Headphones on Display
PAVE’s annual 3D Design Challenge brings student fixture designs
for the booming headphone market to life By Susan Friedman
Now in its fourth year, the 2012- 2013 PAVE the Way 3D Design Challenge brings to life student- designed fixtures that will be both
functional and effective in merchandising
a real-world headphone brand. For university students whose designs might otherwise remain unrealized academic projects,
the competition can have profound, career-altering consequences.
“Usually students do scale models and
mock-ups, but not with actual materials, as
is the case here,” says Wesley Woelfel, associate professor of design at California State
University in Long Beach. Woelfel taught a
pair of the students whose entry was chosen as a finalist. “To see something become
real—well, not a lot of students have the
financial ability to make that happen,”
Industry judges whittled down more
than 200 submissions from a dozen countries to 12 finalists that excelled at the competition’s criteria. Responsible for bringing
finalist projects to life is Van Stry Design
of Malden, Mass., sponsor and presenter
of this year’s competition. Van Stry, which
creates custom fixtures, took on the task of
turning the 3D renderings of finalists’ 12
projects (see page 32) into functional headphone displays for viewing at GlobalShop
2013 in Chicago.
“The entries that nailed the details and
fully explained their concepts were chosen.
Some were very good, almost ready to go
into production,” says Barrett Stowell, Van
Stry Design’s vice president of design and
The idea for a headphone-specific fixture
came directly from Van Stry’s own client
continued on page 32
Design and create a 3D model or rendering
of a store fixture that communicates an
existing brand of headphone. The design
should invite customers to walk up to it, try
on headphones, and walk away informed
and delighted by the interaction. The focus
should be on the product. Floor space is
currency on the selling floor, so keep your
footprint to a maximum of 36 by 36 inches
wide and 84 inches high. You may choose
from any of the ever-growing headphone
manufacturers currently on the market,
including in-ear, noise-canceling, over-ear,
wireless, gaming, or others. The professionalism and detail of the fixture should parallel that of the chosen brand throughout the
entire design, representing their brand and
what the brand would present to the world.
Winning designs will actually be produced
at full size, so ideas must also be functional
PAVE the Way 3D Design Challenge Finalists
The competition, sponsored by Van Stry Design and now in its fourth year, offers students a chance to see
their designs come to life, gain exposure at the major retail industry trade show, and win cash awards.
The top 12 projects are from the following students:
Kathleen R. Barry | Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.
Jade Boyle | Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Ky.
Elizabeth Gray | Miami University, Oxford, Ohio
Siddharth Grover | DSK International School of Design, Maharashtra, India
Amanda Jones and Courtney Wallach | Cazenovia College, Cazenovia, N. Y.
Catherine Murray and Micah Washington | University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati
Nick Nguyen | The University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas
Milos Pajevic and Milan Stevanovic | Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture,
Serbia and Montenegro
Oksana Pugajeva | University of Dundee, Dundee, United Kingdom;
and Brice Desportes | ENSAN, Rouen, France
Jessica Seyfang and Nick Most | Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, Ohio
Eric Yates and Alice Huang | California State University, Long Beach, Calif.
Yuan Zeng | University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati
Scott Carter | director of visual
Kristine Finizio | manager, store design,
Saks Fifth Avenue
Jeremiah Gabin | vice president, sales,
Van Stry Design
Tim Moy | design director, Van Stry Design
Barrett Stowell | vice president design and
engineering, Van Stry Design
Rachel Zsembery | senior associate,
Bergmeyer Associates Inc.