Author Archives: Melissa Parrillo

MIT’s Integrated Design & Management (IDM) will host our 4th Annual Sales Gala on Thursday, December 13, 2018, 6:00pm – 9:00pm in the Sloan School of Management Roberts Family Forum/Siteman Dining Room (located in MIT’s building E62, at 100 Main St., Cambridge, MA).

The IDM Sales Gala will showcase products designed, developed, and manufactured by IDM students. These beautiful and functional kitchen products will be available for purchase at the event and will make the perfect gift for someone you know. Stop by to shop and to learn more about the process and the program. Food and beverages will be served.


Aristotle Chopsticks

By: Helena Briones, Javier Trevino Ruiz, & Daniel Wollin, MD

Fuse, a set of chopsticks made from a combination of cherry, white oak, red oak, mahogany, and walnut that are locally sourced from upcycled wood. This variety of wood is united to form a beautiful banding pattern. Each chopstick is made by hand using food safe materials and the banding pattern is unique for each piece. The carrying case, also handmade, allows you to bring these chopsticks with you anywhere, creating a bond between you and your special set of utensils. Now you can stop using those wasteful single-use chopsticks at restaurants and make every meal a premium experience.

Instagram: @aristotlechopsticks



By: Sabira Lakhani, Ramaa Venkatachari, & Jenson Wu

Botanica is a handcrafted limited edition herb planter that brings life and flavour to your kitchen. Built with self-watering functionality, Botanica makes growing and using your own fresh herbs delightful. Crafted with premium Spanish Cedar, the planter is interactive and customizable, while elegantly becoming part of your cooking rituals. A small batch size planter, designed and crafted at MITidm.

Instagram: @mitbotanica


Footprint LAB

By: Joshua Creamer, Jairo Rodriguez-Travor, Anping Wang, Sharon Yan

Inspired by MIT’s dedication to address society’s greatest challenges, this 4-piece coaster collection celebrates MIT’s footprint in breakthrough innovations throughout history. During this holiday season, allow Footprint Lab to sparkimagination and conversation amongst you and your loved ones. Designed and crafted by MIT IDM students using gold-plated printed circuit board.

Instagram: @footprintlabmit



By: Colorful Onyx – Nikita Bansal, Lara Ortiz-Luis, & Tianqi Zhou

Manaslu means “mountain of the spirit.” Our hand poured wax is made from organic soy and beeswax to ensure natural and long burn times. They’re scented with MUJI essential oils, selected to evoke the Himalayan ambiance. The base is handcrafted concrete, conjuringthe majesty and grandeur of this beautiful Nepalese mountain. This winter, we invite you to take nature back home with you.

Instagram: @manaslucandle



By: Sofia Blumencweig, Dipo Doherty, Ameneh Fadaie, & a.d. stinnett

Taking cues from Metisthe Greek goddessof deep thought and reflection, Metis was designed, handworked, etched, and finished at MITusing both modern processes and ancient metal-bending techniques. Metis represents the parallel exploration of physical material and spiritual movement. We searched for the most powerful ways to imbue emotioninto the rigid structural makeup of [metal] in its default state. Use Metis to serve anything you wish to share: from experiences to feelings.

for: mindful pursuit
from: human minds @ mit

Instagram: @mit.metis



By: Luciana Bueno, Chris Lloyd, & Jasmine Qin

Saturna is a one-of-a-kind decorative tableware inspired by the shape of the sixth planet, bringing a sense of balance, beauty, mindfulness to your dining table. Combining old and new manufacturing processes, each piece is bestowed with naturally occurring uniqueness in its color, sound, and pattern. This vessel is made from metal sand casting, a process that has been practiced for over 3000 years. The surrounding wooden rim is locally and sustainably sourced. A portion of proceeds will be donated to Museum of Science Boston education programming. Designed and crafted at MIT.




By: Chinh Bui, Blanca Foncillas, & Samip Jain

A playful spice set for your dining table hand-crafted from high quality wood for you and your loved ones to enjoy gathering around the table during any family occasion. 

Instagram: @mitsavor


Shot Drop

By: Shana Opperman, Priyanka Ray Barua, & Kevin Yu

Life is about making special memories with friends and family. With the Shot Drop, create shared moments of surprise, delight and joy with this novel shot pourer. Engineered at MIT for precision and designed for fun, gather and cheer as your favorite drink mimics the Charles River in a cascade that overflows and fills each glass with no-spill. As a bonus, it doubles as a unique hosting tray for party snacks, dips and treats. Choose from a frosted textured design as pictured, or a deep red with the MIT domecrowning the top. Custom engraving is welcomed and the set includes 4 stainless steel shot glasses. Cheers from MIT!

Instagram page: @Shot_drop
Email address:


Tony Hu Named MIT Integrated Design & Management Academic Director

MIT alumnus excited to be back on campus in new role

By Sarah Foote


Antonio Hu, SB ’87, (Tony) has always enjoyed putting his teaching and product development skills to use creating new products and teaching others about engineering and product design. He recently began his new role as MITidm Academic Director after IDM Founding Director Matt Kressy approached him about taking the position. Hu was intrigued with the program as he liked the idea of putting his engineering, design, and business skillset to use while teaching.

Hu earned a master’s degree in product design from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from MIT. He brings over 25 years of experience as head of product development at startups and large corporations to IDM. Hu has brought over 200 consumer products to market globally, including electronics, appliances, toys, and sporting goods. While a consultant, Hu helped both nascent and Fortune 500 companies with strategy, design, engineering, and sourcing. As an inventor, he’s licensed 22 products and has 17 patents. For 13 years, Hu has taught product design at both MIT and Stanford.

“This is a once-in-life-opportunity to get in on the formative stage of a program that’s so unique − to partner with a team and make a difference. I’ve always done some teaching and really enjoyed it. After learning more about the program and how unique it is, because IDM fully integrates three disciplines − business, design, and engineering into the program, I became really excited about the position,” Hu said.

