Art Center Summit 2010: Projects & Partnerships in Sustainable Design

Kenji Huang

Product Design 2011

Half Japanese and half Taiwanese and born abroad, Kenji Huang credits his passion and focus for human-centric design to his diverse background. This has also fueled his curiosity in how things work, with his pursuit of engineering with a double major degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Kenji continues to be an optimist, and hopes his design can positively change the world.


Ima-jen Exploration Tools


Art Center Student Gallery

Product Description

As we move toward the increased use of cheap plastics and electronics in childrens’ products, synthetic and toxic materials used in these products are flooding landfills. According to the EPA, over 179,000 tons of batteries end up in the landfills every year. That's where Ima-jen Exploration Tools come in.

Unlike most toys, made to eventually be thrown away when the child outgrows them, Ima-jen tools grow with the child and remain as beautiful artifacts that can be then displayed or passed to the next generation gaining more history, memories and value.

Sustainable Goals & Strategies

One of the most important strategies used in the creation of Ima-jen was extending the life cycle of the products by designing the objects which could gain value over time, while adding a rich history to the product experience. Besides the life cycle extension, many other sustainable strategies were used in the creation of Ima-jen such as using renewable resources, simplifying the complexity of the materials, promoting the use of biodegradable materials and insuring the use of FSC-certified lumber.