UNSW Built Environment Industrial Design: Adam Long

6 04 2009

Hi!

My name’s Adam Long and I spend my time developing cool inventions that solve people’s problems. I’m in my final year of Industrial Design, and love the creative hands-on approach to developing new and innovative products. The variety is great – in my four years in the course I’ve developed everything from mobile phones to digital cameras to fish tanks and even playgrounds! In high school, Design and Technology was my favourite subject – I loved seeing ideas come to light as a finished final product. I was inspired by my teacher, a retired industrial designer, and soon found myself enrolling in the Bachelor of Industrial Design program at UNSW.

I have always been passionate about providing opportunities for disadvantaged people to fulfil their dreams, particularly, those disadvantaged in the developing world. So in 2005 I joined Engineers Without Borders, Australia, a non-profit organization that links technical people with development projects across the world. With Engineers Without Borders I have travelled to the Philippines 5 times (every summer!) working on various projects. Last summer I spent 4 months working with poor community groups to help them set up their own businesses. Facilitating a team of local unemployed, my role was to help the group design products they could manufacture themselves.
The energy was fantastic, and soon the group was buzzing with ideas, before settling on weaving designer shopping bags from recycled materials. The team now sells their products all over the world and has a steady income – their kids can go to school and even afford basic healthcare. It is very satisfying to see design skills going towards good causes!

This year is my final year, which requires a design thesis (just like the year 12 major work). I have teamed up with some engineers and am looking at developing the latest technology in electric cars, aiming to create an induction charger that will recharge your car in less than 6 minutes! Wish me luck!

Attached are some pictures of some of the design process (a camera and a floating ice bucket), as well as the bag that my Filipino colleagues designed!

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