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Barry Matthew Kudrowitz, phd

Assistant Professor of Product Design (and)
Director of the Product Design Graduate Minor
College of Design
Department of Design, Housing and Apparel
University of Minnesota 

37 Rapson Hall, 89 Church Street SE, Minneapolis MN 55455  
barryk[at]umn.edu
www.wonderbarry.com
@kudrowitz

Research Interests

Creativity and Idea Generation Tools
Concept Visualization and Sketching
Play and Humor in Design
Designed Experiences and Interactive Entertainment

Education

Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, 2010
MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Thesis: "Ha Ha and Aha! Creativity Idea Generation, Improvisational Humor and Product Design"

Exchange Student (Free Mover) Industrial Design Engineering, 2006
TU Delft, Netherlands

M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, 2006
MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Thesis: "An Exploration of Concepts for Projectile Toys"

B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, 2004
University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida
Thesis: The Application of Pneumatic Capsule Pipelines in Conjunction with Linear Induction Motors Towards the Enhancement of the Thrill Ride Industry

Positions Held

2011-present, Assistant Professor, Product Design, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, MN
2011-present, Affiliate Member, Mechanical Engineering Graduate Faculty, University of Minnesota, MN
2011-present, Director of Graduate Studies, Product Design Minor, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, MN
2011-present, Co-Founder and Creative Director, Popcorn Tuba LLP, Minneapolis, MN
2011-present, Fellow, Philadelphia University, College of Design Engineering and Commerce, Philadelphia, PA
2011-present, Colleagues Advisory Board Member, Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN
2011 - Post Doctoral Associate, Mechanical Engineering, MIT, Cambridge, MA
2009 – 2010, Instructor-G, Mechanical Engineering, MIT, Cambridge, MA
2007-2008, Teaching Assistant, Mechanical Engineering, MIT, Cambridge, MA
2005-2006, Research Assistant, Mechanical Engineering, MIT, Cambridge, MA

Selected Awards

Teaching
Goodwin Medal for Conspicuously Effective Teaching, MIT Institute Award (2009)
Department Service Award for Outstanding Service to the Mechanical Engineering Department, MIT (2009)

Academic
Research Slam, 2nd place, College of Design, University of Minnesota (2011)
Lemelson-MIT Student Prize Finalist (2010)
Carl G. Sontheimer Prize for Creativity and Innovation in Design (2010)
Rohsenow Graduate Fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2004-2005)
Top Honors Graduate/summa cum laude at the University of Central Florida (2004)
Order of Pegasus - Highest award offered to a student at the University of Central Florida (2004)

Extracurricular
1st Place in MIT’s First Annual Unuseless Competition for the “Catsup Crapper” (2005)
“The Orlando Grand Slam Master” - Highest Ranked Slam Poet in Orlando (2003-2004)

Scholarship

Publications

Kudrowitz, B., Te, P., & Wallace, D. (2012). The Influence of Sketch Quality on Perception of Product-Idea Creativity. Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design and Manufacturing: Special Issue on Sketching. 26 (3), 267-279.

Kudrowitz, B. & Wallace, D. (2012). Assessing the Quality of Ideas from Prolific, Early Stage Product Ideation. Journal of Engineering Design: Special Issue on Design Creativity. (ifirst, 1-20)

Ludden, G., Kudrowitz, B., Schifferstein, H., & Hekkert, P. (2012). Surprise and Humor in Product Design. Humor: The International Journal of Humor. 25(3). 

Kudrowitz, B. & Wallace, D. (2010).  The Play Pyramid: A Play Classification and Ideation Tool for Toy Design. The Journal of Arts and Technology. 3 (1), 36-56.

Kudrowitz, B. (In Press). How (some) board games can help us be (more) innovative. Insights Magazine. Innovation Learning Network

Conference Proceedings

Kudrowitz, Barry; Te, Paula; and Wallace, David. “The Influence of Sketch Quality on Perception of Product-Idea Creativity.” Proceedings of IASDR2011, the 4th World Conference on Design Research. Delft, the Netherlands. October 31-November 4.  In Preparation

Kudrowitz, Barry and Wallace, David. “Improvisational Comedy and Product Design Ideation: Making Non-Obvious Connections between Seemingly Unrelated Things.” Proceedings of the International Conference on Design and Emotion. Chicago. Oct 5-7, 2010. (Nominated for Best Paper)

Kudrowitz, Barry and Wallace, David. “Assessing the Quality of Ideas from Prolific, Early Stage Product Ideation.” Proceedings of the 2010 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences. Montreal, Canada. August 15-18, 2010.

