Student Design Challenge

Client:
AGA Rangemaster plc

AGA Rangemaster plc, parent to AGA, the cast iron cooker company, set MA Product Design students at the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD) a challenge - to design a concept AGA cast iron night storage radiator in one week.

During the project, our students had to fulfill the following objectives:

  1. Presenting a fresh, new product message to the current target market
  2. Creating a new revenue through expansion into cast iron night storage radiators
  3. Increasing interest with customers already aware of the brand
  4. Increasing awareness of the brand, with a focus on stimulating interest from new customer segments.

The design specifically needed to utilise night storage electricity, have the same design aesthetic and principles as AGA cookers and be an efficient and effective source of heat.

The winning design student was promised a work placement at AGA.

For students involved in this one week design challenge a steep learning curve followed. After receipt of the design brief students visited a combination of AGA retail outlets and factories – the AGA foundry in Coalbrookdale and the factory in Ketley, Telford and received a lecture on ferrous metals.

The students were responsible for the production of their concept designs which were made in the BIAD workshops.

On completion AGA directors attended an Exhibition of the completed concepts – five days after presenting the MA Product Design students with the competition brief.

The Client

AGA RangemasterAGA Rangemaster has a productive heritage spanning 300 years, manufacturing a range of distinctive and cherished cast iron heat storage products, stainless steel cookers, refrigeration and sinks in UK, Ireland and France. Cookers, cookware, bathrooms, tiles and kitchen interiors are retailed through company-owned and distributor/commercial outlets worldwide. With a portfolio of 14 lifestyle brands, most notably AGA and Rangemaster, it has a key focus on product development – widening choice through range diversification and distribution.

Our AGA design and marketing team set the MA Product Design students at Birmingham City University a brief to come up with 10 new product proposals for potential AGA night storage heaters. The results, amazingly produced in only three days, really impressed us and will no doubt stimulate further debate and development in the near future. We are delighted to be able to offer the two ‘best’ students work placements at our company too, although we would like to congratulate all the students on the quality of their designs.

William McGrath, Group Chief Executive, AGA Rangemaster plc

Results

AGA Directors were so impressed by the quality of the designs they selected two winners to take up placements - Tassilo Neumann and Yu-Chein Lui.

Benefits

Fresh design concepts and inspiration from the MA Product Design Students in reviewing the AGA range