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Tuesday 13 October 2015

Product Design students light up for B&Q

Visitors to Re:So, Southampton Solent University’s retail enterprise, will be greeted by a range of contemporary lighting designs this autumn thanks to second year product design students and B&Q.

On display until Monday 19 October, the lamps and lighting fixtures on display have been created by product designers who elected to take either the ‘Design for Industry’ or ‘Design for Enterprise’ units. In these units, students are encourage to develop a range of products and present them to the retail market.

The student work on display.

RE:SO provides an ideal environment for displaying this work, obtaining valuable customer feedback and gauging the commercial viability of the items.

Part of an annual competition for B&Q that makes up part of their course, this competition gives students the opportunity to work on live projects supported by industry.

Mark Jones, programme group leader for Fashion Management and Promotion, said: “Re:So provides the facility needed to display the students’ work as a point of sale and to gauge consumer reaction and understanding as to the commercial viability of an idea.

The Re:So storefront

“Students have developed a professional portfolio of work, the quality of which has been complimented by our external examiners. For the third year running, the course has achieved 100 per cent on student satisfaction in the National Student Survey.”

Third year student Grace Loomes won the Design Award from B&Q for her light, which can also be seen in the Re:So Lighting Show.

She won a work placement at B&Q’s marketing department, a prize and certificate. Grace said, “I was really shocked when I found out I’d won. Everybody else’s work was really good and the styles of lights were so different.”

George Bridges, a past winner

Speaking about the work placement she attended this summer, she added: “The placement was really helpful. They taught me a lot of skills I didn’t have before, like Photoshop and Illustrator, which will look really good on my CV.”

Solent’s BA (Hons) Product Design course has been designed to integrate aspects of employability into all three levels of the undergraduate degree.

This includes work placements and partnership projects with companies such as the NHS Trust, Ikea and B&Q.

The School of Art, Design & Fashion plans to exhibit student work from a range of different course programmes over the coming year – pop into Re:So regularly to catch the latest attraction.