Festival of Design & Innovation: Design Engineering

Matt Grover

Matt Grover

Having worked as a window fitter at the weekends during his placement year, Matt Grover discovered that the man-handling of double glazing units was inefficient and possibly unsafe. He therefore developed the idea for a Window Fitter Assistant to aid the easy transport and orientation of windows during installation.

Matt Nugent

Matt Nugent

The “kill switch” that forms part of the design for a wake boarding winch from Matt Nugent has attracted a lot of interest from several companies as it offers the potential to be used in many extreme sports and activities.  The winch itself, RipLine 270, has the advantage of wireless controls, an extended cable length, and speeds up to 24mph.


Making waves

ryan godolphinRyan Godolphin is a fourth year Product Design student who I first met earlier this year at a networking event where he gave a superb presentation about his placement with Sunseeker. More recently, I met Ryan again when he undertook an informal interview in connection with the research on ALS students and disclosure. Ryan offered an interesting perspective of the world of product design, suggesting that research indicates over 60% of those employed in this field have dyslexic tendencies. He also views his own dyslexia as a positive benefit which enables him to find creative solutions to work-based problems.

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Celebrating Paul Whittington


We have very many students in ALS who, with the help of specialist staff, overcome what others might perceive as barriers to learning and attain great success. In this posting, we celebrate the tremendous achievements of Paul Whittington using his own words and those of his mentor, Jane Merrington.

Towards the end of summer, having been awarded a first class honours degree, BSc Computing, Paul wrote to his ALS tutor, Steevie Watson, with this news: “I thought that you may also like to know that I have been chosen by the Dean of the School of Design, Engineering and Computing at Bournemouth University to receive not one, but two prizes! The first prize is the School Prize for the best undergraduate student in the School of Design, Engineering and Computing. The second prize is for the best final year student in software/communications and this is sponsored by Selex Elsag. The Selex Prize for my ‘overall excellence in my performance and project combined’, but more heavily focused on my final year project. I will be awarded the prizes at my graduation in November at the BIC. It will be great day!”

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More designers working to resolve issues of disability and difference

Here are another three designers from the 2012 Festival of Design and Innovation who have developed products to make life less troublesome for those with potentially debilitating conditions: diabetes, eczema and issues of balance.

Lewis Plowman: BA Product Design (Hons)

Buddy Bag: Portable Insulin Pack

Sadly, childhood diabetes is an increasing phenomenon and this product has been designed for those aged 3-7. Lewis recognised that existing packs were not really appropriate for younger diabetics and wanted to produce something that removed perceived stigmas surrounding personal medicine. Adaptable to individual lifestyle, the backpack holds a compact, detachable section for the safe storage of all the necessary equipment. Lewis is keen to acknowledge the help he has received with his project from the Medic Alert charity to whom he has generously donated his design. In recognition of his excellent work, Lewis has been selected to exhibit his product at the forthcoming New Designers Show on London’s South Bank.


Rachel Wells: BA/BSc Product Design (Hons)


Rachel has always wanted to work for children, particularly in ways which help to resolve acknowledged problems. Her product, SoapSafe, meets these criteria and successfully combines them with her abilities as a designer. One in five children in the UK has eczema and this product addresses the issue of itching and irritation caused by soap residue on the skin in hard-water areas. SoapSafe informs parents of the effects of various products and monitors which soaps are less harmful and reduce aggravation.


Molly Metzler: BA/BSc Product Design (Hons)

Cane Mutiny

Molly’s research showed that, within the aging population in particular, stigma can be attached to the need for a walking aid. Inspired by her grandmother, an active eighty-seven year old who has previously managed without a stick, Molly decided to design an aesthetically pleasing product that has less of a medical or disabling feel about it. Cane Mutiny is the successful outcome: a stylish and colourful accoutrement which never compromises on security, stability and comfort. As Molly says, problems of balance are not necessarily related to age and should not preclude the desire to be both graceful and fashionable.


More success stories from the 2012 Festival of Design & Innovation

In this section, we are proud to feature two students who have worked with us in ALS. Once again, as they prepare to leave the university, we send them our best wishes for successful futures.

Sam Moseley: BSc Product Design

FS Press

I have had the pleasure of working with Sam throughout the last year. He has proven to be an extremely focused student whose results reflect constant hard work. A keen athlete himself, Sam’s design sought to minimise potentially serious injuries caused by gym users who train unaided with heavy dumbbells. The FS Press precludes the over-compensation of force needed at the commencement of exercise by providing functional support which allows the user to receive the dumbbells when ready. This eliminates the need for rapid arm rotation previously required to reach the start position and ensures safety and security.



Jim Dow: BA (Hons) Industrial Design

Aura: Portable illuminator

I was fortunate enough to work with Jim earlier in the year when he produced an excellent report in which he reflected on his placement. This identified sound, analytical business skills to combine with his abilities to design worthy products. Seeking to provide an alternative to the narrow beam of traditional torches, Jim has produced an illuminator that creates a global effect for both social and functional settings. Designed with organic form to resemble nature, Aura combines the practicality of a torch with a welcoming atmospheric light that is pleasing, versatile and practical.


Disability, difference and design

The Festival of Design and Innovation, 2012, showcased the work of final year students on a range of programmes and was truly inspirational. On these pages, we are proud to promote participating students who have either received ongoing support from ALS or those who chose to design a product specifically for use by people with disabilities or differences. We wish them success with their work and future careers in the design industry.

Tom Edwards: BA/BSc Product Design (Hons)

RAid Cookware

It’s hardly surprising that Tom’s product, designed for those with rheumatoid arthritis, has received so much interest and so many plaudits. As Tom says, this is a disease that affects the smaller joints of the hand and wrist and using conventional stove-based cooking equipment is a painful and uncomfortable experience.

Tom wanted to remove the image of a disability aid and has successfully designed a range of cookware that spreads the weight of the equipment over the larger joints in the arms. These are stylish products that would enhance any kitchen and improve the lifestyle of those with arthritis. 


Jennifer Thomas: BA/BSc Product Design (Hons)

Diabetes equipment storage for 18-25 year olds

Type 1 Diabetes has the potential to govern lives. Not so, according to Jennifer who, inspired by her twenty year old diabetic friend, has designed a product to suit the clubbing lifestyle of the young. Current storage cases for diabetic accoutrements are geared towards older people or are too bulky. Jennifer’s case, which can be customised to suit individual tastes, enables the owner to plan their day ahead and assess their insulin intake. There is also a removable pouch, small enough to fit in a clutch bag or the pocket of men’s jeans, yet containing all the essentials for a night out including the means to monitor  alcohol effects. As Jennifer says, this enables the user to continuously self-manage an illness without compromising their lifestyle


Cara May Firks: BA Product Design (Hons)

Wheepush: The Wheelchair Pushchair

Watching her cousin, who has MS, struggle with two small children, inspired Cara to design a unique product that allows a wheelchair user to travel easily from the house or the car and be independent enough to wheel themselves and their baby. Cara noted that pushchairs currently on the market are too high for compatibility with a wheelchair. Her design easily attaches to the majority of manual wheelchairs to cradle a baby’s car seat. Therefore, it gives the user freedom to take a baby out in a safe and secure environment thus reducing reliance on others. It further encourages close interaction, essential for building bonds in a baby’s first year of life.