Kudrowitz, Barry and Wallace, David. "The Play Pyramid: A Play Classification and Ideation Tool for Toy Design." Proceedings of the International Toy Research Assocation 5th World Congress 'Toys and Culture'. Napflion, Greece. July 9-11, 2008.

Gutowski, Timothy; Taplett, Amanda; Kudrowitz, Barry; et al. “Environmental Life Style Analysis (ELSA)." IEEE International Symposium on Electronics and the Environment. May 2008.

Service

National
Member, Play from Scratch Advisory Board, 2012
Member, Colleagues Advisory Board, Weisman Art Museum, 2011
Member, Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), 2011
Fellow, Philadelphia University, College of Design Engineering and Commerce, 2011
Judge, Toy of the Year Awards (i.e. TOTY), 2011-present
Judge, FIRST Robotics, Minneapolis, 2011
Member, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), 2004-2005, 2013

University of Minnesota
Chair, Product Design Graduate Minor Committee, 2011
UROP Review Committee for Spring 2012
Member, CDES Interdisciplinary Design Committee, 2012
Member, Digital Fabrication Laboratory Committee, 2011
Member, College of Design Lectures Committee, 2011
Member, DHA Curriculum Committee, 2011
Member, Design Graduate Faculty, 2011
Member and Facilitator, Target & UMN College of Design New Collaborations Team, 2011
Affiliate Member, Mechanical Engineering Graduate Faculty  

Invited Professional Presentations

International

“How Play and Humor Help us Innovate.” Talk. BMW Guggenheim Lab. Berlin, Germany. June 23, 2012.

“Idea Generation Through Improvisation.” Workshop. BMW Guggenheim Lab. Berlin, Germany. June 23, 2012.

“Designing Discovery-Enriched Curriculum.”
Keynote. City University of Hong Kong. April 18, 2011.

“Ideating Discovery-Enriched Curriculum.”
Workshop. City University of Hong Kong. April 19-20, 2011.

“Creative Toy Design and Engineering.” 
Workshop. The Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE).  Hong Kong. June 21-25, 2010.

“Design for Play. Play for Design."
Speaker. International Conference on Toys and Children's Products. Alicante, Spain. May 14-15, 2009.

“Gathering Ideas: Product Design and Innovation."
Speaker. Design Cork Seminar. Lisbon, Portugal. May 16, 2008.

National

“The Importance of Play and Humor in Creative Design Practice” Talk. War Memorial Hospital. Sault Ste. Marie, MI. January 15, 2013.

A Hands-on Introduction to a Creative Product Design Process.” Workshop. War Memorial Hospital. Sault Ste. Marie, MI. January 16-17, 2013.

“The Importance of Play and Humor in Creative Design Practice.” Talk. RetailGreen Conference. Phoenix, AZ. Nov 27.

“A Humorous, Playful Brainstorming Process.” Creative Session. Curb Center Creative Practice Bootcamp. Vanderbilt. Nashville, TN. August 31, 2012.

“The Importance of Play and Humor in Creative Design Practice.”
Lecture. Innovation Learning Network (ILN) InPerson. Detroit, IL. May 15, 2012.

“A Hands-on Introduction to a Creative Product Design Process.”
Workshop. Innovation Learning Network (ILN) InPerson. Detroit, IL. May 16, 2012.

“Play, Humor and Creativity.”
Lecture. Vanderbilt University. Nashville, TN. March 26-27, 2012.

“Play, Humor and Creativity.”
Lecture. Philadelphia University. Philadelphia, PA. May 19, 2011.

“Increasing Creativity and Fluency in Product Design Idea Generation.”
Lecture. MIT, Mechanical Engineering. Cambridge, MA. March 14, 2011. 

“Play and Idea Generation.”
Workshop. Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette. January 28, 2011.

“Fueling Design Innovation: Relationships Between Creativity, Humor and Play.”
Lecture. MIT, Media Lab.  March 10, 2010.

Local – Industry

“How Play and Humor Help us Innovate.” Keynote Talk. Medtronic. Minneapolis, MN. January 25, 2013.  

