UNIVERSITY NEWS LAST UPDATED : 12 APRIL 2018
Second year BA (Hons) Product and Furniture Design students recently took part in an exciting live project with Philips Lighting, a pioneer and innovator of lights for over 125 years. Students were asked to develop their own user-centred lighting applications for the company.
The task was launched with a presentation about Philips projects and products to students from Mark Gabbitas, Lighting Application Specialist for Philips Lighting UK and Ireland. He spoke to students about how the company creates cutting edge technological developments and products, such as motion sensors, luminous textiles and LED carpet tiles and demonstrated a selection of them.
Students explored these before developing their own lighting applications for the company. They were required to identify, observe and respond to ‘user needs’ design development opportunities, which involved and/or required the use of lighting in some form. Areas for potential exploration included a lighting product range developed with consideration to ergonomics, design capabilities, domestic or workplace settings, and use of technology/sensors for a specific use in domestic or workplace setting.
A wide range of physical and conceptual products were created in response to the brief including ‘Soft’ by Charlotte Suer, a portable, easy to use and child-friendly light. Following interviews with several parents about their children, Charlotte found that around 70% of the children between 2 and 7 years old were afraid of the dark. From this she formed the idea of a ‘lighting friend’, a light that a child could take anywhere and analysed existing Philips products to get a better idea of the technologies she could use for her project. The resulting light design had a silicon shape to allow a child to transport it to different activities and environments and included a docking station that offered wireless charging and a playful way to change colour.
Another interesting design was ‘Turf Glow’ by Alexander Ward. Alexander described ‘Turf Glow’ as a revolutionary training and coaching tool that works by having LED’s imbedded within the indoor PVC or outdoor synthetic turf to create a completely customisable and changeable surface. Controlled via an app, it allows sports markings to be fully tailored to the individual sport being played.
Students created a presentation board that included a high quality image of their light application and key product descriptions with unique selling points, before giving a final presentation about their product to their peers, tutors, and representatives from Philips Lighting.
The industry collaboration was a key element of second year student’s ‘User Needs and Professional Experience’ module, which aims to give students the knowledge to understand how creative and effective design can enrich human experience and human environment. Industry collaborations form an important part of the course, as they provide students with the opportunity to experience what it is to practice as a commercial designer and demonstrate their design thinking, visual and verbal communication skills to industry partners.
Commenting on the module, Charlotte added:
To see more from the BA (Hons) Product and Furniture Design course check out their Instagram page.