We organised a project final presentation and networking event with industry stakeholders / professionals (a.k.a. our beloved alumni students from BA and BSc Product Design at De Montfort University) on Thursday 13th July 2023. Some of the industry professionals also contributed to the research (expert interview to provide industry perspectives) and co-design process during the project. I (Dr Kyungeun Sung) opened the event by explaining the aim of the project – to create radical innovations for new product development for upcycling and circular economy focusing on everyday use electronic products with multiple components and mixed materials which are more difficult to remanufacture or recycle. Dr Abhishek Tiwary and Mik Pieniazek shared their experience as supervisors. Three project students, Joe Shade, Thomas Wylam and Tony Lorance presented their project processes and outcomes and received feedback from the industry professionals and supervisiors.

All three students made working prototypes. Joe made a fully functional speaker out of a scrap 2-stroke barrel and a discarded piece of wood. Thomas made a new cordless vacuum cleaner body part with removable protective components to improve product durability by 3D printing recycled plastic filaments. Tony created a working electric kettle by replacing the plastic with more sustainable ceramic and making the product more modular and easier to disassemble.

It was nice to have this invaluable opportunity for current students, industry professionals (alumni students), and academic staff to gather together for knowledge transfer, sharing, and networking. Many thanks to Cameron LalorCharlie KeitchLewis RoeNathan Hales, and Seb Ward for your contribution to this project. Special thanks to Christine White for making this project possible.

November-December 2022

  • Advertisement of posts
  • Shortlisting of student designers (n=6 max)

January 2023

  • Interview and recruitment of student designers (n=3)
  • Project brief ready
  • Project kick-off meeting
  • Research ethics application

February-March 2023

  • Desk research
  • Product purchase for reverse engineering and product analysis
  • Project planning (and additional individual research ethics application)
  • Reverse engineering and product analysis
  • Identification of relevant industry experts/stakeholders

April-May 2023

  • Expert/stakeholder interviews and other primary research
  • Idea generation
  • Concept development
  • Digital simulation and testing
  • Single concept proposal

June-July 2023

  • Single concept embodiment and finalisation
  • Physical prototyping and model making
  • Knowledge transfer and networking event