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Student designers carve out opportunity with wooden toy creations

News Page 18th January 2019

Product Design students were put through their paces by a professional toymaker in a Dragons’ Den-style design contest.

In their first major project, first year students at the University of Northampton were tasked with designing and producing small wooden toys that children could play with when travelling.

The budding designers then had their creations critiqued and appraised by tutors and guest judge Izabela Hailey, owner of independent wooden toy manufacturer, Green Owl Toys.

The winning designs, which included an alternative fidget spinner, a portable windmill and a play and learn dodecahedron, were judged on innovation, marketability and play factor.

Izabela said: “It was great to see the progress these first-year students have made in such a short space of time, and to actually see the prototypes and how they work. There was an impressive range of designs on display and they showcased an array of styles and techniques by the students.

“It was difficult to judge the winners as they were all very innovative – they had a lot of colours and textures involved and they were all of an extremely high standard.

“This project is very useful for first years to understand what the market is looking for price wise and the materials needed – it also gives them an idea of how to present a product, sell their idea and provides an insight into the first steps of bringing a new product to market.”

For more information on Product Design, you can visit the course page.

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