“A Hands-on Introduction to a Creative Product Design Process.” Workshop. Starkey. Eden Prairie, MN. January 8, 2013.

Target Brainstorm: Future of Target Store Experience. University of Minnesota. Minneapolis. November 15, 2012

“The Importance of Play and Humor in Creative Design Practice.” Talk. American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Plymouth, MN. October 10, 2012.

“A Playful Product Design Process.” 3M Tech Forum. Lake Elmo, MN. August 16, 2012.
 
“Innovation and Brainstorming.” Workshop. 3M Skin/Wound Care Division. St. Paul, MN. March 6, 2012.

“Importance of Play and Humor in Creative Design Practice.” 3M Tech Forum. St. Paul. March 2, 2012.

“The Importance of Play and Humor in Creative Design Practice.”
Speaker. Target Engineer Week. Target Headquarters. Minneapolis, MN. Feb 20, 2012.

“The Importance of Play and Humor in Creative Design Practice.”
Lecture. Mayo Clinic, Systems Engineering and Operations Research Collaborative. Rochester, MN. Jan 13, 2012.

“Improv and Idea Generation.”
Workshop. Mayo Clinic, Center for Innnovation. Rochester, MN. Jan 13, 2012.

“Play and Creative Design.”
Speaker. The Works, Science and Engineering Museum. Bloomington, MN. Dec 8, 2011.

“Play, Humor and Creativity.”
Speaker. Pixel Farm Digital. Minneapolis, MN. Dec 8, 2011.

“Play, Humor and Creativity.”
Workshop and Lecture. Creative Kid Stuff Corporate, Minneapolis, MN.  July 14, 2011.

“Play, Humor and Creativity.”
Lecture. Logic Product Design. Minneapolis, MN. May 25, 2011.

“Play, Humor and Creativity.”
Workshop and Lecture. 3M. St. Paul, MN.  May 18, 2011.

Local – Academia

“Improv and Idea Generation for the Classroom.” Workshop. Design Lab for Educators. Minneapolis, MN.

“Idea Generation Through Improvisation.” Workshop. Minnesota Library Association Institute for Leadership Excellence. Breezy Point, MN. May 14-17, 2013.  

“Sketch Your Ideas!” Talk. University of Minnesota Backstage Pass: An Event for National Merit Semifinalists. Minneapolis, MN. November 2, 2012.

“Sketch Your Ideas!” Talk. College of Design, Welcome Week/College Day. Minneapolis, MN. August 30, 2012.

“Improvisation for Idea Generation.” Workshop. Walker Kitchen Lab. Minneapolis, MN. June 18, 2012.

“Mash-Up: Transforming Education with Design Thinking.” Lecture and Workshop. Council of Educational Facility Planners International, Midwest Regional Conference. Minneapolis, MN. April 25-27, 2012.

“Brainstorming for Medical Devices.” Design of Medical Devices Conference Medical Device Innovation Workshop. April 9, 2012.

“Creativity and Leadership.” Speaker. 2011-2012 President’s Emerging Leaders Program. St. Paul. February 17, 2012.

“Design of a Nerf Blaster in 7 Minutes.”
Speaker. Design in 7. University of Minnesota. Minneapolis. April 14, 2011.

“A Playful Product Design Process.”
Keynote Lecture. Design Intersections Symposium. Minneapolis,  March 31, 2011.

“The Humor of Innovation.” 
Speaker. Making, Selling, Buying, Using: Emerging Issues in Product Design. Minneapolis, MN. Sept 17, 2010.

 “Real Toys for an Increasing Virtual World.”
Panelist. Sandbox Summit: iPlay, YouPlay, WiiPlay. MIT, Cambridge, MA. May 18-19, 2010

Teaching

Creativity, Idea Generation and Innovation (PDes 3701/5701) - UMN
Co-Creator and Course Instructor, 2011- Present
Description: introduction to a variety of creativity and idea generation tools with an emphasis on innovative product concept development:

Concept Sketching and Rendering (PDes 3702/5702) - UMN
Co-Creator and Course Instructor, 2011- Present
Description: introduction to sketching and marker rendering for communication of conceptual product design

Toy Product Design (PDes 3711/5711) – UMN, http://product.design.umn.edu/courses/pdes3711/
Toy Product Design (2.00b/SP.778) - MIT, http://web.mit.edu/2.00b/www
Co-Creator and Course Instructor, 2005 - Present
Description: project-based introduction to product design process and techniques

