Student Seira Yasumatsu Wins Third Place in International Design Contest

Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Photos of Seira Yasumatsu and the Grow and Gather gardening device

SF State continues to be among the most successful schools competing in the annual Stanford Center on Longevity Design Challenge, as undergraduate Seira Yasumatsu won third place in this year’s competition.

Yasumatsu was honored April 17 for the portable workbench and rest device she designed for gardeners. Named Grow and Gather, it helps to facilitate community gardening for people of all ages and abilities. It takes the form of a movable cart that incorporates support for walking and sitting, storage for tools and a design that allows gardeners to configure the cart to their own needs.

Yasumatsu created her product in Professor Ricardo Gomes’ Product Design II course. Fellow students Alyana Feliciano and Eva Rodriguez helped with graphics and video for the project.

SF State is the only university this year to have two teams among the challenge’s eight finalists. A team of graduate students — comprised of Jeannie Llewellyn, Crystal Choi, Jason Appler, Cassondra Hegyes and Yutao Lim — was named finalist for Seven Bridges, a platform connecting youth volunteers to seniors. They created their product in Lecturer Jane Rabanal’s Seminar in Design Topics.

The other finalists are from Brunel University in London, National University of Singapore, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan, University of Pennsylvania/Washington, Lee University and Virginia Tech.

This year’s competition drew 74 teams from 49 universities, representing 18 countries.

Since the Stanford Center on Longevity Design Challenge was founded in 2013, six teams from SF State’s School of Design have been named finalists — more than any other institution worldwide. SF State students Brandon Lopez and Eric Renard won first place in 2016.

“In the School of Design, we are very fortunate to work with students who possess tremendous empathy and creative innovation,” Professor Gomes says.

Stanford Center on Longevity Design Challenge

The Stanford Center on Longevity Design Challenge is a global competition aimed at encouraging students to design products and services to improve the lives of people across all ages.

The challenge is focused on ways to motivate and empower people in their daily lives both inside their homes and in their community. The first place winner receives $10,000 and entrepreneurial mentorship. Each finalist team receives $1,000.

The challenge is made possible by generous sponsorship from a number of companies and foundations, including Halbert Hargrove, Target, Lixil, The Davis Phinney Foundation, Eskaton, and Home Care Assistance.

— Matt Itelson


Photos, from left: Seira Yasumatsu by Sreang Hok, Grow and Gather courtesy of Seira Yasumatsu.

News Article