At the heart of the two-year graduate program is the core curriculum known as ID Lab that meets two days per week. In this studio-based environment, students learn new concepts through lectures, seminars, and workshops, and then practice these concepts on their own projects. Each year students are required to design and engineer a product (this year a kitchen product) and then sell it at the semester ending Sales Gala.

“Tony has a background in engineering but practices design. The work he does starts from the inception of a concept, takes it to design, and then moves to manufacturing. He understands the entire practice,” Kressy said, adding, “He brings a valuable perspective to IDM and I believe our students will adopt his philosophy that design and business are critical components to being a good engineer. They’ll learn from his experience bringing products to market.”

Hu believes the hands-on experience will be eye-opening for IDMers − especially for those who don’t have a background in developing products.  “Manufacturing is fun. Our students will realize the impact of the design they’re making. They’ll see how important it is that they work together as a group,” Hu said. “Seeing the ‘ah-ha’ moments is great. Students will learn the value of working with others to solve problems and quickly understand that it’s a more powerful way to work.”

IDM Faculty Co-director Steve Eppinger agrees, “Tony brings experience as an engineer, designer, entrepreneur, and educator to the IDM teaching team. He will become a trusted mentor to IDM students in the midst of career transitions.”
Hu met the new student cohort at Orientation this August. He joined the students on a two-day trip to hike and camping trip in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The students returned to campus for their first design task. Each student was asked to design and create a musical instrument. Then, they formed bands, performed music together, and busked on the streets of Cambridge to raise money for Innovators for Purpose.

“IDM students are such a high caliber group of people. They’re from very diverse work backgrounds and from all over the world. It is great to see them get to know each other and work together,” Hu said.

Hu believes the integrated approach taught in IDM will have a big impact on the students as future leaders. “Whatever companies they join will see that IDMers think differently about business − from the way they select their products, to how they can impact the bottom line. IDM [alums] will help minimize the risk and maximize the outcomes for their organizations,” Hu said.

IDM Faculty Co-director Warren Seering is also happy to have Hu onboard. “Tony is educated as both an engineer and a product designer. He has substantial professional experience in both areas as well. His teaching experience at MIT has shown him to be an outstanding instructor. He brings to IDM an ideal mix of backgrounds and interests and a commitment to teaching. We’re very pleased to have brought Tony onto the IDM team,” Seering said.

For more information about the MITidm program, or to apply, please visit:

Matthew S. Kressy, IDM Founding Director

Matthew S. Kressy, founding director of the MIT Integrated Design & Management (IDM)master’s degree, is an expert in product design and development. As an entrepreneur and founder of Designturn, he has designed, invented, engineered, and manufactured products for startups, Fortune 500 companies, and everything in between.

Kressy believes in interdisciplinary, collaborative, design-driven product development derived from deep user research, creative concept generation, and rapid prototype iteration. He is passionate about the implementation of these elements in the design process. In fact, since 1999, Kressy has co-taught collaborative courses in product design and development at top design and business schools including the MIT Sloan School of Management, the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and Harvard Business School.

As IDM director, Kressy leads curriculum development and teaches the program’s primary and required courses. He holds a BFA in industrial design from RISD.

Annual Sales Gala--Thursday, December 14, 6-9pm

MIT’s Integrated Design & Management (IDM) will host our 3rd Annual Sales Gala on Thursday, December 14, 2017, 6:00pm – 9:00pm in the Sloan School of Management Roberts Family Forum/Siteman Dining Room (located in MIT’s building E62, at 100 Main St., Cambridge, MA). 

The IDM Sales Gala will showcase products designed, developed, and manufactured by IDM students. These beautiful and functional kitchen products will be available for purchase at the event and will make the perfect gift for someone you know. Stop by to shop and to learn more about the process and the program. Food and beverages will be served.


Product: Luna

Team name: The Luna Team

Description: Luna is a limited edition sauce dish, uniquely designed to add a new phase to your dining experience. It evokes meditative calmness. Take a moment to pour the sauce and enjoy the beauty unfold as it gently flows to reveal different phases of the moon. Luna is made from locally sourced maple wood. Each curve and contour has been milled in small batches and individually shaped by hand. Crafted and designed at MITidm. 

Preorder today!

Learn more on Luna’s Facebook page or check our their Instagram feed.


Product: plant.

Team Name: plant.

Description: Plant. is a pot that allows your plant to communicate with you and let you know when it needs water. When it is time to water your plant, Plant. changes its color from clear to white. Inspired by our love for plants, Plant. enables anyone to have a green thumb!

“Water me, thanks!”   -love, plant.


Product: prism

Team name: Midsummer Light’s Dream

Description: Prism, reflecting cherished memories of MIT and Boston. Add a touch of magic and warmth in your home with this silhouette candle frame. Gift set includes: frame, plant-based wax candle, and oil lamp.

Watch prism’s ad on Facebook.


Product: Shaori

Team name: Origami

Description: Inspired by Japanese Origami, Shaori is a foldable trivet designed to accentuate your kitchen while protecting your table from heat damage. Made from 100% wool felt and premium walnut wood, Shaori is a one-of-a-kind collectable gift that is hand-crafted and manufactured by MIT IDM students. Only 100 will be made, get your favorite number today!

Learn more on Shaori’s Facebook page.


Product: TIM

Team name: TIM

Description: The TIM the Beaver stainless steel bottle opener and MIT wooden ornament set is the perfect holiday combination. Rest TIM subtly on any countertop in your home, or bring TIM with you to surprise your friends at the next party.

Learn more on TIM’s website, Facebook page, or Instagram page.


