During the 2017–18 year, industrial design student John Lalevee had the opportunity to fulfill a childhood dream by designing the body of Appalachian State University’s newest solar vehicle, ROSE — which stands for Racing on Solar Energy.
In combining his expertise in furniture design with his enthusiasm for automobiles, Lalevee applied classroom knowledge toward a university initiative he was passionate about.
Lalevee, a rising senior from Raleigh, enrolled at Appalachian knowing he wanted to study industrial design in the university’s Department of Applied Design. He chose the furniture design concentration after taking a few courses from faculty who are also professional furniture designers. It was in these classes that he saw how furniture can have long-term utility and can be designed without creating much waste.
“Furniture has a unique ability to be designed very sustainably by using wood, a renewable resource. It’s also something that typically lasts a few decades and can function as an heirloom,” he said. “The program has excellent professors, each with unique approaches to what it means to be a designer, allowing us to develop our own design philosophies.”
Between his courses in the industrial design program and his work with Team Sunergy, Lalevee is able to obtain relevant work experience while developing and applying his design philosophy.
Originally published May 30, 2018. Written by Meghan McCandless.