‘Discover the Future’, Ecobuild, Excel, London.

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Sustainable Product Design students enjoyed a visit to the Ecobuild trade show last week.

This national exhibition promotes debate and innovation for a more sustainable environment. Inspirational speakers leading the conference and seminar programme included ministers, industry experts and celebrities and the exhibition stands provided great insight into new sustainable ideas and industry practice.

Mark, Sam and Jack – current students on the course – have summed up the experience below.

“Ecobuild was a great opportunity for us as sustainable designers. There was a huge range of innovative solutions for construction and the built environment as well as products/services addressing issues of energy and its future. Among the variety of content zones were those concerning ‘design’, ‘green energy’, ‘future cities’ and ‘waste, water and materials’. We attended seminars on circular economy, energy storage and future cities. We gained great information on sustainable solutions from cement free concrete to in-house energy storage to electric vehicle charging units. The exhibition gave us a great insight to the design world and examples of how designers and businessmen are helping shape a more sustainable future.”

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“The exhibition was a great chance for us to get out of the studio and see what was happening in the working world. As a trade show, there was a huge array of companies to speak with and we saw how the architectural community was making a big push towards sustainable building practices.”

“It was interesting to see how great an emphasis was put on nature and biodiversity during the show. Large sections were devoted to wall gardens for the inner city, how plants can be a part of the inner building structure, and how we can encourage symbiotic living with creatures such as bees.”

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“We enjoyed talks from industry innovators such as the architect Shigeru Ban, who delivered an inspiring talk on his work for disaster relief and explained how he used paper tubes as the framework for buildings as big as churches.”

“On the exhibition floor we spoke with many tradespeople about working and making products using Cradle-to-Cradle principles. It was inspiring to see how many people were engaging with sustainable issues.”

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“Whilst at Ecobuild we took part in a psychological test by Dr Craig Knight from the University of Exeter. In the test we conducted 4 logic, puzzle and creativity exercises after arranging a space to our preferences. In the logic/puzzle tests we recorded the fastest times in the Ecobuild exhibition for both the ‘Tower of Hanoi’ (45secs) and ‘Bears and Cardinals’ (41 secs) beating the closest by at least 30 seconds for both.”

“The trip was a great chance for all of us to see the potential future, and how our design efforts can make a difference.”

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