Product: Tumbled Whiskey Stones– 4-piece city set and 2-piece MIT set

Team Name: Tumbled

Description: Made from locally-sourced soapstone, the Tumbled collection of hand-crafted whiskey stones can be cooled in any freezer and placed in a drink to keep it at the perfect temperature to bring out the rich flavor of your spirits without altering taste.  Enjoy your drink truly on the rocks, with the control to dilute it perfectly to your taste – and not just with whiskey, but any of your favorite low-volume drinks.  The two beautiful options are sold as a 2-piece MIT-themed stone set and a puzzle-like map of the Charles River area of Boston and Cambridge, both with wooden bases for displaying your stones on your counter, desk, or bar when not in use, and for transferring the stones to the freezer.  They’re great for enjoying with loved ones, sharing a moment with guests, or gifting to that hard-to-by-for friend. Whether it’s MIT or Beantown, let the place you love bring you together with a friend or two or three.  

Learn more on Tumbled’s Facebook page.


Product: Wood + Iron Magnetic Serving Board

Team Name: HAM + cheese

Description: The limited edition Wood + Iron magnetic serving board combines high quality hardwoods and rare-earth magnets to create an entertaining experience that is both elegant + functional.
Each serving board begins with carefully selected, high-grade walnut or cherry hardwood and is crafted entirely by hand. The powerful magnets embedded in the wood introduce an elegant way for users to secure their cheese knife to the serving board, preventing accidents or spills.

Learn more on the Wood + Iron Magnetic Serving Board website.

Information Sessions for 2017/2018 Application Cycle

Learn about this groundbreaking program for early-to-mid career design, engineering, and business professionals.

If you can’t make it to Cambridge, check out one of our virtual information sessions. There you can live chat with us to see what IDM is all about.

Thursday, 10/19, 12-1 pmVirtual Info Session

Thursday, November 16, 6:30-9:30 pm Open House

Thursday, 12/7, 12-1 pm – Virtual Info Session
Monday, 2/5, 12-1 pm – Virtual Info Session

Maya Olsha Named IDM Director of Business Partnerships

By Alice Waugh
March 8, 2017

Maya Olsha, has been named Director of Business Partnerships for MIT’s Integrated Design & Management (IDM) program. Olsha, a 2008 alumna of IDM’s sister track, the System Design and Management (SDM) program, brings over a decade of experience and a breadth of accomplishments. 

As primary liaison to IDM’s partners (mostly companies, but also nonprofits and other agencies), Olsha will identify and nurture current and future relationships between IDM and those partners. Her goal is to increase awareness of the program and collaboration opportunities including class and thesis projects, student careers, joint research, gifts and social initiative projects.

Olsha is well acquainted with IDM Director Matt Kressy, since she took his Product Design and Development class as an SDM student. After doing her thesis project on procurement risk management at Accenture, she worked full-time in product management and was a vice president for customer success at a startup.

“I’ve always loved interaction with the customers, listening to their problems and trying to solve them creatively,” she says. “Now I can help promote the IDM vision by working with students and companies to the bring design integration to corporate culture and processes.”

Olsha looks forward to promoting many types of collaboration between IDM and its partners, including facilitating internships and post-graduation job opportunities for students, as well as helping guide IDM’s Spring Project Market Opportunity Pitch event. In that exercise, several companies, along with all of the students, pitch real-world problems. Students choose one of the problems and work on solutions by conducting interviews, doing market research and creating prototypes. The solutions might be a product or service, such as inventing a means of alerting deaf cruise ship passengers about emergencies, or it might be a social challenge such as sparking children’s interest in nature.

“Maya has been working with the IDM leadership team for the past year and has become integral to the mission of the program,” Matt Kressy says. “Her wonderful energy has created meaningful relationships with partners that inspire the students and also result in terrific outcomes for the companies.”

Olsha started college in her native Israel and got her bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University in computer science. She worked as a software engineer for the Partners Healthcare System before enrolling at MIT.

24 Hours of Design: Integrated Design Innovation Consortium

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The Integrated Design Innovation Consortium Tackles Postoperative Cognitive Dysfunction


By Melissa Parrillo, MITidm Program Administrator


The surgery was successful, according to the doctor. I thought: The cancer is gone and Mom is finally safe.

But a few hours later, Mom asked, “Is this one of the new chemo rooms?” And she wasn’t in a chemo room. She had undergone surgery to remove her lung. We started to worry: What if she is having a stroke? What if there is some kind of brain damage? What if she isn’t safe?

Ultimately, my mother doesn’t remember much of her six-day stay at the hospital. She suffered from a condition known as Postoperative Cognitive Dysfunction (POCD), a disorder that occurs in up to 10% of elderly surgery (and anesthesia) patients. I didn’t learn about it at the hospital though. The nurses and doctors never mentioned it to my family. Yet, the issue is growing in importance in the medical community.

In fact, POCD was addressed at the recent Brain Health Summit in Washington, D.C. Additionally, the American Society of Anesthesiologists is leading the charge to increase awareness of the risks of surgery and anesthesia on postoperative cognition in the vulnerable brain and to implement strategies to reduce postoperative delirium and cognitive dysfunction. But, I learned about these conditions one year later at the Integrated Design Innovation Consortium (IDI) 24 Hour Design Challenge, on October 28, 2016.

IMG_4752The IDI 24hr Design Challenge, the fourth led by Penn’s Sarah Rottenberg and Northwestern’s Amy O’Keefe, brought together partners from Penn Medicine, along with students from University of Pennsylvania’s Integrated Product Design (IPD), Northwestern’s Engineering Design Innovation (EDI) program, Carnegie Mellon’s Integrated Innovation Institute (MII-PS), and MIT’s Integrated Design & Management (IDM) program in Philadelphia. The goal was to solve three complex problems associated with POCD and postoperative delirium:

  • How can we preoperatively screen for behaviors and risk factors associated with onset of Postoperative Cognitive Decline (POCD) or Delirium post surgery?
  • How can we enlist caregivers to mitigate delirium/POCD or expedite recovery when the patient demonstrates symptoms of Delirium/POCD post surgery while they are still in the hospital?
  • How can we improve life and prevent death at home after surgery for patients who show symptoms of POCD?

At 5pm, on Friday, 10/28, 76 students gathered in Penn’s Towne Building to learn about the challenge, break into teams, hear an introduction from Shushila Murthy, and begin secondary research. By 9pm, the 15 teams were able to state research questions and initial hypotheses.

