Page 1

michael tran industrial design portfolio 2018


1 2 3 4

wake up!




5 6 7 8

egg drop

speed form


t shirts

wake up! for MUJI

a time keeping device that fits the MUJI brand and that alarms the user via a vibrating ring

1_wake up!

ring ring?

many college students live together in cramp areas. because of their lack of sleep, many need a very loud alarm to wake up in time for classes. These overly loud alarms often unneccessarily wake up other room mates and ruin their sleep just so one can wake up.

hey Gabe!

Gabe is a sophomore in college who dorms with four other people. He cranks his alarm all the way up to wake him up after his four hour “sleep�. He needs an alarm that will easily wake him up but not his room mates.

1_wake up!

gettin’ sketchy form exploration through paper and sketchbook pro. Finding out what different ways could I keep track of time? How could I make an alarm?

inspiration I wanted to capture the warmth of a sunrise as well as the vast emptiness of a volcano crater

1_wake up!

mock it up

form exploration through physical models made of cardboard, yellow foam, and modulan. What form would fit MUJI?

makin’ it to improve my model making skills and precision, I learned how to use the mill to make my project

1_wake up!

how it’s done to work the timer, put on the ring. then spin the center to however many hours you would like the timer to go for. wait for the clock to reach zero to make the ring vibrate and return the ring to turn off the alarm.

1_wake up!

(sound) the alarm with this project, I was able to learn about true minimalism. many “minimalist” designs I’ve seen have really been lazy without anything special about them. MUJI is one of the few brands that I’ve seen with true minimalism. I read the book “white” about the subject by the MUJI designer, Kenya hara. I also learned how to reduce my designs to their purest form. form truly became function.

thermometer designing a thermometer for pre teens to use on themselves when home alone

2_ear thermo

home alone

Kevin is sick and alone at home. However, every ear thermometer seems scary to figure out how to use. Kevin is scared that he might hurt himself while using the thermometer. Kevin needs a thermometer that is simple, friendly, and comfortable so he can easily figure out how to use the thermometer on his own.

2_ear thermo

gettin’ sketchy sketching different ways I could make the shape of the thermometer to be friendly for a twelve year old yet not overly friendly so Kevin will feel more grown up for taking care of himself.

mock it up discovering ergonomic directions with various design directions using polyurethane foam. this way, I can find the most comfortable shape for Kevin to use on his own with either of his hands.

inspiration I found that shapes of the human body such as the ear turned out to be ergonomic in the hand.

2_ear thermo

makin’ it what looks more like plastic than actual plastic? I took a big risk and used thermoplastic pellets to make the final model. to mold the thermoplastic, I melted the pellets with hot water, then I wrapped it around a foam base.

2_ear thermo

take the risk for this project, I learned about different model making approaches by taking a risk with thermoplastic instead of traditional modulan. I also learned more about ergonomics in order to make the thermometer comfortable in both hands

bike making a bike completely in solidworks and rendering in keyshot


makin’ it to make this bike assembly, I custom made twenty inidividual pieces including the wheel, frame, handlebar, etc.

hanger create a hanger out of a single lasercut piece of e-flute cardboard


gettin’ sketchy sketching different locking mechanisms, forms, and things to hang

mock it up figuring out how cardboard folds into itself and tweaking placement of holes and perforations to make sure everything locks into place


fold it

instructions for how to fold the hanger from the lasercut blank









problem solved I hated that clothes looked nothing like how they would on a body whenever they were hung. with my hanger, the curves simulate a real body underneath the garments


lesson learned for this project, I learned how to plan out and think ahead for a project with extreme accuracy. this was especially true because I had to know exactly where the holes and perforations had to be or else the whole thing would not work.

egg drop a group project with Jacob McMullen create packaging that can protect an egg from a fifty foot drop while still fitting the “Justin’s Nut Butter” brand language

5_egg drop

gettin’ sketchy

sketching with Jacob to discover different forms that could increase time in the air (to slow down the egg midair) while still withstanding the impact

mock it up exploring different ways of fitting the egg and effective ways of protecting the egg from impact

inspiration Jacob and I really liked how the packaging for these nuts were clear and honest both literally and symbolically.

5_egg drop

speed form casting and molding a plaster speed form from a chavant clay buck

6_speed form

gettin’ sketchy form exploration through sketching in whether it should be fast or slow, slender or wide, etc.

mock it up experimenting different aesthetic directions with clay and yellow foam models

inspiration I wanted to capture the fast aggression of the drill but directly contrast it with the slow relaxing speed of a leaf

6_speed form

makin it’

I learned how to cast and mold with plaster as well as learn how to mold chavant clay.

bonus! more projects that I’ve done on my own personal time


transparent longboards

designing graphics to be hand painted and stained onto skateboards and longboards.

8_t shirts

T shirts

designing and selling t shirts

thanks for reading!

Second year portfolio  
Second year portfolio