Young designers focus on sustainability for degree show
Final-year Product Design students at the University of Sussex will be displaying a range of innovative and eco‑friendly creations at their degree show next week (14-17 April).
Exhibits at the Design Show will include a shelter that can be put up in 10 minutes to help those in disaster-affected areas, an eco-friendly shopping bag that tracks how many times it is used, and a device that offers added privacy for people making phone calls on public transport.
The show is open to the public and will take place in the Debating Chamber in Falmer House at the University’s campus on 14 April from 1pm to 5pm, 15 April from 10am to 5pm, and 17 April from 10am to 4.30pm.
It will include a strong focus on sustainability, with many products designed to save energy or reduce waste.
Course leader Diane Simpson-Little says: “The 16 students exhibiting in this year’s show have demonstrated outstanding competence in research, critical analysis, design engineering, brand development and human-centred design.
“The students’ diverse range of products crosses the boundaries of many disciplines, from packaging and furniture design to wearable technology.
“Our 2015 Product Design degree show provides an unrivalled opportunity to see not only the talent of our students but also the work of tomorrow’s leading designers.”
Kerem Yilmaz, who had first‑hand experience of a destructive earthquake in Northern Turkey, has designed a lightweight shelter for people made homeless by war or natural disaster.
He explains: “Current shelters need five people to erect them and take two hours to put up.
“My shelter can be put up by one person in 10 minutes, and comes with pictures instead of written instructions so that people from any country can erect it.
“There is also a solar-powered recovery light on the shelter that can be switched on to guide emergency workers to people who are unwell and need help.”
Daniel Roberts will be exhibiting a re‑usable bag that tracks how often it’s brought to the shops.
Daniel hopes to reduce the use of food packaging with his design, which uses radio frequency identification (RFID) tags sewn into hemp drawstring bags to track how often they are re‑used.
Shops can then offer rewards to customers who consistently remember to bring re-usable bags with them.
Daniel says: “My product looks to change people’s habits and the current throwaway culture that exists in society today.
“People should be aware that re-use is viable, and that it comes with many benefits.”
Jin Wang’s invention promises added privacy for those making phone calls on public transport.
‘i’Mtalkin’ is made from a flexible material that clamps around the caller’s head, with acoustic foam padding inside to dampen and absorb their voice.
After connecting i’Mtalkin to their phone via Bluetooth, users will be able to chat to clients or loved ones without worrying that the person next to them is listening in.
Jin comments: “Nowadays people are talking on the phone on public transport more often due to the rising number of hours spent commuting, yet this can have negative implications for privacy.
“My product will allow people to have truly private phone conversations while they are travelling.”
Maxim Grew, one of the students who exhibited at last year’s Design Show, has since made great progress with his design for an affordable and easy‑to‑use large-format camera.
His company, The Intrepid Camera Company, raised almost £70,000 last year through Kickstarter, and Maxim is aiming to begin shipping his camera to buyers all over the world from next month.