On Saturday morning, the students reunited in their inter-school, cross-disciplinary teams to continue to apply the human-centered design process to the problems of post-surgical delirium and POCD. They started by exploring the problem firsthand, by interviewing caregivers, design researchers, medical researchers, physicians, professors, surgeons, an anthropologist, and an anesthesiologist to understand the stakeholders’ perspectives. They also visited an intensive care unit to get a sense of the surgical environment. In this manner, the challenge participants were able to develop empathy, user journeys, and stakeholder needs.

Full of understanding, they got to work on concept generation. The white boards were covered in marker and sticky notes. Words like “solutions,” “nurse action lists,” “data analytics,” “screening,” “games,” and “virtual reality,” appeared from wall to wall and the volume in the room went from a low hum to a noisy buzz. Teams generated multiple ideas and talked about the pros and cons of each. Then, they broke down the ideas and built them back up again hypothetically until they were confident in their direction.IMG_4777

Then, students built actual prototypes—early representations of their concepts. Groups constructed a sleeve for wireless bio-monitoring, a photo booth, and an app for assessment and anxiety reduction. While working on their ideas and prototypes, the IDI students received feedback from physicians and design researchers from Penn Medicine. The practitioners provided input that allowed the students to make meaningful changes to their concepts.

After 24 hours, the students were ready to reveal their ideas. Each team had 3 minutes and a 2-slide maximum to present. There were options that addressed all three periods from the challenge—before surgery, during the hospital stay, and following discharge. There were also innovations designed to aid the various stakeholders, including: patients, caregivers/family, doctors/nurses, and the funders (insurance/Medicare/Medicaid).

Teams invented products that were at the leading edge of technology and that were low tech and accessible for all audiences. In fact, one team created a virtual reality solution to simulate the sundown effect and the difficulty focusing attention that are often experienced as patients emerge from anesthesia; while another group created a 12 inch cubic block of games that resembled a popular toddler toy. There were apps, a chatbot, a digital-to-physical calendar, physical and interactive care kits, an interactive storytelling platform, flash cards, physical space designs, and games. Mark Neuman commented on the nature of the IDI students’ ideas, “Many things in medicine just aren’t designed. Bringing in the design context adds a lot!”

Even the “clients” from Penn Medicine appreciated the way that teams capitalized on their human focused insights. For example, the Lee Fleisher remarked upon groups’ utilization of family members’ time in the waiting room, calling it an “intervenable moment that we should be using.” He also showed interest in a tool that collects data from patients and provides a feedback loop for medical personnel to learn about which of their own practices are most successful. Overall, Fleisher was impressed by the manner in which the students attacked a “20-year-old problem in 24 hours” producing a diversity of thought, which he attributed to the diversity in the room.

The Integrated Design Innovation Consortium
The Integrated Design Innovation Consortium is a collaboration of graduate programs (Carnegie Mellon’s Integrated Innovation Institute (MII-PS), MIT’s Integrated Design & Management (IDM), Northwestern’s Engineering Design Innovation (EDI), and University of Pennsylvania’s Integrated Product Design (IPD) programs) that bring together design, engineering, and business. The programs provide students with the tools to make the world a better place and graduates understand their responsibility to approach complex problems with empathy, integrity, and optimism.

IDM Sales Gala


MIT’s Integrated Design & Management (IDM) will host a Sales Gala on Thursday, December 15, 2016, 5:00pm – 9:00pm in the Sloan School of Management Roberts Family Forum/Siteman Dining Room (located in MIT’s building E62, at 100 Main St., Cambridge, MA).

The IDM Sales Gala will showcase products designed, developed, manufactured, and for sale by the students of the second cohort. These beautiful and functional products will make the perfect gift for someone you know.

Stop by to shop and to learn more about the process and the program. Food and beverages will be served at this open reception.

About the Teams


Product Name: The Charles River Reservation Coasters
Team Name: Muddy Charles Coaster Company
Team Members: Jonathan, Kamin, and Suneeta
About the Product:
Muddy Charles Classic Coasters are functional art based on the Danish philosophy of ‘Hygge’ (pronounced hue-gah) – living a healthy, cozy life with simple and warm things in good atmosphere. Multiple layers of sustainably-sourced native hardwood are individually hand-dyed, rubbed, and finished to produce dramatic 3D topographic effects. We handcraft premium coasters that not only tell a powerful story of Bostonians’ way of living along the Charles River, but also blend with every day’s morning, afternoon, and night rituals to make you find your own ‘Hygge’ in every moment. Complement your home with a Muddy.

Dear Deer-03

Product Name: Dear Deer
Team Name: Powerpuff Girls
Team Members: Prerna, Pushpa, and YangYang
About the product:
What happens when you apply Human-Centered Design to a Dinner Party?
We hosted, attended, and interviewed frequent hosts to find out what goes into, and at a dinner party.

We learned that making room to host is a challenge for young, urban hosts. So we set to design a product that increases hosting space while being warm, festive, and playful.

Dear Deers are modern, functional centerpieces for your Dinner Party that stand elegantly between your dishes, and also support your plates and bowls on their antlers, so there’s more room on the table.

Dear Deer: Make Room for Your Dears!


Product Name: GRO Planter
Team Name:
Team Members: Alex, Jin, and John
About the product:
No matter how many staff meetings we attend, no matter how many traffic jams we sit in, we will always be creatures of the earth. We exist to help you ‘gro’ your relationship with the planet by growing your own food. We have designed a LED-enhanced planter that makes growing your own plants easy and sustainable. The Gro solution also comes with unique herbs to add color and nutrition to the foods you eat and helps you become a confident indoor gardener.


Product Name: ōki
Team Name: Team Sauna Grey
Team Members: Fahad, Meg, and Pratik
About the product: Inspired by Japanese mindfulness traditions, ōki is a set for practicing mindfulness in our daily meals. The ōki set is an earthy vessel, two fine chopsticks, wrapped in a raw table cloth. We handcrafted bowls out of concrete, each one designed and poured individually.


