Industrial Design Students Lead Campus Effort to Create Face Masks

School of Art Design and Art History

Assistant professor Kevin Phaup (industrial design) at JMU’s School of Art, Design and Art History and his sophomore studio class (INDU 202) are remotely leading a campus effort to redesign and produce hundreds of fabric face masks to help the community during the coronavirus pandemic over the coming weeks.

The group will make 200 face masks in conjunction with Rockingham Memorial Hospital (which is providing supplies and patterns) and 300-500 face masks for the Augusta and Rockingham County fire departments. Shipping to and from students and then to the recipients will be paid for by SADAH.

Industrial Design - Face Masks

In an email to colleagues last month, Phaup said, “As administrators, faculty, staff and students in higher education, we hopefully began these positions believing we can make a difference in the lives of those around us, our community and our world. As such, and in action to a passionate response from my students, I have decided to focus my current sophomore industrial design studio energies towards the crisis at hand."

His class was working in soft goods this semester, which required every student to have a sewing machine; Phaup and his students viewed sewn face masks as a natural opportunity for community service. Students are researching and prototyping a variety of face mask designs and consulting with faculty at JMU’s College of Health and Behavioral Studies to identify the most responsible and effective design, materials and production.

Phaup extended an invitation across campus to collaborate, and Dukes responded. Phaup’s class of 12 students are joining 17 architectural design students, four graphic design students, 75 engineering students and 45 students in a Holistic Problem Solving class in the School of Integrated Science and Technology.

Each student is tasked with identifying organizations who can use and distribute the face masks, which is an ongoing process that includes hospitals, nursing homes, first responders and community housing groups. In addition, guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization is changing.

Additionally, Phaup has partnered with the sophomore engineering cohort of 75 students to look into other engineering and design problems surrounding the pandemic. Some of these students will begin to 3D print face shields.

WHSV news story

Back to Top

Published: Monday, April 6, 2020

Last Updated: Thursday, November 2, 2023

Related Articles