I love this time of year. Design students all over the country present their final projects in a grand finale of three years’ work. The excitement is palpable and it’s a real treat to meet the designers of the future. New designers still believe in the impossible, and that’s quite contagious! It’s also crucial if you’re going to come up with something new, something exciting, and something that genuinely solves the very real problems facing the next generation.
I focused on the Product Design show (entitled Off The Shelf), the Industrial Design show and the Ceramics show – I’ve got a soft spot for clay! From left to right, top to bottom:
- Silverlining by Snow Vuong is a backpack for the homeless that rolls out into a sleeping bag with a silver lined foam mattress to reflect body heat. The user sleeps on their belongings to prevent them being stolen. Snow proposes that the backpack becomes part of a social enterprise where two bags are donated to the homeless and natural disaster appeals for every one sold to campers. As part of her research she interviewed homeless people, gave them bags to test and even slept rough herself in an ordinary sleeping bag and in her product.
- Next is a pocket device for helping people with Generalised Anxiety Disorder to get their breathing under control, by taking their pulse and indicating when they should breathe accordingly. It is designed to be discrete, so as long to alert other people to the user’s condition.
- Victor Strimfors had taken the idea of wearable technology and applied to the elderly, reminding the user to take medication, collecting vital data and alerting emergency services or a family member in case of any issues.
- Yan Lam Tse created a home brewing kit for environmentally friendly cleaning products complete with a bright yellow balloon to capture the gas produced, giving a visual representation of how far the fermentation has progressed.
- Poured Table is by Troels Flensted is produced in High Street Factory from left over materials, as part of a pop-up concept aiming to bring local products (and production) back to the high street
- I’ve seen lots of products aimed at people with arthritis and other mobility issues and they tend to get reduced to the lowest common denominator. What I liked about Domenico di Leo‘s project was that it used 3D printing to create bespoke products responding to specific individual’s needs.
- Orlando Petley’s motion triggered camera is designed to spontaneously capture childhood memories and connect with our nostalgia for film when you never quite knew what you were going to get.
- Aurelija Ivinskyte’s stcking herb pots were created in response to a brief from Joseph Joseph and save space and water themselves using a capillary action from an outer layer.
- Shintaro Ishizaka looked a very specific type of waste – receipts. They are not recyclable and most people dispose of them immediately. His Re-Receipt It project turns them into a type of Japanese washi paper and then uses a papier mache technique to create lamp shades.
- Noramon Mekavuthikul combined wearable fitness technology with the Oyster card to create a product that gives you travel discounts every time you take the stairs.
- Rhys Allen’s little owls express their disapproval by rocking and looking downwards in sadness if you break rules you’ve set yourself regarding social media use.
- I liked Benjamin Matthews‘ Absence and Presence vessels, simply glazed on the inside and left in their raw state on the outside.
- Finally, Kimahni Emsley created a back-pack travellers can fill with mementoes and then post home to relive their experiences when they get back.
Further reading for the especially geeky:
- out and about :: coppicing with sebastian cox
- out and about :: clerkenwell design week 2014
- out and about :: clerkenwell design week 2014 preview
- out and about :: pulse london