Student Design Challenge

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.

William McGrath, Group Chief Executive of AGA Rangemaster plc, said: "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."

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