Product Name: Padauk Bottle Opener
Team Name: PIVOT
Team Members: Izabela, Laura, and Matt
About the product:
Pivot is a handcrafted beautiful Stainless Steel bottle opener with African Padauk and Purple Heart wood. Designed and made by MIT IDM.



Product Name: Pinch Spice Mill
Team Name: Team Pinch
Team Members: Anna, Guillaume, and Lei 
About the product:

Pinch is a hand-crafted spice mill that adds more than just flavor to your meal, it also acts as a center piece to be shared among friends and family during gatherings. It’s made of reclaimed wood with a stainless steel grinding mechanism built to last you through many daily grinds. All of our supplies are purchased from small businesses in the Cambridge community.

Pinch: Add Spice To Your Daily Grind


Product Name: Spice Palette
Team Name: The Fantastic Three
Team Members: Attia, Prateek, and Yoly
About the product:
Hand Crafted.
Rich Mahogany Wood.
Artfully Etched.

This is no ordinary spice rack. Hand made by three MIT design students, the Spice Palette takes your spices out of hiding, and makes them accessible without using counter space.

Magnetic and made out of mahogany wood, the Spice Palette moves with you… it can be mounted on the wall, slid into a drawer, or on the counter by the stove.

We know the importance of food bringing people together, and the kitchen is the hub of all gatherings. Use our Spice Palette not only to enrich your dishes, but to add beauty and character to your home.

IDM Final Review: May 11

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The Integrated Design & Management Class of 2015 showcased hard goods, interactive products, and user-focused services designed, developed, and prototyped by the students throughout these semester-long projects.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016.


Meet and Greet with Demos Lunch
11:30am – 1pm

These exciting projects include:
  • Swift Travel: redefining the carry-on luggage experience
  • Dōm: enriching the emotional experience at home;
  • Camper Earth: design driven material innovation to produce a zero waste system for hand-made sustainable leather shoes
  • Drift: processing your personal internet media consumption in order to allow you to “Experience a whole new way of browsing the web”; and
  • Alexandria: developing an emergency information/alert system for hard of hearing and deaf vacationers.

Presentation Schedule:
1:00 – 1:05  Welcome
1:05 – 1:35  Swift Travel
1:35 – 2:05  Dōm
2:05 – 2:35  Camper Earth
2:35 – 2:55  Break
2:55 – 3:25  Drift
3:25 – 3:55  Alexandria
3:55 – 4:00  Closing Remarks

 Reception 4:30-6:30pm at Middlesex Lounge.

Inside the Integrated Design Lab: Teams beat sales targets


Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of three news features that invite the reader inside IDM’s core class—the Integrated Design Lab. In this series, contributor Melissa Ackermann details the students’ second project from start to finish.

After many sleepless nights filled with coffee as well as music and movies to aid in keeping the students alert, the moment of truth arrived—the December 10th sales gala. Without a doubt, this day came at lightning speed and brought bittersweet emotions. Although students were dismayed as they reached the deadline, they also were relieved that the end was in sight. All products were completed to the best of their ability given the various constraints each team faced. Now it was simply a matter of powering through the final stage of the project. Students would finally be able to reap the fruits of their labor, pushing through any sleep deprivation as they functioned purely off the surge of adrenaline that rushed through their veins.


Chacha Durazo goes for the soft sell with Warren Seering, IDM engineering faculty co-director.

As the students filed into MIT Sloan School of Management to begin setting up for the event, they had extra pep in their step along with a contagious amount of excitement. Pride in their craftsmanship was evident through the care and attention to detail they put into their product booth displays. With hardly any time to spare, food and libations started flowing—and so did prospective customers. IDM Director Matt Kressy grinned from ear to ear, in awe of both the impressive work the students accomplished and the sizeable crowd they pulled in. “It is so incredibly rewarding for this day to have arrived and to not only experience seeing the students engaging with customers about their innovative products, but also selling out of them at quite decent profit margins!” Kressy commented.

While the students buzzed around catering to prospective buyers, the customers chattered among themselves, elated with the unique creativity of their new purchases. As the students engaged with their newly found supporters, they shared their stories (depicted below) of how their ideas came to fruition and the grueling obstacles they had to navigate around. Steve Eppinger, faculty co-director of IDM, visited each of the teams, listening intently to their stories and proudly acknowledging their performance. When the gala eventually wound down, students sighed a breath of relief to have successfully pulled off their projects and realized a return on their investment! While some were ready to celebrate their achievement with their classmates, others passed out from pure exhaustion. At the end of the day, it was a grand finale for all!


Team 1: Root 16IMG_0758

Needs that drove “D”esirability

  • Lack of counter space as well as 
unused angular areas and wall surfaces
  • Aesthetics
  • Modularity and flexibility
  • Visibility and segregation

Greatest “F”easibility challenges faced and lessons learned

  • Scrapping the original product late in the process and pivoting on opportunity
  • Finding a good balance between functionality and design
  • Forecasting adequate time management throughout the process

Project finale determining “V”iability

  • # of units made – 50
  • # of units sold – 34
  • # of units to break-even – 30


Team 2: MUGger Life mugger.crop

Needs driving “D”esirability

  • Form
  • Ergonomics
  • Vessel function
  • Heat function

Greatest “F”easibility challenges faced and lessons learned

  • Thinking they had a firm grasp of the ceramic manufacturing process
  • Locating adequate space to facilitate production
  • Attempting numerous times to create a durable form due to continuous breakage

Project finale determining “V”iability

  • # of units made – 52
  • # of units sold – 48
  • # of units to break-even – 16


Team 3: Perch perch2

Needs driving “D”esirability

  • Ability to use a phone more easily while working in the kitchen
  • Freeing up of counter space
  • Easily moveable to different areas

Greatest “F”easibility challenges faced and lessons learned

  • Shipping issues with getting parts on time
  • Logistic problems slowed down the manufacturing process
  • Inability to incorporate more features due to the compressed project timeframe

