  

A sample of my collective works as a designer.