The Jewel Tree by Nettelhorst Students

April 30, 2015

Five months ago, 62 eighth grade public school students in Chicago were allowed to invent a product that they believed could be successful in everyday life. The SEE-8 program split students into eight different teams, allowing them to work with product design professionals and engineering students from Northwestern University to bring their visions to life to create a solution to the problem of messy dressers.

The main questions that were being asked were…

1. Whose problem are we solving?
2. What kind of environments do people live and work in?
3. Where is the clutter located?

After their research and brainstorming sessions – over 600 ideas were up on the walls of the classroom! Pretty impressive, we think here at Beyond Design. Following those ideas, students were capturing the most important features, drawings and benefits to create real life visualizations to test their ideas.

Finally, team presentations were in order. A panel of entrepreneurs and product design experts, including Michael Prince from Beyond Design, were invited to hear the pitches, ask questions, give feedback and select the best product to move forward for production. The entire 8th grade class has come together to focus on making the Jewel Tree come to life.

The Jewel Tree has 8 branches in total. Some branches have grooves to hang necklaces and other pendants, while other branches have holes that can hold pairs of earrings. There are some smooth branches that can be used to hang watches, bracelets, and other similar kinds of jewelry. Because this tree is tall and thin, rather than flat and wide like a jewelry box, it allows for a lot of organization, while taking up little space. And even better, the two sheets of metal that make up the tree can slide apart, allowing you to store/take this product anywhere! We’ve made sure to make this product as user-friendly as possible.

jewel tree

The tree is available in four seasonal colors as well as a silver powder coated finish.

four color jewel tree

As designers, we love to see students create ideas and solutions to problems. Hearing ideas and seeing them turn into an actual product through the stages of design from students is what we live for. Teaching students the field of design is what we know best and we can’t wait to see the Jewel Tree come to life. To become a backer on the project like us at Beyond Design and to read more of the article, please click here.

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