Industrial Abundance < Changing Usage.

I chose Sterling board because of its abundant availability to me and the industrial nature it has. I wanted to create a design that combined this industrial material with my interest in metal work.

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THINK | PLAY | DO: Fading light.


I wanted to design an object that physically cut people off from their phones for a while. I decided I would make a box that a phone would get inserted to to keep it out of sight and out of mind.

Additionally I wanted the box to  have some sort of function. I decided that using a smart phone for one of its most primal functions. Producing light. Most smartphones have a torch app on them so i wanted to exploit this. Turning the phone into an ambient reading light. While the phone was creating light to ready by, I'm hoping that eventually the phone battery will die and the user will be left apply reading.

I created my box out of a combination of steel, birch ply and tracing paper to achieve the result I wanted.

I hope that my outcome would help someone disconnect, even if just for a moment.

Mark Hedley

THINK | PLAY | DO: The mobile Penitentiary


In this ever technologically advancing world, mobile phones remain at the forefront of our lives, having become in a relatively short time period the one item we simply can’t live without…or so we believe. Increased connectivity between people through mediums, such as social media and texting, have led to dramatic behavioural changes in our society as a whole; we are becoming mindless technological zombies, who's attention is directed towards a screen in the palm of our hand. Sadly, we subconsciously choose to isolate ourselves with the many distractions provided by our phones, as opposed to communicating with people around us - a common sight in public.

In order to convey this compulsive dependence on phones that we all seem to suffer, I created a thought piece - a prison for the very item we have become slaves to. It was my intention to bring forth a realisation within the owner of the imprisoned phone, to make them realise the extremity of their dependence brought on by the feeling of being physically cut off, unable to interact with it. I hope this realisation can lead us to questioning our behaviour more frequently and to be more aware of the patterns of phone use we have moved into in recent years.

I crafted the prison cell from steel, using brazing to assemble the structure. I have very little experience with metal work, so this proved to be a big learning experience for me which I thoroughly enjoyed. The fact that this project was only a week long really made me get into the making quickly, which kept me very engaged up until the final hours before presenting. Overall, I have very much enjoyed this short but sweet project and I hope that my outcome can spark contemplation, allowing people to see their relationship with mobile phones in a new light.

Jack Emery

THINK | PLAY | DO: The friend maker.


Our mobile phones, the device that connects us with our friends. It builds our relationships and allows us to always communicate with each other… But that’s not a good thing. The phone has become an isolation tool that creates a culture of exclusion in our social environments. I have noticed this a lot when taking public transport. I look around and everyone is in his or her own little bubble, not interacting with each other. I think that this is unhealthy as meeting new people and engaging in conversation broadens our knowledge and creates a diverse range of friends.

In response to this I have created this concept, a device that can be fitted inside of any transport network. It has a collection of hanging wires with a suction pad on each end. These suck on to the back of your mobile device and, when connected, link you with anyone else on the train, plain or bus that you’re traveling on.

This physical connection that you make to the central hub (through the wire) gives a tangible sense of connection with others who are using the service. When conceited with other people you can engage with them talking, sharing music and playing games with each other.

I feel that this approach should break people out of isolation and start to re-introduce our natural process of friend making.

William Huggons




‘Versatile’ is the outcome of a human centred approach, witnessing first-hand the ways in which people are forced to adapt, react and conform within their home environment. From hanging cloths on cupboard handles, to stacking cutlery in mugs, these insights show some of the ways in which people, in their own home, subconsciously, have to make do.

The kitchen environment is currently a space with a layout which is set, and frequently not designed for the person who will be using it. ‘Versatile’ aims to end this need for people to have to make do and instead empowers them to take control of their surroundings by giving them the tools to make change.

‘Versatile’ allows for constant changing so as to accommodate the far-reaching assortment of tasks performed by a vast range of different people, in the kitchen. It does this by providing the user with a magnetic set of  interchangeable and functional tiles that offer infinite possibilities, enabling consumers to make any home, their home. The functional tiles can be moved all around the kitchen at any time helping users achieve their tasks and make life seem easier.




Evie Allum
I am Evie and I am currently in my second year of Graphic Communications with Typography. I am originally from Plymouth so I wanted to come to Plymouth University as it is on my door step and I know the area really well. I live alone but I love it here and I am able to work part time as well. I have a lot of internships over the summer. 

I have always been interested in art from a young age. I think Graphics is a more commercial way of getting in to the industry. When I first started the course I didn’t really enjoy it. However over time I have grown to adapt to the course and love it. 

What was your product for ETSY?
I made jewellery from recycled household plastic. So I looked in to what items were wasted the most in homes, I discovered that about 60% of plastic is thrown away. I wanted to take that plastic and reuse it to make something that people might like. I didn’t want to do something stereotypical with recycled materials but something that bought new life to the plastic. 

I wanted to target the younger generation, which are ages 18-30 because they are the age group that recycle the least, according to research. So I tried to find a way of making them realise the potential of recycling but not making it too obvious. I thought jewellery was a way of doing that as people like it and the additional bonus is that it is recycled. 

What inspired your project?
Well, the obvious thing is recycling. I have always been very keen on fashion so I guess that also influenced me as well. I was looking in a lot of magazines and fashion photography for inspiration. I spent quite a lot of time looking at ETSY and seeing what was being sold. Most of the products are hand crafted or up-cycled. I started to look in to the up-cycled part of it and branched off in to recycled.