Advanced Toy Product Design (SP.779) - MIT
Co-Creator and Course Instructor, 2008 - 2009
Description: continuation of Toy Product Design, students take designs to a more advanced prototype stage

Product Engineering Processes (2.009) -MIT, http://web.mit.edu/2.009/www
Lab Instructor and Teaching Assistant, 2005 - 2009
Description: mechanical engineering capstone undergraduate design course

Product Design (2.744) - MIT, http://web.mit.edu/2.744/www
Teaching Assistant, 2006, 2008
Description: graduate project-based course emphasizing user experience, product form, and human factors

Design Work

Product Design

Manhattan Toy (2011)
Conceptual Design and Design for Manufacture, sponsored research
Supervised UMN students: Adam Poetter, Andrew Maxwell-Parish, Colin Nelson

Hasbro Toy Research (2004-2006)
Design and fabrication of SuperSoaker® and Nerf® projectile toys
Design of the Nerf Atom Blaster currently on the market
US Patent Application US20080078366: Toy Projectile Launching Device, 2007
Research performed with William Fienup and David Wallace

The Catsup Crapper or AuTomato (2005)
Design of a catsup bottle that roller skates to a plate and dispenses catsup
First place recipient in the first annual MIT Unuseless Competition
Featured on The Martha Stewart Show (2008) and Conan (2011)
http://www.catsupcrapper.com and http://www.automato57.com

Endoscopic Biopsy Needle Design (2004)
Coring needle design that preserves tissue histology
US Patent Application US20080300507: Biopsy Needle, 2008
Group Project for MIT Course 2.75 Precision Machine Design
Advised by Dr. William Brugge, and Alex Slocum

Digital/Software Design

Digital Sketching Tutorial/Game (2011)
Developing software and apps for tablet computers to teach basic sketching skills
With UMN Computer Science Graduate Student Lane Phillips

Word Bounce (2011)
iphone/ipad word game available on iTunes
Developed by Popcorn Tuba LLP, Partnership with Lane Phillips

Entertainment Design

The Works Museum of Science and Engineering (2011)
Interactive Musical Tabletop Exhibit
Project coordinator and student supervisor of James Cosper, Jesse Purvey, Colin Nelson, Annice Larkin

5-Wits Interactive Entertainment (2006)
Co-design of an elevator simulator for interactive show at the Spy Museum in Washington DC
Group project for MIT Course 2.744 Product Design
http://www.spymuseum.org/operationspy/index.php

Design Squad (2006)
Design and consulting for PBS design television show targeted at high school students to promote engineering
Prototyping musical instruments for music-related episode

Designerds! Product Design TV (2005-2006)
Producer and Host of MIT-based Product Design Television Pilot
Interdisciplinary teams of graduate students develop new musical instruments
Advisors Profs. Meejin Yoon and David Wallace and Co-Producer Chandler Hatton

The Archimedes Death Ray (2006)
Feasibility testing to determine if a mirror array can be used to set a wooden boat on fire
Group project advised by Professor David Wallace
Seen on Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters Episode 46

5-Wits Interactive Entertainment (2005)
Storyboarding, set design, and animatronics for interactive “Tomb” show in Boston
http://www.5-wits.com

Intellectual Property

2007 - Toy Projectile Launching Device
US Patent Application US20080078366

2004 - Endoscopic Biopsy Needle Design
US Patent Application US20080300507

Media Exposure

Museum Installations

“Tune Toy.” The Works Museum. Bloomington, MN. June 2012-present
“Toy Product Design." MIT Museum. Cambridge, MA. June 2008-10.  
“Toys and Games: More than Amusement.” Revolving Museum. Lowell, MA. 2008.

