Virginia Tech college students design backpacks for homeless populations

Virginia Tech industrial design college students joined UTS Techniques workers in Fairfield on Friday to…

Virginia Tech college students design backpacks for homeless populations

Virginia Tech industrial design college students joined UTS Techniques workers in Fairfield on Friday to create 50 backpacks for folks scuffling with habit and homelessness. 

“The thought of this backpack is it could be stocked with issues that meet some speedy want, significantly of those that are housing insecure,” stated Mary Beth Dunkenberger, affiliate director of the Virginia Tech Institute for Coverage and Governance.

The backpacks are part of Virginia Tech’s Connection 2 Care program, which began earlier than the coronavirus pandemic however ramped again up this fall.

Dunkenberger and her crew at Virginia Tech met with the college’s industrial design college, who obtained their college students concerned in researching and designing proposals for the backpacks.

College students met with first responders, group members and homeless folks with drug addictions to design the backpacks. The economic college students additionally toured the UTS Techniques headquarters in Fairfield. They acquired suggestions on their proposals from UTS producers and created a last design of the backpack for UTS to supply. 

Six Virginia Tech college students volunteered alongside 10 UTS workers to stitch and weld the waterproof backpacks. UTS Techniques in Fairfield normally makes tents and different shelters for army bases however used the day to create backpacks as an alternative.

Laura York was a graduate scholar at Virginia Tech earlier than turning into a analysis affiliate within the college’s Institute for Coverage and Governance and dealing on the Connection 2 Care challenge.

“I now get to see different college students become involved in issues at a youthful age than even I did,” York stated. “The expertise they’re going to have and have the ability to take into their careers is wonderful. I’m excited for them, in all probability greater than they’re.”

The backpacks are constructed from waterproof materials and have been designed to have further cupboard space. Picture by Lily Mott.

Now that the backpacks are completed, Connection 2 Care will give them to 50 folks in Roanoke and the encircling Southwest Virginia communities.

However the challenge isn’t completed but for the Virginia Tech college students, who plan to design and make extra backpacks. “These are going to exit,” stated Dayani Harapanahalli, a junior industrial design scholar at Virginia Tech. “Persons are going to make use of them after which we’re going to conduct consumer analysis and interviews after that to see what’s working and what’s not working.”