Nicholas Fjellberg Swerdlowe recently won the International DesignSense Competition for children with disabilities. Swerdlowe is a graduate of and will is set to receive a bachelor of arts degree in industrial design from the Savannah College of Art and Design in June.
The competition was run by Easter Seals of southwest Florida, which provides exceptional services for persons with disabilities and their families across a lifetime by empowering individuals to live their lives to the fullest extent. Swerdlowe was awarded $1,000 and invited to speak at the group's national conference.
"Sense Space" is an adaptive play area designed by Swerdlowe to encourage muscle development, incidental learning, depth perception and textural exploration for young children. The form of Sense Space allows easy access for children to crawl in and explore tight spaces within, promoting mobility, exploration and creativity.
Swerdlowe siad his inspiration for the project began during his studies at Weston Middle School, where he worked as a volunteer with children with learning disabilities at Hurlbutt Elementary School.
Swerdlowe's other creations include the Calatrava lamp, inspired by the Spanish architect and the dance forms of tango and salsa, and "Hors D'Oeurve", a table designed for the Italian furniture company Poliform.
In addition, he has also designed the brand identity for "I [Heart] Connecticut." The brand consists of three t-shirt variations based on a sailing theme. One features a screen-printed sunfish on the front and a crest with the Mark Twain quote, "Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company," on the back. The concept behind this series was inspired by Twain's love for coastal Connecticut.
Swerdlowe served as assistant director at Nuartlink Gallery in Westport during the summer of 2011.