27 September 2013
Product Design students unleash talents on technology giant
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has partnered with the world’s largest technology manufacturer to equip its product design students with key industry skills.
The BA(Hons) Product Design degree at UCLan is the only undergraduate course in the country to establish a partnership with technology giant Samsung.
The deal, which is now in its third year, allows final year students to work on live briefs for Samsung and develop their ideas with the company’s European Product Innovation Team in London. All of the students’ designs are confidential while the company considers whether it will take them forward for manufacturing.
UCLan Product Design Course Leader Graham Hill said: “The students are given highly confidential live briefs and allowed to work in a real design environment with the company’s top designers. They literally walk into Samsung’s office in London and are blown away by the whole experience.”
“I’ve spent the summer on a paid project with Lunar Caravans to design a new style of van. The company is really pleased with my final design and have said they will manufacture it next year.”
The Samsung agreement is one of several industry partnerships established by the UCLan product design course team. Recently students have worked on live briefs for Lego Education, Guinness, and several local companies.
Joel Seddon, a 20-year-old final year student from Bolton, has completed two projects; one for local business Lunar Caravans who approached UCLan with a brief to design a van for a younger market and another for Lego Education who asked the students to design a new educational toy.
Joel commented: “I’ve spent the summer on a paid project with Lunar Caravans to design a new style of van. The company is really pleased with my final design and have said they will manufacture it next year. It’s exciting to know my work will be transformed into a product that will be available on the market.”
“I really enjoyed working on a project set by a company as it gave me a real insight into how the process works in industry.”
Fellow student 21-year-old Matt Armer from Morecambe also took on the live brief from Lego Education. He produced an interactive book which allows the reader to build a toy as the story progresses.
Matt said: “I did a lot of research into how children think about literature and how they associate images and words. I really enjoyed working on a project set by a company as it gave me a real insight into how the process works in industry.”
The Product Design degree course at UCLan is one of the longest established in the country. Notable alumni includes head of design at Virgin Atlantic Luke Miles, Alpesh Patel who is a design manager for Disney and Kate Evans, Joe Staniforth and Nichola Sheargold who are all design engineers at Dyson.