There was fascination and excitement among students and teachers when a full size replica of the Iron Man suit of armor appeared in the hallway of CHA this week. (See photo gallery below.)
Designed and created by CHA Alumnus, Joshua Kim (CHA Upper School Class of 2013), the life sized Iron Man suit was mounted and displayed on a custom PVC pipe framework, also built by Joshua.
Joshua, currently a Junior at Northwestern University majoring in Biology, is also studying design at Northwestern’s Segal Design Institute where he debuted his Iron Man suit at the Institute’s 2015 Fall Design Expo on December 4th and 5th. Working for four months, 13 hours per day, last summer, and all day every Saturday and Sunday this fall, Joshua cut and fashioned by hand the many intricate pieces that make up the suit and also hand-painted it himself. The eyes and chest piece light up, and the suit is constructed to perfectly fit Joshua’s own body. He said he has donned it once so far, and hopes to be able to use it toward a good cause by wearing it to cheer to children in hospital wards.
As he works toward his career goal of becoming a pediatric surgeon, Joshua loves tackling challenging creative projects. He recently made a an 8 foot two belly, 12 plait bull whip. For those who are unfamiliar with bull whips, this is an exact replica of the bullwhip seen in Indiana Jones. Creating the bullwhip required him to learn and execute a labor intensive process of intricately braiding a series of leather strands. It took him 12 hours just to braid one 8-foot long, 12-strand section and over 24 hours to braid the entire whip!
Joshua views his creative design projects as a way he can honor God with the talents that He has given him. “I like to view my creative works as just a way to hone my skills in preparation for the work God would like me to do in the future,” he said, “so that I may serve him with my full ability. Creative work also allows me to appreciate and explore the wonders of His creation. My perspective of just how creative God is and how perfectly he planned the complex world we live in is widened as I challenge new projects that increase in complexity, yet can never reach the complexity of His creation.”
Joshua enjoys reading “how-to’s” and sharing information with others interested in similar topics. Asked about how he became interested in creating and designing, Joshua said he likes to build things that have an application, to “create something tangible.” As a boy he enjoyed working with legos, and was inspired during his high school years at CHA as an enthusiastic participant in the CHAUS Rocketry Club, sponsored by Mr. Ken Chung, building and launching rockets designed and built by the students in the club. Early in his Senior year, he saw a video showing how pop-culture replica props were often made out of common materials readily available at local home improvement stores. Even so, Joshua says designing and building something unique like this still requires a lot of research and involves a lot of trial and error.
“I am so thankful for the warm welcome that all of the students, teachers, and faculty have shown me even after all of these years!” said Joshua after his recent visit to CHA. “CHA is definitely my second home and it always feels like I never left!”
Joshua’s advice to aspiring designers: “Get your dreams, then make it physical, make it real.”
You’ve inspired us, Joshua, and we are proud of you!