Industry challenge sees Product Design students furnish stone manufacturer with some brilliant concepts

News Page 14th January 2020

Talented students from the University of Northampton have impressed a panel of industry experts with their concepts for a design challenge.

Second year undergraduates on the Product Design course have been tasked by Northamptonshire stone manufacturer, Haddonstone, to develop ideas to form part of a new street furniture range.

The industry brief has seen the students devise a variety of products designed to be produced using Haddonstone’s unique cast stone materials – and successful concepts could be added to the company’s range of architectural, landscaping and garden products.

The project was launched in October when the students toured Haddonstone’s manufacturing base in Brixworth and its East Haddon Show Gardens.

The students then presented their early ideas to the Haddonstone team in November, which was followed with an updated presentation on Thursday 9 January.

The clever concepts included a bench which doubles up as a gritting bin; seating which incorporates a bug hotel; planters which can be used as barriers to keep pedestrians safe from traffic; and a dog water station which also includes a water bottle-filling tap.

Image of Josh Hayden answers the panel's questions.

Josh Hayden presenting to the Haddonstone panel.

Image of James Watkins presenting to the panel.

James Watkins presenting to the panel.

Image of Jack Wisbey explaining his ideas for his range of urban street furniture.

Jack Wisbey explaining his ideas for his range of urban street furniture.

Photo of Felicity Reeves

Felicity Reeves has developed seating that’s both human and bug friendly.

The Haddonstone panel comprised production director Tony Mason, marketing manager Nicola Clements, marketing executive Rebecca Faulkner and managing director, David Barrow, who said: “All of the presentations were excellent and the students have clearly put a lot of hard work into developing their ideas.

“They’ve come up with a varied breadth of concepts, which we would never have thought about, so to get this kind of fresh perspective on what’s quite a traditional product range has been invaluable for us.

“There’s one or two concepts in there which are certainly commercially viable, and some of the original ideas are certainly worth developing.

“We’re now looking forward to seeing the concepts being turned into models and selecting our favourite designs.”

The students are now fine-tuning their designs ready for judging, which takes place later this year, with the top three awarded cash prizes from Haddonstone.

Image of Stefan Ionita presenting his concept to the panel.

Stefan Ionita presenting his concept to the panel.

Image of Josh Hayden answers the panel's questions.

Josh Hayden answers the panel’s questions.

Image of Jack Wisbey chatting to Haddonstone's Tony Mason, Nicola Clements and David Barrow.

Jack Wisbey chatting to Haddonstone’s Tony Mason, Nicola Clements and David Barrow.

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