A desktop cell phone holder and charging dock lying on a flat surface. The design resembles a robot and is made out of sheet metal.

Design Class Offers Last-Minute Gift Ideas

A desktop cell phone holder and charging dock lying on a flat surface. The design resembles a robot and is made out of sheet metal.

Sophomore industrial design student Frances Cheng created the Desk Minion for "Making It," a new design class that focuses on taking an idea from concept to actual product.

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Looking for a last-minute gift idea? We know a few emerging artists who can help!

Students enrolled in the new “Making It” class did more than sketch a product this term. They built and sold some of the most innovative office supplies around.

“Other classes are designing something to improve an existing piece or applying innovation to a product,” instructor Patrick Enright said. “The students in this class learned how to simplify their design in order to manufacture it quickly.”

DSID 133 students had three to four weeks to design and craft their products. They spent the rest of the semester refining retail sales points, and then marketing their creations on Etsy.com.

The Desk Minion

One student “making it” was sophomore industrial design student Frances Cheng.

“I designed a desktop cell phone holder and charging dock,” Cheng said. “My desk is kind of messy so I wanted to make something where I could have a designated place to keep my cell phone.”

She named her product “Desk Minion,” given its ability to hold a variety of items like general electronics, business cards and keys. Also, line up a bunch of her creations, and they look a lot like battle droids.

Cheng designed her template in Adobe Illustrator, and then used a water jet machine at downtown San Jose’s TechShop and the sheet metal brake in the Art Building to cut and bend 50 Desk Minions.

It’s too soon to tell if any of these students has a big hit, yet the potential is there.

“The class just went public two weeks ago,” Enright said. “Some of them have made some sales and they are all getting a lot of site reviews.”

View all of the “Making It” products.