An Inside Look at the Innovative Product Design Sketching Workshops

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Published March 27, 2019
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The Montclarion
Completed product sketches were done by students in the workshop. Zoe Nolz | The Montclarion

The product design program started a free sketching workshop in Finley Hall on Wednesday afternoons. Students in any major are encouraged to attend.

The workshop is run by Nicolette Pezzolla, a junior product design major and studio assistant as well as Jackson Yeakel, a sophomore product design major and studio assistant.

Pezzola shared her intentions for the future of the program.

“We’re definitely hoping for a lot more involvement and a lot more acknowledgement on the campus,” Pezzolla said. “We want to show more people that we exist, and we’re doing some really cool stuff in here.”

At one of their workshops on Feb. 13, students learned to sketch real-life objects. They began the lesson with a warmup, and students sat in a circle and listened to instructions.

The students followed along with Pezzolla’s guidelines and they were assigned to sketch different lines and various three-dimensional cubes and cones. After the warmup, the students were excited to practice sketching real-life objects including a chair and coffee maker.

Throughout the workshop, Pezzolla walked around the room to watch the students’ progress and looked at the different sketches, offering advice and words of encouragement to help the students improve their sketches. Everyone was very comfortable and supportive of each other.

The workshops are on the second floor of Finley Hall, and there did not seem to be more than 15 students on Feb. 13. The room had a very innovative style with sketches and artwork hung up all over the wall.

The students all laughed and joked around with each other even though they created their sketches with care and focus. Everyone was happy with their work at the end of the lesson and were excited to see their finished products photographed. Many students stayed after the lesson was over to work on other assignments and talk with fellow students.

Students gave positive feedback about the product design program and sketching workshop.

Skyler Prideaux, a sophomore product design major, appreciated the hospitable environment that encouraged him to improve his design skills.

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Skyler Prideaux sketches warm-up lines and shapes. Zoe Nolz | The Montclarion

“There are so many nice people here that sit down with you and really want to put in the time to create another designer and just teach you the foundations and show you cool stuff,” Prideaux said.

Pezzolla and Yeakel both made it clear that all students are welcome to come and experience the product sketching lessons.

Yeakel also emphasized the importance of drawing as a foundational skill.

“In our major, I feel like you should be sketching all the time and I feel like it’s something you should never really let go past you,” Yeakel said.

He feels that these lessons create an environment that is a good place for product design majors to gain a stronger sense of motivation.

Pezzolla believes that this program is beneficial to students in other majors as well.

“For other majors, it’s something really cool to learn,” Pezzolla said. “If you’re an animation and illustration major, you definitely focus on a person and their interactions with things. We’re teaching you how to draw the smaller things that are maybe overlooked.”

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A chair is placed on a table to be sketched by students. Zoe Nolz | The Montclarion

Sophomore product design major Ross Newton would like to see more people take advantage of the workshop.

“I’d love other people, like the school or local community, to be able to come in and see the stuff that we’re making here,” Newton said.

Pezzolla and Yaekel are eager for other students and community members to learn more about sketching with different techniques and perspectives and to just have the opportunity to show people their hard work.

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