Middlesex University’s product design students and alumni used 2013's London Design Festival to question what product design is and showcase their innovative and wide ranging products.
The current and former Middlesex students came together and started the debate at an exhibition at the Hoxton Gallery Arch, east London at the beginning of London Design Festival, and then continued the conversation at the contemporary design event ‘Tent’ from Friday 20 – Sunday 22 September.
The events stimulated discussion and questioned the assumptions and misconceptions surrounding the wide-reaching discipline of product design. The exhibitions also showcased the professional output of a range of the University’s former students, which demonstrated the vast range of work falling under the ‘product design’ banner.
To stimulate a dialogue around the ‘what is a product designer’ theme, Middlesex’s recent product design graduates built a pop-up photo booth which was installed in the centre of the gallery in east London, where visitors were asked to write down their definition and have their picture taken.
Wyn Griffiths, Product Design Programme Leader at Middlesex and curator of the event, said: “We are hosting a series of events over the coming weeks and months to begin the collaborative creation of a book by crowd-sourcing the opinions of designers and the public, with the aim of exploring the present and potential future directions for product design.
“It's been a lively, creative start to this ongoing collaborative discussion, with great attendances and vibrant conversations. Our event even featured in the media as one of the highlights of London Design Festival 2013!”
Former students whose work was on display included Adam Amos, Co-founder of Breakthemold; Kieron-Scott Woodhouse, creator of the world’s first bamboo smartphone and Co-founder of K&F Design Studio, Menelaos Florides, Creative Leader at LEGO Group and Jason Iftakhar, CEO at Swifty Scooters.
Alongside the alumni, Middlesex’s collaborative partners and associated experts also exhibited their professional output as part of the event. These included Yuri Suzuki, Dominic Wilcox, Steve Taylor from The Alloy and Head of Industrial Design Paul Edwards from Airbus.
The design discussion will continue at further planned events and on social media with the tag #whatisapder.