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Students catch the eye at national showcase of design talent

New Designers was held at London’s Business Design Centre at the start of July.

Willoughby Wilding-Taylor receiving his award of excellence from the IED.

A University of Sussex graduate has received the seal of approval from one of the UK’s best-loved retailers.

Product Design student Lucy Hughes received a John Lewis Loves award while participating earlier this month at New Designers – an annual showcase of the best graduate design talent from around the country.

Lucy, who has created a new bioplastic called Marinatex from fish skin and scales and red algae, was one of only 10 graduates from a field of 1,500 to receive a “love tag” from the John Lewis team.

The judges described Marinatex as a promising material for exploration that provides an answer to a major concern of both consumers and industry and wished Lucy well in further developing and implementing the material.

Four of the ten Sussex students exhibiting this year were recognised for their work.

In addition to Lucy, Jimmy McNamara got a “Wow - nailed it” recognition from London-based firm CCD Design and Ergonomics for his sleep aid Sound Sleep.

The firm only gave out around five banners in total which identified graduates with the potential to join the company on a six-month internship.

Stephanie Clarke, CCD’s Marketing Manager, said: “What we especially liked about Jimmy’s project was his user research and product user experience. He demonstrated that he had considered a real need of users throughout the project, from concept through to development.”

Willoughby Wilding-Taylor received an award of excellence from the IED (Institution of Engineering Designers) which recognised the outstanding performance on his final year project Omni - a package of smart home products designed to provide smart assistant access throughout an entire home without the need to have devices wired into every room.

He was one of just 18 students attending New Designers to receive the recognition.

Finally, Fariseh Mian was one of 200 graduates to receive a New Designer One Year In recognition which includes encouragement to apply next year to One Year In - a curated showcase of the Top 100 recently launched design businesses.

For her final year project, Fariseh created a desktop-based video game for adults called Game Over tackles issues contributing to climate change from a bright and fun perspective.

Diane Simpson-Little, senior teaching fellow at the University of Sussex, said: “It’s fantastic to get recognition from the experts at John Lewis, and the IED and it is a credit to the students and the degree course that they are able to stand out in very large high-quality field at New Designers.”


By: Neil Vowles
Last updated: Monday, 29 July 2019

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