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Wednesday 28 May 2014

Charlie Jeffrey wins competition for work placement

Southampton Solent University Product Design students took on a live brief for B&Q to win a highly sought-after work placement in their design studio at Chandler’s Ford.

B&Q research found that half of all Brits believe DIY and basic household maintenance skills are being lost in a generation, so B&Q briefed Solent students to produce a DIY support kit – a packaged tool set and instructions based around a particular task – such as putting up a picture, shelf or a mirror.

Fourteen BA (Hons) Product Design students created DIY support kits designed to generate confidence in the individual in taking on a particular task in the home. The designs included a kit to safely rewire a plug, an adjustable support for holding tools while working at heights, and a flexible drive tool to allow easy access to basin taps for home plumbing.

A judging panel of B&Q’s designers selected BA (Hons) Product Design student Charlie Jeffery (20), as the winning DIY support kit. Her innovative picture hanging kit contains a spirit level, a gadget to keep tools at 90 degrees to the wall and an ergonomically comfortable screwdriver.

Commenting on her win, Charlie said, “I put myself in the shoes of the consumer, to see what I would want/need to help me when setting up home. I tested the process to see where the difficulties lie in hanging a picture, and how I could then simplify the task. Winning the work placement at B&Q is a great opportunity as I’m going to get hands on experience, which I’m really looking forward to.”

Andy Tose, B&Q Brand Design Lead, adds, “We’ve seen some fantastic designs from the Solent Product Design students, Charlie’s tool kit stood out with her detailed customer research and for how it fits with B&Q’s other products. We’re looking forward to welcoming her fresh thinking at the B&Q design studios where she will be exposed to live projects for the UK’s largest home improvement retailer.”