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Bright future for students with stunning light designs

Product design students impressed design company Hulger with their stunning lamp shades for the award winning Plumen bulb.

A group of up and coming product designers impressed innovative design company Hulger with their stunning lamp shades for the award winning Plumen bulb.

The Middlesex University students' were given a brief to create light shades for the unique bulb, but rather than obscuring the bulb the shades needed to show it off.

But good looks were not enough, and as part of the real-life business challenge Hulger asked the students to create products using responsible materials in keeping with the company's ethos.

The students spent six weeks on the project designing and constructing shades out of materials ranging from wood to piping.  Following Hulger's brief, the team was provided with guidance and had their work evaluated each week by Tom Stables who helped create the Plumen bulb, and Wyn Griffiths, the Product Design senior lecturer.

Final designs were presented to Director of Hulger, Nicolas Roope, who was so impressed with the student work that he plans to host images of the designs on Hulger's social media sites and work with the students in the future.

Student Maroun Jawiche (21) whose oak wood Shell inspired design particular impressed Nicolas said: "It was definitely one of the best projects I've worked on as not only did it combine both the design and construction of the product, it was valuable working so close to the client.  The weekly reviews were really beneficial and my piece changed significantly from its first iteration based on effective feedback, for example I had originally planned to create my design as a wicker mesh structure."

"My favourite part of the project was presenting our designs to the Director of Hulger and getting individual feedback.  And even since the final evaluation, Hulger has continued to advise me via social media," added Maroun.

Hulger Director Nicolas Roope said: "We've worked intensely with the Plumen 001 project for over four years now from the design, through to the production processed, through launch and into the sales and marketing part of the cycle. With our heads down there's not always the time to innovate and open up to new ideas that aren't central concerns of the business. Briefing the Middlesex students with the aesthetic and performance issues connected to the use of the Plumen 001 bulb and watching them conceptualise and evolve their responses was therefore very exciting for us to behold. How do you frame, shade and present the bulb in a pleasing and interesting way whilst still giving a view of the bulb's luxurious silhouette? The answers that came back were very varied, helping identify materials, concepts, contexts and whole narratives that showed deep design thinking in practice. Having given a bulb to all the students participating we also really enjoyed the hands on craft aspect too, seeing how students responded to the large scale and organic form of Hulger's product. "

Middlesex University product design senior lecturer Wyn Griffiths said: "Collaborative relationships with industrial partners are a core element of our philosophy and practice, on Product Design. In that practice, it's wonderful to work with award-winning visionaries such as Nicolas Roope, and to be able to bring up-and-coming talents like Tom Stables into the Middlesex Product Design fold. The experience and insight they bring to projects is inspiring for our staff and students and helps to keep our practice and curriculum leading-edge and exciting."

Top: Hulger Director Nicolas Roope discussing the students' designs
Bottom: Student Maroun Jawiche's design

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