She Makes Soda-Can Shoes

Sara Rin, industrial design major at NJIT, excels at designing things with an edge.

Sara Rin makes shoes out of soda cans, foldable whisks and paper cutouts that look like modern sculpture.

She did all three projects for class. Sara is an industrial design major, the curriculum for which emphasizes hands-on projects. It’s a major she loves and excels in.    

Sara is just a junior, but she’s already establishing a name for herself. She recently won a national scholarship for excellence in design. And she’s active in the arts, serving as a blogger for GLOCALLY Newark and as an intern in the Newark Museum. In this interview, she talks about her love of industrial design.

How did you take an interest in industrial design?
I loved math, science and art when I was in high school. I originally wanted to become a computer engineer. After a year of engineering courses, though, I realized it wasn't for me. Art and design were still interests of mine and I wanted to combine that with what engineering. I found my way to majoring in Industrial Design and have loved it ever since.

Do you enjoy your studio classes, which emphasize projects?
Studio is such an awesome atmosphere to work in. It is very demanding, but I love the challenges and creative energy that takes place. I spend most of my time in studio, so it's been a second home for me and most of the industrial design majors.

What kind of things do you like to design?
I enjoy designing where I can incorporate folding into the concept as well as reuse existing materials. I also enjoy designing products that have multi-purposes and challenge what is currently out there.

What's the coolest thing you ever designed?
I've designed a whisk that comes packaged flat and folds into a three dimensional whisk. It's designed to save on storage and ease the cleaning process. It was my first working prototype. I've also made shoes out of soda cans. And I’ve also made paper designs called Hexis.

What internships have you worked?
I have worked as a blogger for the city of Newark, interned for an architecture company as well as at the Newark Museum and I’m currently interning for a design firm in Manhattan

What kind of job would be ideal for you?
By working internships, I have been exposed to Exhibit Design, Lighting Design and Product Design, and I like them all.  I would love also to get into Product and Packaging Design. I have many interests, but right now I’m happy as an industrial design student.

(By Robert Florida, Office of Strategic Communications)