Sustainable Product Design visit to the London Design Festival, September 2014

The new group of Sustainable Product Design students enjoyed a three day visit to the London Design Festival at the end of September. The festival is an annual, internationally acclaimed celebration of design that encompasses hundreds of events and exhibitions across the city. It provided the perfect starting point for 36 new students beginning their studies in Sustainable Product Design at Falmouth University.

The trip began with a visit to 100% Design at Earl Court, one of the main events at the LDF, where designers and manufacturers exhibit across a range of design industries including eco-building, workplace, kitchen and bathroom, and contract furniture and lighting. Students were able to get hands on with innovative eco-materials in the Materials Village by Material ConneXion Italia, and listen to a range of talks focusing on sustainability in the seminar space.

The students spent the second day in the East of the city and visited TENT London at the Old Truman Brewery, on Brick Lane. The exhibition showcased a wide range of upcoming designers, and more established businesses, providing a wealth of inspiration and industry contacts for the students. The ‘Tokyo Imagine’ section, showcasing Japanese creativity and technology in interactive art and design, was particularly popular, where students got to experience cutting edge augmented reality and virtual reality products.

The final day of the trip started with a coffee in the remarkable Serpentine Pavilion, an annual temporary installation, designed this year by Chilean architect, Smiljan Radić. A short walk through Hyde Park lead us to the SustainRCA show, at the Royal College of Art. The exhibition showcases the work of Masters students focusing on environmental and social sustainability. The themes included Inspired Products, to “captivate the imagination, or address the realities of industrial manufacturing through alternative materials, resource use or systems thinking” and Solutions for Society, to “propose prototypes, models, systems and services whereby society can be fairer, more ethical and sustainable”. The show provided a fantastic source of ideas and inspiration for the Sustainable Product Design students and prompted a lot of discussion and debate about their own design projects on the course at Falmouth University.

Before heading back to Cornwall, there was just enough time to squeeze in a quick lunch at the V&A opposite Zaha Hadid’s Crest installation, and witness the breath-taking ‘Double Space’ kinetic sculpture, designed by Barber & Osgerby in collaboration with BMW.

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