LSBU product design students say presenting to professionals was great experience that will help them at interviews for placements and employment.
The British Blind and Shutter Association (BBSA) is a national trade association for companies that manufacture, supply and install interior and exterior blinds, awnings, security grilles and shutters and associated motor and control systems.
The BBSA are involved in an interdisciplinary Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Cassie Sutherland (the KTP Associate) and academic staff in the Dept of Urban Engineering (Prof Graeme Maidment and Ms Kika Yiakoumetti) and the Dept of Engineering and Design (Dr Deborah Andrews) at LSBU. In addition to providing privacy and security blinds and shutters are successfully used to regulate temperature by reducing thermal loss and gain (i.e. keeping heat either in or out of a building), which in turn reduces energy consumption and related costs for heating and cooling. The KTP includes the development of SHADE SPECIFIER, a tool to help experts and non-experts (e.g. retailers) to demonstrate the environmental and economic benefits related to the use of blinds and shutters.
A good KTP involves transferring knowledge to and from academic experts, business partners and students, in this case the 2nd year BSc (Hons) Product Design students. As part of their Design Futures and Innovation module the students were given an open brief to design new types of blinds and shutters for domestic and /or commercial buildings. The project began with a lecture from Cassie Sutherland (who spoke about the physics of thermal loss, gain and solar shading) and Andrew Chalk from the BBSA (who spoke about contemporary products and the market). Following the presentation and critique at the end of the four-week project the following design proposals were selected for presentation to members of the BBSA at the 2012 AGM:
On 16 May Deborah Andrews and Cassie Sutherland accompanied the seven students to the Ricoh Arena in Coventry where each group gave a 5 minute presentation to over 50 delegates. The delegates were very positive and enthusiastic and were particularly pleased that the students had addressed the issue of child safety in their projects. They also asked a wide range of questions about the projects as a whole and specific product details.
The feedback was fantastic and several delegates invited students to visit their manufacturing facilities while others wanted to find out more about LSBU work placements and the potential for collaborative design and engineering projects in the future. The delegates also commented on the high level of innovation that the students (who were unfamiliar with the industry) brought to the trade and that they would like the students to present to at BBSA Showcase international exhibition in October.
The students all said that they both enjoyed and benefitted significantly from working on a live project and that presenting to professionals was great experience that will help them at interviews for placements and employment.
Find out more about our BSc (Hons) Product Design.
Posted: 23 May 2012