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News . Feature Stories . Design major gets zombie's reception at her former school


April 17, 2014

Design major gets zombie's reception at her former school

Junior talked about her game idea, industrial design field

Design major gets zombie's reception at her former school

CIA Industrial Design major Geemay Chia went back to middle school recently to test out a death-defying game idea she developed for this very age group.

Judging by the responses of the seventh and eighth graders at The Ratner School in Pepper Pike, Ohio, Chia’s “Zombie Tag” game will be a big hit.

Players wear Chia’s invention strapped to their abdomens and when they are tagged, they activate the device, which flashes colored light up at their face and makes zombie sounds. Players are on their own to supply the zombie antics.

After giving a brief presentation about her education at CIA and the industrial design field she looks forward to entering after graduation, Chia turned out the lights and let the students test her game. It was one action-packed focus group.

“I thought it went really well. It seemed like they really enjoyed themselves,” Chia said afterward. She invented her device in fulfillment of an assignment to design a game for Hasbro that would encourage young teens to be active.

The students definitely got into the active play. And after Chia left, art teacher Patti Fields, a 1990 graduate of CIA, had her students sit down and discuss their ideas for improving “Zombie Tag.”

Chia was impressed. “They provided a lot of good suggestions.”

Fields, who as Head of Art teaches students in kindergarten through eighth grade at Ratner, said “The students definitely wanted to play the game again. Most students stated they would love to play it in the woods or a park at night. We truly enjoyed having Geemay visit and present at our school.”

In 1930, CIA established the first, college-level industrial design major in the country. CIA has a strong history of educating industrial designers and is well known for its automotive design emphasis within the Industrial Design Department. But toy design, too, has long been a strength, with scores of CIA graduates working for Hasbro, Fisher Price, Little Tikes, and several smaller toy companies and design firms.

Chia’s Hasbro-sponsored class project is an example of Cores + Connections, CIA's academic commitment to building better futures by engaging students in community-based learning, real-world projects, and social practices.

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