Industry experts support student innovation

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Over 50 industry experts attended a series of informal evening exhibitions at Brunel University, organised by Designplus, a design-based initiative that develops and promotes collaboration between businesses and universities.

At each evening event, undergraduate Design students displayed their initial work on their Major Projects. This year, projects encompassed innovative sports equipment, medical aids, dental hygiene, products for the elderly and young, automotive accessories, wearable technology, energy efficiency products, household and medical devices and communication devices. There were also projects in collaboration with a wide range of external organisations including Heinz, Morphy Richards, Sony, Speedo and Guys and St Thomas’s hospital amongst many others.

Industry guests were asked to have short feedback discussions with students, to help steer and enhance their work. Feedback was exceptional, with both students and guests finding the experience valuable.

Nick Tyrrell of Rocket Medical said: “It’s a very great pleasure to spend a couple of hours in the company of such passion and raw talent. If there is any other way in which I can provide some support, please let me know.”

David Coles of the charity Remap commented: “My strong impression of your student designers was motivation, enthusiasm and dedication. In addition, I acknowledge their social, human and ecological concerns. With regret, time did not allow me to view all projects and interview all students!”

The students also felt each evening offered a positive experience.

Student Hayley Burrows, who is working in collaboration with Peter Black Footwear and Accessories, commented:

“I thoroughly enjoyed the event; it was great to speak to people who work in the design industry and to see their genuine interest in my project. The positive feedback makes me feel more confident and enthusiastic about the project and my concepts. It’s always useful to get different opinions on initial concepts before they become too developed. I also had a lot of fun!”

The following companies took part in Designplus Industry Review of Major Projects:

Blackwood Foundation, CBG Consultants Ltd, Coates Innovations, Design Method, Design Q, Essence Digital, Equals Design , Eyesure, Factory Design, Gatley Hall, Goose Design, Gray Starling Ltd , Husky Retail, IDC, InterContinental Hotels, Lamb Industries, Little Inspirations, Maddison, Mothercare, Native, NCR, Niftylift, O2, Onzo, PDD, PG Gillette, Precision Lighting, Psion, Robosynthesis, Rocket Medical, Russell Studio, Seam Design, Serasena, Seymour Powell , Speedo, Ted Baker , TheAlloy, UCB, Velopex, , 1HQ, 2D & 3D DESIGN.

The student projects started in October and will be completed by March 2012. Many of the projects on display will be seen in their final state at Made in Brunel 2012 during the week of 11 June at the Bargehouse on London’s South Bank. Seewww.madeinbrunel.com for further details.

For further details contact Paula Neal from DesignPlus, atpaula.neal@brunel.ac.uk; 01895 265431.