Members of the International Corrugated Packaging Foundation (ICPF), The University of Texas at Arlington, the Department of Art and Art History, corporate partners and guests will be on-hand Tuesday, Oct. 28, to dedicate the new Corrugated Prototype Design and CAD Production Lab.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony, slated for 11 a.m., will be in the Fine Arts Building, Room 155.
The new workspace was made possible through a major, in-kind gift of state-of-the art production equipment and structural design software acquired and provided through ICPF.
The packaging and design lab will integrate corrugated and structural curriculum into the Visual Communication program in the Department of Art and Art History. The lab includes ICPF’s online corrugated curricula, a Data Tech computer-aided design table donated by ICPF corporate partner Vanguard Packaging, and Esko-donated design software.
Robert Hower, professor and chair of the Department of Art and Art History, said the new partnership aligns closely with the Department’s growth and focus on design.
“The materials and digital technology will immediately provide significant packaging experiences and design problem-solving opportunities for real world design and production,” Hower said. “It is a great example of education and industry teaming up to improve employment opportunities for our students.”
The lab has been in use for a few semesters and has already yielded impressive results: a team of students won ICPF’s International Best of the Best Student Design Presentation Competition during ICPF’s 15th annual, live interactive, Careers in Corrugated Packaging & Display Teleconference earlier this year. The UTA student design team qualified for the ICPF Run-Off competition by competing against dozens of teams from universities from across the nation last year in the AICC student design competition. AICC-The Independent Packaging Association and the Fibre Box Association are co-sponsors and long-time supporters of ICPF.
Assistant Professor Ben Dolezal said the students’ work was enabled by the new design lab. “The lab provides students with the structural design software, materials and a computer-aided design table to produce significant packaging solutions for use in the marketplace,” he said.
ICPF has established similar packaging design programs within graphic design schools at top academic institutions throughout North America. UT Arlington’s lab, CorrPro Design + UTA, is the first institute of higher education in Texas to offer corrugated packaging and displays curriculum and structural design instruction.
ICPF is an independent, non-profit educational foundation, whose mission is “to generate a stream of increasingly qualified students to enter the corrugated packaging and display industry, now and into the future,” according to the group’s website.
(UTA Media Relations contributed to this story.)
NOTE: This story has been updated with photos from the Oct. 28 event.