Television/Film

“Design professor & toy lover Barry Kudrowitz talks toys, creativity, and why play matters.”  The Roadhouse. WTIP North Shore Community Radio 90.7FM. Nov 30, 2012.
“Musical Toy Story.” Daily Planet. Discovery Canada. January 18, 2012.
“Good Question: What Toys Will Be Hot For the Holidays?” Channel 4 News. CBS Local. Sept 20, 2011.
“Transformers 2 – Deleted Scene.” Conan. TBS. June 28, 2011.
“Food.” Off The Air. Episode 2. Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. May 25, 2011.
“Creating Toys for Credit at U of M” Fox 9 News. M.A. Rosko Interview. FOX. May 11, 2011.
“Star Wars – Deleted Scene.” Conan. TBS. Jan 11, 2011.
“Barry Kudrowitz: Brainstorming in the MIT Toy Lab." Imagine It! 2. DVD. Infinite Loop Media LLC. July, 2009.
“Unuseless Inventions." Martha Stewart Show. Fine Living Channel. New York. Feb 15th, 2008.
“Rock On: Episode 2." Design Squad.  PBS. Boston.  2007
“Archimedes Death Ray: Episode 46." Mythbusters. Discovery Channel.  San Francisco.  January 25, 2006.

Magazine

Jacqueline Detwiler, Best Buys. Hemispheres Inflight Magazine. November 2011
Ledetta Wossen. “Toy Boy.” MADE Magazine. Issue 2. Profile Feature. Pg. 42-45. 2011
John. B. Carnett. “PopSci's 25 Most Awesome College Labs 2011.” Popular Science. Aug 2011
Thomas Grose. “Hot Courses.” American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) PRISM. Summer 2011.
Rena Marie Pacella. “Mind –Blowing College Labs" Popular ScienceSeptember 2010.
Paul McMorrow. “Good Bostonian: Barry Kudrowitz, Product Designer. " Boston’s Weekly Dig. Aug 2007.
Etienne Benson. “Toy Stories.” Association for Psychological Science Observer. December 2006.
Paul McMorrow. “Bringing Cambridge What it Badly Needs: A Death Ray.” Boston’s Weekly Dig. Oct 19, 2005.
“20 Coolest People in Orlando.” Axis Magazine. November 2004.

Newspaper

Alex Gaterud. “U Students Share Their Toy Stories.” Star Tribune. May 2011.
Jessica Lussenhop. “The Land of GoBots, Pound Puppies, and Care Bears.” City Pages. March 30, 2011.
Richard Chin. “Toys R’ Him.” Pioneer Press. March 1st, 2011.
Amanda Hamon. “Future Engineers Try Thinking Outside the Sandbox.” Lafayette Indiana News. Jan. 29, 2011.
Katy Jordan. “Wily Wonks and the High-Tech Toy Factory.” Boston Herald. May 16, 2010
Sarah Wright. “Toy Soldier: At Play with Barry Kudrowitz, MIT Toy Designer.” MIT Tech Talk. Dec 12, 2007.
Anne Trafton. “Toy Designers Make Brushing Fun.” MIT Tech Talk. May 24, 2006.

Online Publications and Blogs

Bridget Aymar. “How to spark your creativity: tips from a toy designer.” Business @ the U of M Blog. October 5, 2012.
Christine McLaren. “Ha ha, Ha ha … Aha! How a Toy Designer Could Teach Us to Save Our Cities.” BMW Guggenheim Lab Log. June 26, 2012.
John Cheese. “The 9 Most Brilliant Pieces of Comedy Hiding on YouTube.” Cracked.com. June 21. 2012.
Bill Magdalene. “Prototype. Test. Repeat.” UMNews Feature. May 31, 2012.
Jill Jensen. “University Professor Launches New Word Game for iPhone.” The Minnesota Daily. Sept 29, 2011.
Elizabeth Giorgi. “Jumping into Toy Design.” UMNewsFeature. May 13, 2011.
Rain Noe. “Dangerous Toys and Other Different Thinking.” Core 77. Mar 1, 2011.
Christa Meland. “U of M Debuts Toy Design Class; Local Co. to Advise.” Twin Cities Business. Jan. 26, 2011.
Mark Frauenfelder. “Ketchup Dispensing Mobile Robot.” Boing Boing. Jan 12, 2011
Michael Tedder. “Toy Story." FLYP MediaIssue 30. May 26 - June 7, 2009.
John Park. “Nerf Atom Blaster from Concept to Production.” MAKE. Nov 27, 2008
Levi Fishman. “Get a B.A. in Toy Design (Batteries not Included).” Columbia News Service. Dec 6, 2007.
David Pescovitz. “Archimedes’s Death Ray Realized.” Boing Boing.Oct 6, 2005.
Barb Dybwad. “The Catsup Crapper.” Engadget. Sept 1, 2005.

 

© Barry Matthew Kudrowitz, all rights reserved, 2013