Working with Triumph
- Triumph Motorcycles Ltd
Graham Powell, Course Director, MA Product Design, School of Fashion, Textiles and 3D Design, approached Triumph Motorcycles to see if his students could design a range of Triumph-inspired lifestyle accessories as a student project. Working with Triumph, Graham conceived a design project for his 18 students inspired by the Triumph brand, the company’s heritage and the Triumph Bonneville T100 – providing design references through its classic 60s styling, contemporary engineering, twin peashooter exhausts, chrome engine covers, two-tone paint and spoked wheels.
The students developed a stunning range of concepts to be hosted and exhibited by Aedas at their Colmore Plaza premises. A team of Triumph senior executives judged the lifestyle concept designs produced for the exhibition to award a design placement to the winning exhibit.
Following their deliberations, the judges chose British student, Nick Orme’s ‘Corkscrew’, incorporating a brake lever assembly, as the winning prototype design – awarding him a placement at Triumph.
24-year old Nick Orme from Moseley said: “The corkscrew idea came about after considering all the information Triumph had given us. I wanted to create something simple that they would be able to produce without too many problems or extra costs. It also seemed like a visually strong idea that motorcycle enthusiasts and particularly Bonneville riders would appreciate.”
Triumph was formed as a bicycle manufacturing company by Siegfried Bettmann in Coventry in 1887. The first motorcycle was built in 1902. The company today continues a proud heritage in producing motorcycles and is committed to developing truly unique motorcycles that are distinctive in looks, design and performance. Triumph's aim is to craft motorcycles that deliver a great riding experience through the fusion of a well-balanced, easy to handle chassis and strong, flexible engines. The business is 100 per cent privately owned by its parent company, Bloor Holdings Limited, owned by John Bloor.
We were impressed with all of the entries but Nick’s design, which used a Bonneville brake lever, master cylinder and handlebar grip, really stood out. His corkscrew was an innovative use of motorcycle parts that created a lifestyle product we could really see customers buying.
Stuart Wood, Chief Engineer
Nick's prize included an industrial design placement with Triumph's Clothing and Accessories department. Nick added: “Triumph is a fantastic British company and I really think it has an opportunity to push the boundaries of the accessories that most motorcycle companies currently produce."
Second prize, a voucher for £100, was awarded to Wa Ya-Lin of Taiwan for her two Bowls, incorporating Triumph wheel spokes.
A stunning Hat Stand designed by Elena Matyas of Romania, incorporating front wheel hub and mirrors was awarded third prize.
The students were thrilled with the exposure the project gave them to have both a creative free reign in designing lifestyle accessories inspired by the Triumph brand as well as the practical focus of having to produce products which could be manufactured and sold into the Triumph customer base.
To fulfil the design brief they had researched the business, its heritage and ethos, its products, production methods and processes as well as the culture at the heart of the brand. The opportunity to interact with Triumph’s internationally-renowned and much cherished brand in an uninhibited way was something as designers they had learnt from, providing with the means to analyse and assess quality brands and design briefs in light of customer focus, emerging needs and the practical drivers.
- Triumph received much PR and coverage of the project in design blogs internationally.
- Fans around the world were delighted to read about and review the students’ prototypes, with the images of the 18 accessories having been commented on Triumph Motorcycle fan blogs and renowned design blogs worldwide with great gusto!
Nick Bloor, CEO, Triumph said, “This has been a great opportunity for a company like Triumph to help foster relationships with universities like Birmingham City University and also to bring new talent and creativity into industry."