Northampton students wow experts with pitch for stoneware street furniture

Students from the University of Northampton have impressed a panel of industry experts with their concepts for a design challenge.

Friday, 17th January 2020, 3:18 pm
Updated Friday, 17th January 2020, 3:19 pm
Felicity Reeves, a University of Northampton student, pitches her ideas for new street furniture to the panel.

Second year undergraduates on the product design course were tasked by Northamptonshire stone manufacturer Haddonstone to develop ideas to form part of a new street furniture range.

The industry brief has seen the students devise a variety of products designed to be produced using Haddonstone’s unique cast stone materials – and successful concepts could be added to the company’s range of architectural, landscaping and garden products.

The project was launched in October when the students toured Haddonstone’s manufacturing base in Brixworth and its East Haddon Show Gardens.

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Stefan Ionita makes his presentation.

The students then presented their early ideas to the Haddonstone team in November, which was followed with an updated presentation on Thursday 9 January.

The clever concepts included a bench which doubles up as a gritting bin; seating which incorporates a bug hotel; planters which can be used as barriers to keep pedestrians safe from traffic; and a dog water station which includes a water bottle-filling tap.

The Haddonstone panel comprised production director Tony Mason, marketing manager Nicola Clements, marketing executive Rebecca Faulkner and managing director, David Barrow, who said: “All of the presentations were excellent and the students have clearly put a lot of hard work into developing their ideas.

“They’ve come up with a varied breadth of concepts, which we would never have thought about, so to get this kind of fresh perspective on what’s quite a traditional product range has been invaluable for us.

The students were tasked with coming up with new stoneware street furniture for Haddonstone to consider.

“There’s one or two concepts in there which are certainly commercially viable, and some of the original ideas are certainly worth developing.

“We’re now looking forward to seeing the concepts being turned into models and selecting our favourite designs.”

The students are now fine-tuning their designs ready for judging, which takes place later this year, with the top three awarded cash prizes from Haddonstone.