Project finale determining “V”iability

  • # of units made – 80
  • # of units sold – 80
  • # of units to break-even – 27


Team 4: brielliant SIDE_VIEW

Needs driving “D”esirability

  • High aesthetic appeal
  • Source of pride for the user
  • Ability to separate hard from soft cheeses
  • Placement for cheese knives

Greatest “F”easibility challenges faced and lessons learned

  • Identifying the best wood to use
  • Anticipating product viability, running out of stock, and placing backorders

Project finale determining “V”iability

  • # of units made – 56
  • # of units sold – 56
  • #of units to break-even – 25


Team 5: Living Flavors Photo_Dec_02__6_08_26_PM

Needs driving “D”esirability

  • Garnish dining experiences with fresh herbs
  • Maintain plants with limited skill and effort
  • Curate dining table centerpieces that look modern and fashionable

Greatest “F”easibility challenges faced and lessons learned

  • Understanding how plants grow to choose the best ones for utilizing the product
  • Having to wait two weeks for the plants to grow
  • Shutting down of the laser cutter impeded the manufacturing process

Project finale determining “V”iability

  • # of units made – 75
  • # of units sold – 75
  • # of units to break-even – 35


Team 6: SUSHIGAMI sushigami

Needs driving “D”esirability

  • Produce fully enclosed sushi
  • Details proper amount of rice and ingredients
  • Ability to center the ingredients between rice

Greatest “F”easibility challenges faced and lessons learned

  • Underestimating the time needed for small parts of the project such as lamination
  • Sourcing an FDA-approved food-safe paint
  • Experiencing long lead time with the delivery of parts

Project finale determining “V”iability

  • # of units made – 52
  • # of units sold – 52
  • # of units to break-even – 16

Thanks for joining us for the fall series of Inside the Integrated Design Lab. Please be sure to check back in soon to explore the latest developments in the students’ spring semester coursework.

Melissa Parrillo

Melissa Parrillo Appointed IDM Program Administrator

Melissa Parrillo

Photo by John Parrillo

By Lois Slavin, Communications Director

(November 1, 2015) Matt Kressy, director of MIT Integrated Design & Management (IDM), has announced the appointment of Melissa Parrillo as IDM’s program administrator. In this role, Parrillo will oversee and manage IDM’s strategy, daily operations, and communications projects, as well as support and advise IDM students.

“IDM is very, very fortunate that Melissa will be working with us in this new capacity,” said Kressy. “She has a proven track record of working with students, faculty, and staff, and will continue to make a strategic impact on a much larger scale.”

Parrillo joined IDM as program administrator after working for MIT System Design & Management (SDM) in digital marketing and analytics, branding, and alumni relations. She came to MIT SDM in 2010 after working as a marketing campaign producer at Allen & Gerritsen. Previously, she served as assistant to the chair of the marketing communication department at Emerson College.

“IDM is a groundbreaking initiative that is important to design education and the world at-large,” said Parrillo. “I am honored to be a part of IDM and to work so closely with our faculty and students.”

Inside the Integrated Design Lab: Prototyping and Manufacturing

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of three news features that invite the reader inside IDM’s core class—the Integrated Design Lab. In this series, contributor Melissa Ackermann details the students’ second project from start to finish.

perchsketchAs the clock began its countdown to the December 10th IDM Sales Gala, the students still faced an abundance of opportunities for creating innovative kitchen utensil solutions. They quickly dwindled down their list to six: a modular fruit and vegetable storage system, an unconventional mug design crafted from the finest porcelain at MIT, an innovative mobile phone stand for viewing recipes, a uniquely detailed and customized cheese board, a table-top herb-growing station, and a decorative sushi-rolling mat.

Six design teams were formed around these opportunities using two sets of selection criteria: choosing one student from each discipline—design, engineering, and business, and matching up each student with one of their three top-ranked opportunities.

As Director Matt Kressy set the students on their way to begin their projects, he offered up some words of wisdom, “Through this design process, you’ll be challenged with many new decisions you didn’t have to face in your previous project. You will find that your design decisions are different when they are connected to making 50 units. It’s not so straightforward and obvious. Keep in mind that the ‘devil is in the detail’!”

The students quickly set out to begin their research and develop their prototypes. Although they had originally derived their ideas from conducting user needs analysis, they had to revisit this phase in their newly formed teams in order to determine the root16 manuvarious prototype possibilities they could test and build.

Over the course of many late nights, each team worked rigorously on extensive concept generation and feedback acquisition, identifying what seemed to be working and what could be done better. Through this process, students were able to formulate their strategy by identifying potential risks and uncertainties. They intended to reduce and eliminate as much risk as possible by getting answers in the fastest and cheapest ways possible.

Students found themselves getting an intimate understanding of what Kressy meant about “the devil being in the detail” as they worked relentlessly to mitigate the various design factors—customer needs, quality, safety and performance, as well as profit and cost—all within the looming time constraint.

After much frustration with their concept, one of the teams even made an incredibly tough decision to completely pivot on their product midstream and start from scratch. “We were originally exploring egg making, but learned that the food-safe materials were difficult to work with and expensive, and required a great deal of testing. We went down that road for a while, but there wasn’t going to be enough time. SMugger manuo we changed course and started over with concept generation.” The team ultimately ended up designing a modular fruit and vegetable storage system.

In the end, the universal challenge that all the teams share is how to maintain the desired look and feel for their products while scaling up for manufacturing. There’s no doubt that the evolution of their initial product design—or in Team 1’s case the entire product—has been forced to undergo changes, some embraced wholeheartedly and some accepted reluctantly.

As it currently stands, students are working diligently to resolve their real-time challenges as they embark on the homestretch to complete their kitchen utensil project—a true test of innovation and perseverance! Each team’s unique design approach is outlined below.


