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Students noodle over concept in Gruskin's Let's Charrette

Nearly 170 graphic, interior, and industrial
design students and professionals participated in "Let's Charrette," the sixth annual design competition at Kean University's Thinking Creatively Conference. Produced and hosted by Gruskin Group, a Springfield, N.J ., design firm, the charrette allowed students to work on multidisciplinary teams guided by professional designers.

"The participating design students had not had the experience of working alongside other disciplines. With everyone looking at the assignment from different points of view, design languages, and sensibilities, it was no easy task to build a unified vision that incorporates and builds on each individual's strengths," explained Kenneth A. Gruskin, AlA, founder and principal of Gruskin Group. "But they delivered beautifully this year."

The 14 multidisciplinary teams had three hours to develop a brand identity, retail environment, and customer experience for "Noodle Pop," a fictitious fast, fun, experiential Asian fusion restaurant chain. Requirements included:

  • a store name, brand, and logo design
  • signage and facade
  • interior design/space plan
  • POS/customer service flow
  • environmental graphics
  • a home noodle cooker design concept and packaging
  • take-out container packaging
  • digital communications, app, website, and social marketing
  • print/advertising


Gruskin Group selected 1st, 2nd, 3rd place, and honorable mention winners based on the teams' concepts and presentations.

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