Functionality, Fun, and Phone Cases
What if your phone case reduced your screen time? Computing, Design, and Fabrication teacher Rosa Weinberg asked her Design I class to do just that.
Students were challenged to design and create a new type of phone case: one that will get people to stop looking at their phones by providing a new function to users. The cases had to have a feature that phones do not already have, as well as be something tangible to interact with. Given the opportunity to explore, students drafted plans for phone cases that would add something to their current lives—from function to fun.
Each project focused on all of the steps of invention, from brainstorming sessions to failed prototypes to an achievable final product. Rosa encouraged everyone to show areas where they changed direction—scrapped ideas, designs that didn’t work, flaws in the functionality—explaining that struggles are a natural and inevitable part of the creative process.
Despite any issues, students had functional prototypes to show during their presentations, all made using the 3D printers and laser cutter in the Prototype Lab. Orly ‘25 designed a retractable backscratcher on her case, even making a cute design for when the scratcher is tucked in. The shape of the scratcher itself followed the concept of her design, an outdoor theme playing on popular online slang. Isaac ‘26 designed the Ping-Pong Case, with a foldable ping-pong paddle on the back of the phone case. What a way to elevate playing with your phone!
CASETiFY and Otterbox better step up their game; Gann’s designs are next level!