Team 1: Root 16
Opportunity: modular fruit and vegetable storage systemperch manu
Approach: focus on small-space solutions
Real-time challenge: shifting from the egg-making problem to the storage solution was time consuming

Team 2: MUGger
Opportunity: nontraditional mug to meet user needs
Approach: focus on branding and form—ergonomics and vessel and heat function
Real-time challenge: determining low-cost packaging material that is biodegradable and environmentally sound

Team 3: Perchbrielliant manu
Opportunity: mobile phone holder for kitchen use
Approach: focus on user survey and focus group
Real-time challenge: prototype testing which version offers the best functionality and aesthetics

Team 4: Brielliant
Opportunity: cheese board incorporating unique detail
and customization
Approach: focus on user journey map and product positioning
Real-time challenge: reducing the long word-curing process thatUnknown-9
slows down the next steps in the manufacturing process

Team 5: Living Flavors
Opportunity: table-top, hydroponic herb-growing station
Approach: focus on aesthetics and maintenance
Real-time challenge: getting the laser cutter to properly
work with the plywood for the box

Team 6: SushigamiSushigami manu
Opportunity: decorative sushi-rolling mat
Approach: focus on interviews and competitive product research
Real-time challenge: applying FDA-approved paints and glosses
for food safety

Stay tuned for the third installment of Inside the Integrated Design Lab, which will highlight the outcome at the sales gala as well as each team’s greatest challenges and lessons learned.

IDM Sales Gala -- Thursday, 12/10, 5-9pm, Sloan School E62

MIT’s Integrated Design & Management (IDM) will host a Sales Gala on Thursday, December 10, 2015, 5:00pm – 9:00pm in the Sloan School of Management Roberts Family Forum/Siteman Dining Room (located in MIT’s building E62, at 100 Main St., Cambridge, MA).

The IDM Sales Gala will showcase products designed, developed, IMG_0758manufactured, and for sale by the students of the inaugural cohort. These beautiful and functional kitchen utensils will make the perfect gift for someone you know. Stop by to shop and to learn more about the process and the program. Food and beverages will be served at this open reception.

Inside the Integrated Design Lab: IDM Cohort Identifies “DFV”

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of news features that invite the reader inside IDM’s core class—the Integrated Design Lab. In this series contributor Melissa Ackermann delves into the inner workings of the lab, including lecture topics and project progress.

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 2.51.52 PM
As the fall semester reached its midpoint, IDM students wrapped up their first innovation project. They emerged with a newfound understanding of the intricacies involved in identifying user needs and the powerful impact that such information has on product design, in this case a dust pan and broom. After rigorous research, concept generation, and design process, students presented their individual solutions for floor cleaning, to address the unmet needs of their target markets. Not surprisingly, the solutions reflected uncanny creativity, ranging from a dust pan for pet hair with disposable sticky sheets to an elegant wooden work of art that not only would offer functional use, but also would raise the brow of any refined connoisseur of design.

Equipped with their newly cultivated skills, students set off to master their second project, which entails collaborating in six three-member teams comprised of one individual from each discipline—design, engineering, and business. The assignment is for each team to design a kitchen utensil solution that should ideally have five or fewer parts. Each team will be responsible for funding its own product and manufacturing 50. The ultimate goal is selling all 50 units for a profit at a sales gala on December 10. The students’ motivation to “show me the money!” takes on added meaning as they strive to complete their project. Although turning a profit is important, it’s equally imperative that the final product works incredibly well and is aesthetically pleasing.

All 18 students individually identified five business opportunities. They then narrowed down their own options to two, utilizing key metrics to determine the products’ market desirability (“D”), technical feasibility (“F”), and business viability (“V”). Next they prepared one-page overviews for each of the two best opportunitiesDFV_Page_06, 36 ideas in total, and pitched them to the class to vote on. Six products were chosen for development, and the students formed teams to focus on how to best to create winning products from these ideas.

Since each team will be able to capitalize on the knowledge and experience of a designer, an engineer, and a business mind they will be well on their way to creating a truly innovative and moneymaking product.

Stay tuned for the next update, which will highlight the newly formed teams and the products they have decided to develop.

Follow the individual teams on Facebook:

IDM Celebrates Launch with Heart

By Melissa Parrillo, IDM Assistant Director

The faculty, staff, and students of MIT Integrated Design & Management (IDM) gathered with a select group of early supporters to celebrate the inception of the program at the Middlesex Lounge, on Massachusetts Avenue, in Cambridge, on Thursday, October 8, 2015.

DSC02598“IDM is going to impact MIT …the entire realm of graduate education …the world,” SDM and IDM Faculty Codirector Steven D. Eppinger said in addressing the crowd. “The products, services, and experiences created by our grads are going to have positive impact on ecosystems, economics, and on people, and we’re going to be known for that.”

Offered jointly by the MIT School of Engineering and Sloan School of Management, IDM is a graduate offering for early to mid-career professionals that integrates industrial design, engineering design, and other design disciplines with management.

The track was founded by IDM Director Matthew S. Kressy, an entrepreneur who founded Designturn and who had previously taught at MIT, Rhode Island School of Design, and Harvard Business School. At the launch party, Eppinger called Kressy “a visionary” as well as “a gifted teacher, an inspiring mentor of an entire generation of MIT and RISD students.”

Kressy, for his part, gave a moving speech in which he applauded several champions of the new offering and thanked IDM’s students for giving him the privilege of being their teacher. He described the new students as “driven, smart, compassionate, loving, open—amazing.”

IDM’s first cohort of 18 students arrived on campus on August 24, 2015. The nine men and nine women are a diverse group that hails from nine countries. The cohort, made up in equal parts of designers, engineers, and business professionals, bonded quickly in the students’ first two weeks on campus—during “boot camp.” A key feature of both SDM and IDM, “boot camp” is an intense period of classwork and team projects.

In the second week, for example, IDM students were tasked with designing and building musical instruments to play in concert, a project drawn from an analogy that Kressy has used to describe IDM—as an orchestra formed from diverse musicians and instruments.

