Understanding sustainability in Wales

CAT Visit

As part of the recent bid for student experience funding, students from all years of BA (Hons) Product and Furniture Design recently had the opportunity to visit the Centre of Alternative Technology (CAT) in Wales. We organised and paid for the trip, allowing all students to go without any cost.

Product and Furniture Design

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The CAT is an educational and visitor centre demonstrating practical solutions for sustainability. They cover all aspects of green living: environmental building, eco-sanitation, woodland management, renewable energy, energy efficiency and organic growing.

The site is a unique and valuable practical demonstration centre, a living laboratory with an enormous range of live examples of sustainable solutions. They also have the largest range of installed renewable systems anywhere, include everything from solar thermal to a micro grid.

BA (Hons) Product and Furniture Design student Alice Evans said of the visit:

Alex Ward added: “Visits like this are important in shaping your outlook on the subject you study. You might be exposed or shown something on one of these trips that can influence the way you think and consider the topic in the future. For me, CAT changed the priorities I consider most important in design, moving sustainability and environmental impact onto the same level as the aesthetic and function.”

Students have had the chance to take part in three fully funded study trips. The others have included visiting robotic labs in London with a trip to Clerkenwell Design Week planned for May.

Course Director Jason Nicholson talked about the opportunities available for students, saying: “From cutting edge humanoid robotics to innovations in sustainable materials and processes, these study trips prove an opportunity to experience current design thinking and approaches.”

“The trips feed directly into current first and second year projects, with both year groups considering the global impact of design, ethical and social responsibilities of designers. The trips also encourage a real sense of community and provide valuable opportunities for cross course dialogue across Product, Furniture, Maker courses.”

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