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UCLan students show off their designs of the future at event

14 July 2015

Robby Dawson

Jake and Urte display their caravan and trainer concepts in London exhibition  

Two final year product design students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have exhibited their caravans of the future at the New Designers Exhibition 2015 in London.

West Derby student Jake Donnelly and Urte Jurkeviciute from Lithuania also showcased their future footwear concepts at the annual event which brings together more than 3,000 of the most promising graduate talents from across Britain’s top design courses.

The challenge to design a caravan like no other was set by Preston-based company Lunar Caravans after the company tasked students to design a mini-caravan of the future.

Jake’s caravan concept, the Lunar Tide, stands out for its striking black and blue design. “It was the first time I have ever focused on caravans. The style of exterior is completely different from everything else,” the former Hugh Baird College pupil said.

 

"You won’t find anything else like this. The idea with GECKO is that you can climb upstairs, watch the sunset and generally be closer to nature.”

Jake DonnellyHe described the most unique aspect of his caravan as not the colour however, but the multi-functional shower system, which features touch controls and a unique air-ventilation system.

“This is meant to be a relaxation pod, you could spend 10 minutes in the shower. It is a different kind of experience,” said Jake, who was also invited to take part in the first two-day Superyacht UK Design competition in London last year.

The 21-year-old added: “My inspiration was the outdoorsy type; people who are outgoing and enjoy outdoor activities, especially water sports.”

However Lithuanian undergraduate Urte Jurkeviciute’s caravan design has taken a completely different direction. Voted best in show in the final year product design exhibition, Urte described her GECKO caravan as being for “nature lovers and those who spend time in nature.”

She was inspired by bio mimicry; an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature's time-tested patterns and strategies, for the overall design shape. The student’s design includes multifunctional units on top of the caravan that can be manipulated in various ways to turn into a table or chair giving the users an opportunity to enjoy the surrounding nature.

Urte, who has also taken part in an up-cycling design competition in China during her studies, said: “GECKO has an upstairs roof decking area, huge windows and is green. You won’t find anything else like this. The idea with GECKO is that you can climb upstairs, watch the sunset and generally be closer to nature.”

Both Jake and Urte created scale models of their caravans, which were designed on Sketchbook Pro, Photoshop and Solid Works software, then made out of foam.

 

“This shoe in a way is like a plant that is able to react to the environment. It can even change from a high-heel to a running shoe.”

The second product that both designers were tasked to create was a piece of footwear for the future that would enter the market in 2050.

Instead of collaborating with an existing business like Lunar Caravans, with the footwear concept Jake and Urte were asked to create their own fictional company. Jake’s shoe business was called FootPrint.

Jake explained what makes his shoe, the FP Shift, so unique. He said: “At the moment we wear footwear and we have to adapt to ground surfaces around us for example carpet, grass, concrete. This footwear concept adapts to the surfaces so you don’t have to.”

Urte’s shoe brand, the Bio 050, pushes the boundaries of what may be possible in footwear. Her trainer concept contains protocells, bio-mimicry, and various technologies which have yet to be fully developed.

She commented: “This shoe in a way is like a plant that is able to react to the environment. It can transform to become hard like rubber or convert itself to have a leather texture. It can even change from a high-heel to a running shoe.”