Already, IDM students have delved into their first project—a six-week deep dive into product research that led to a formal research review on October 1, 2015. The presentations included reports on market research, needs research (and interviews), and observational research. In his speech, Kressy noted that the students’ work on this project had already impressed him as well as his co-instructors, Eppinger and Lecturer Serena Cheng.

“I can’t wait to see what happens when you leave this program and go out into that world,” Kressy told the students at the party. With a rush, the students surrounded Kressy in a speech-ending group hug.


The Mentor, the Maven, and Matt

By Melissa Parrillo, IDM Associate DirectorMatt.circa90

Neal Yanofsky, Shaun Modi, and Matt Kressy have all been invited to speak at the 2015 MIT SDM Conference on Systems Thinking for Contemporary Challenges. The MIT System Design & Management (SDM) program selected this year’s speakers and theme, “A Whole Systems Approach to Product Design and Development,” with the synergies of sister track Integrated Design & Management (IDM) in mind. Yanofsky, Modi, and Matt in particular were chosen to speak because they share a deep understanding of the power of integrated design. Yanofsky, former president of Panera Bread, chairman of Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, and board member and senior advisor of Snap Kitchen, and Modi, cofounder of TM, are particularly pleased to participate because of their longstanding relationships with Matt.

The mentor
Some years ago, when Matt was fresh out of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) but having trouble finding a design job, he applied to drive a delivery truck for Yanofsky. Recognizing Matt’s keen interest in business, however, Yanofsky hired him in sales and soon a friendship had developed over the little monochrome screen of a first-generation Macintosh computer; while the two reviewed profit and loss reports, and Yanofsky explained sales trends. “Matt quickly understood the business context. He really evolved over the years, and the student surpassed the teacher,” says Yanofsky, adding that he has also learned a lot from Matt over the years. “Matt is a great designer with a sense of pragmatism. For him design is never simply an end in itself. It contributes to a solution to a broader problem,” Yanofsky explains. “Matt asks, ‘How can design help?’ and he applies that to a purpose.” It is a lesson Yanofsky says he has applied in several senior roles at various companies over the years.

For his part, Matt recalls always being impressed by Yanofsky’s incredible awareness of user experience and his understanding that design is integral to a successful business. “Here is this Harvard Business School–educated man who understands intuitively the power of design,” Matt says of Yanofsky. “Neal’s understanding of the balance between user experience and operations greatly contributed to his ability to grow Panera from 15 stores to the Panera we know today. He lets design define the product and the value to the customer, and he uses operations to deliver that value without messing it up. He doesn’t let [operations] complicate the customer experience. That’s how Panera scaled up successfully.”

Yanofsky will share such valuable strategies in his keynote address, “Can Managers Contribute to Design that Creates Competitive Advantage?” at the MIT SDM Conference on Systems Thinking for Contemporary Challenges. There, IDM students will have the opportunity to learn from their teacher’s mentor.

The maven
Many years ago while teaching at RISD, Matt remembers reading “Shaun Modi is a god!” on the walls. Modi’s peers had recognized his special talents long before he took on design roles at NASA, Nokia, Motorola, Google, and Airbnb—even before he was named one of the Top 75 Designers in Technology by Business Insider in 2013. And Matt knew it as soon as he met his new student. “He is really intelligent, passionate and positive,” Matt says. “Shaun values design. He understands its value to society and his accomplishments speak to that.”

Modi has been out of RISD for 8 years now, but he acknowledges he’s still learning from Matt. The two correspond frequently and learn from each other, having developed a deep connection around their craft. Modi explained that he, like Matt, believes that it is important to continue to do the work. He said, “Always be practicing.”

Modi’s views on design align with IDM’s philosophy, which centers on balancing engineering, business, and design to bring new levels of creativity, vision, and integrity to business and society. Business leaders and students alike will benefit from Modi’s MIT SDM 2015 conference presentation, “The Creative Process Inside Startups: Best Practices and Lessons Learned.” Modi says, “As a complement to business, design can change the world. It needs to be part of what is feasible. There has to be collaboration making the product economical. Now, more than ever, design must partner with other disciplines.”

Join IDM in supporting the MIT SDM Conference on Systems Thinking for Contemporary Challenges: A Whole Systems Approach to Product Design & Development, which begins with a preconference session on October 6 featuring Matt’s talk, “Integrated Design Approach to Prototyping,” followed by conference sessions with Yanofsky and Modi on October 7. Stay for presentations by Todd P. Coleman, Ph.D., Steven D. Eppinger, Sc.D., Pat Hale, Matt Harper, Joan S. Rubin, and Maria Yang.

Andrew MacInnis Named IDM Technical Instructor


By Lois Slavin, Communications Director

Matt Kressy, director of Integrated Design & Management (IDM), has announced the appointment of Andrew MacInnis as IDM’s materials and methods instructor, effective July 1, 2015. In this role, MacInnis will teach design and prototyping to the inaugural IDM class as well as oversee operations in the new Integrated Design Lab, which is located in MIT’s International Design Center.

MacInnis comes to MIT with more than 20 years of iterative research and design expertise in the consumer, military, and sports industries. He also brings valuable hands-on experience gained from early career positions that evolved from shop hand to model maker, model shop manager, founder of Monster Prototype, and production manager-process developer. He holds a BFA in industrial design from the Rhode Island School of Design.

“Andy is one of the most accomplished creators I have ever met,” Kressy said. “We are thrilled to have him as part of our teaching team and look forward to watching our students marvel at what they are able to accomplish under his guidance.”

Most recently, MacInnis worked as product implementation manager at Revision Military, which designs and delivers protective equipment for soldiers worldwide. He was responsible for designing and establishing best practices in the composite and paint shops of the company’s composite center of excellence. He was a major contributor to the selection and refinement of materials and techniques for structural elements of a cutting-edge anti-ballistic helmet. He also wrote technical instructions and trained and managed staff.

“Our students are blessed to be coming of age in an era where options abound for the creation and development of their ideas. I am excited to guide each of them along their own paths to success,” MacInnis said.