Competing against more than 1,700 entries from around the world, a University of Oregon graduate of the Product Design Program and a team at Intel won the silver award for computer equipment in the 2015 International Design Excellence Award competition.
Above: Aleks Magi. Photos courtesy of Aleksander Magi.
“I was at a loss for words when it happened. It was awesome,” said Aleks Magi of his win, announced at a recent gala in Seattle hosted by the Industrial Designers Society of America. Magi graduated in 2012 with a BFA in product design.
Magi is a member of the team at tech giant Intel Corporation that designed the Intel WiDock, which enables users to wirelessly connect to external monitors, printers, and other devices within a line-of-sight range. His teammates on the project included Hosam Haggag, Steve Lofland, Hao Li, and Mark Gallina.
“It satisfies the need of clearing clutter off my computer desk,” said Magi. “You can retrofit your office to be completely wireless.”
According to PCWorld.com, the WiDock uses WiGig (Wireless Gigabit), a rate of data transfer as fast as 7 gigabits per second, which is three to four times faster than WiFi. Laptops need to be compatible with WiGig technology to pair with the WiDock. Although few laptops are compatible with WiGig today, personal computer makers plan to adopt WiGig and Intel’s docking technology, the website states.
Magi says his experience in the Product Design Program “definitely helped me think about how to approach product design [at Intel], from thinking about insights of how users use products to where this thing would be living … That helped us inform our design to make it as space-efficient, modern, and intuitive as possible.”
Above: The WiDock uses WiGig (Wireless Gigabit), a rate of data transfer as fast as 7 gigabits per second, which is three to four times faster than WiFi.
Magi says the introductory course to product design, taught by Program Director Kiersten Muenchinger, still informs his work at Intel.
“She was just teaching us the fundamentals of what design is, how to make this better for people and better for the world,” he says. “I think that societal impact was very ingrained in our thought process, which I'm still using today.”
He also cites working with Bob Lucas and Wilson Smith’s adaptive design course (“Enabling Adaptive Athletes”) offered by the Product Design Program in association with Nike Adaptive Athletes.
“They taught me the importance of understanding the user, finding insights, and translating that to innovative products,” he says.
Magi works as an industrial designer and user experience strategist at Intel. The team with whom he works focuses on designing tablets, laptops, and other computers.
“We work with technology groups, and a range of engineers—thermal mechanical, electrical—and anthropologists to really define what products will be in the near future,” says Magi, who has been at Intel since July 2012.
A profile of Magi will be published in our 100 Stories series in November.
(Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of Aleks Magi, not an expression of Intel Corporation.)
Above: Aleks Magi with his trophy at the 2015 International Design Excellence Award competition, hosted by the Industrial Designers Society of America. Magi’s team members on the winning design were Hosam Haggag, Steve Lofland, Hao Li, and Mark Gallina, all of Intel Corp.