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Sussex students invited to pitch toy designs to Lego, Hasbro and Argos

Chatura Fernanda (centre) and other Product Design students revisit their childhood at the University's Creativity Centre.

Product Design students brainstorming ideas for new toys and games

Students at the University of Sussex will be pitching their toy design ideas to industry experts including LEGO and Hasbro at a toy inventors’ conference next week.

Product Design undergraduates from Sussex will compete against fellow design students from Brunel University London and London Metropolitan University to create a brand new toy concept at the Inventors Workshop conference on Tuesday (22 September).

The teams of students will be given a design brief at the start of the day, and will pitch their ideas to execs from global toy manufacturers, high street retailers, investors and successful designers at the end of the conference.

The winning team will be presented with the inaugural Inventors Workshop New Designers Award.

Sussex will be represented by Chatura Fernanda, Megan Walker, Kenia Lozano Perez, Conor Shimizu Moore and Ameenah Begum, who will be using skills they gained during a module on Toy and Game Design at the University.

Chatura, a fourth-year student, said: “Every child grows up playing with toys, and at that age your imagination can stretch really far. I really enjoyed the Toy and Game Design module because we got to revisit that age and design for our inner child.”

On the upcoming competition, he added: “Sometimes I feel confident, and sometimes a bit nervous. With design, inspiration can hit and you can run with it, but sometimes you can be stuck for weeks. I have been preparing myself and trying to get myself into the right mindset.”

Course leader Diane Simpson-Little said: “Not only does this opportunity give our students an in-depth insight into understanding what it would be like to work in the toy industry, but being able to pitch their own ideas to professional toy designers will also give them a unique experience and some valuable and constructive feedback.

“For some students this may also be the first time they have attended a conference so this will allow them the chance to network with industry, developing their professional, social and communication skills essential for designers today.

“The competitive element of working on a live brief within a limited timescale will also challenge their design skills and ability to work in a team under pressure.”

As part of the Toy and Game Design module, students had to make a ‘sizzle’ – a 30-second video conveying the idea behind a toy design. Sizzles from some of the competition entrants can be seen below.

Chatura Fernanda's sizzle:

Conor Shimizu Moore’s sizzle:

Kenia Lozano Perez’s sizzle:

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Posted on behalf of: School of Engineering and Informatics
Last updated: Thursday, 17 September 2015