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Wednesday 16 March 2016

The Base Ace

Teaching staff here at Southampton Solent University are often involved with projects for industry partners. Mark Jones, a tutor on our BA (Hons) Product Design course, is the latest to lend his talents to the industry – working alongside local inventor Brian Stickley to develop a new range of construction toys.


Brian’s brainchild, Base Ace, is a range of exciting and expandable 3D structures for children to build and play on with their existing Lego toys. Developed after his own child pointed out that delicate Lego creations often weren’t suitable for extended play, Base Ace looks to provide a solid setting for a range of imaginative role-play adventures.

Mark was involved in providing a complete design service, from concept creation to prototype development and consumer testing. Mark also lent his talents to the manufacturing designs, instruction manuals and consumer packaging.

The three initial designs and their accompany expansion packs were launched at the BRICK show in November and December 2015, receiving positive feedback from the public, reviewers and retailers alike. This work will also be shown at a public exhibition in 2017, Cutting Edge Design, which showcases uses of laser cutting technology.

The Base Ace project is just one of many that the product design course team use to enhance the experience of their students, offering them the opportunity to see real-world development cycles and better understand the process of taking a product to the consumer market.


The product design course offers students the opportunity to develop their own ideas for products and businesses in the ‘Design for Enterprise’ unit. Students can also access the University’s award-winning retail shop, RE:SO, which provides a vital platform for customer feedback.

Interested in a career in product design? Visit our product design course page to find out more.