What was your approach to creating the product?
The reality is you just need to get hands on. I spent my free time just melting plastics in my room and gluing it all together. I would mix together spoons, bottles, cartons and plastic bags. It was a case of experimenting with any plastic I could get my hands on. What I found interesting is that if you use a Sharpie to colour in the plastic, when you burn it, the colour goes opaque and looks like coloured plastic. Through research I discovered how people mould plastic, so I just started cutting plastic. I noticed that melted spoons make petal shapes and it gradually became a flower. 





An exploration of quality over time.
Death; the one certainty within our lives, and yet it is an incredibly delicate topic to be discussed. For those suffering with a terminal illness, that taboo topic can leave a sense of isolation. What’s been prevalent throughout my study and analysis of those suffering is the need for quality, over an attempt to increase the quantity. 

My research saw three emerging themes when exploring what ‘quality’ means; finding happiness in humour (illustrated in a book of joke tattoos to induce humour and distraction); 

the intimate exchange of heartbeats between two heartbeats to reconnect with the people around us; and capturing the precious moments doing what we love by a gift of the ability to manipulate the hours on a clock. I’ve attempted to tackle these with a methodology that provokes thought for not just the patients, but their loved ones too. The goal I set out to achieve encompasses a sense of reconnection with the respective themes, breaking down the barrier of such a dark subject, whilst also acknowledging the incredible work and dedication everyday by palliative care nurses with a war-like redesigned fob watch.




Changing people's consumer lifestyles.

Consumption sensitivity is an investigative project aimed to change people’s consumer lifestyles; with a focus on the benefits of lowering anxiety caused by lack of money, and the freedom created by having more disposable income. Due to the complexity of the subject area people have been the focus throughout, to discover consumer types, to answer why, what, where and how we consume. Via observation, behavioural mapping, and conversation, recognition of people’s consumer habits have been able to become unravelled and acknowledged. All whilst asking the key question ‘why?’ to really get to grips with the reasons behind consumption.

The outcomes have been produced with a strong focus on psychology, to discover the psychological reasoning surrounding consumption, and how we can alter mindsets and behaviours; so that money becomes less of a burden, within lifestyle. The outcomes themselves increase awareness and alter perception of familiarity via different methods, such as using ‘unarbitrary’ measurement which is unusual to the consumer, physically damaging value, and changing mindsets via increase of awareness.





Translating the measurement of energy consumption
The energy consumption from boiling one full 2.2kW kettle uses the equivalent of 3500 AA Batteries, this is just one illustration of the energy intensive world we live in.

Sensations of Energy is a design-led research project with specific focus on investigating new ways to communicate the energy we consume when boiling a kettle. The project provides new models and concepts that demonstrate and translate the unit of energy – the ‘kilowatt hour’ into parameters that are easier to comprehend: time and temperature. New forms of expressing these phenomena are demonstrated through a series of artefacts and images that communicate its value; implicitly as well as explicitly, in the language of our consumer culture.

Time is communicated within a clock face. Starting the kettles boiling process starts the clock, illustrating the time taken for one boil and a collective boiling time over the kettles lifetime. 

Temperature is communicated through a glass thermometer. Showing the temperature of the water before boiling begins. Giving an informed decision on the desired temperature before use.

I believe in creating a world of pleasure and longevity. That as designers we hold a responsibility to work and empathise others, with a desire to create poetic, beautiful and exquisite products within the context of their brief. Creating harmony between problem and solution. Through a sensitive human-centered and empathic approach to design, we can truly connect with people and place. Observing, listening and communicating with those who we are designing for. Absorbing aspects of their behaviour and attitudes giving an honesty towards their individual needs, gaining insights into the world of others be this business or the user.

Faceted Lighting System//James Filbin



I have used Parametric Design through algorithmic programming, and hope to further explore printed objects in relation to the everyday home ware. I am also currently working on modular systems and their implementation on a varying scale, from lighting systems to structural components with the same physical properties throughout enlargement. His work strongly features how a user’s experience is defined by the product or service, and taking the context of an object to reclaim its identity.

As the line between the digital and physical world begins to fade the ability to communicate the conceptual design into actuality is a mere 10 - 14 shipping days away. This evolution in production has generated new materials, manipulated current ones and will continually enhance opportunities for designers.

Using additive manufacturing along side well established techniques the FLS aims to enrich your personal well being by augmenting your perception of the space.

To achieve this the user controlled lighting generates a range full of flavours to choose from, allowing for a personal colour scheme. Its important for the FLS to be emotive whilst both in use and idle so the addition of coloured facets allows for the FLS to remain a focal point regardless of its intermintency.

The structural rigidity reflected in the harsh angles of the facets is offset by the warm light breaking through its translucent faces. Its simplicity runs only skin deep as the systemic complexity maintains a strong presence with in the enviroment.




An exploratoin into a creative process
As designers, our role in society is to create, innovate, help and solve problems however big or small. The process of getting to these solutions or ideas is different and varied for each designer. As we search for new ideas, the processes we use to get them are becoming as important than the end product. 

Characteristic Branding is a creative process used to help generate new ideas and thoughts. It takes subjects and their characteristics to form ideas around possible products, then using the characteristics as a way of branding the products. The process creates idea generation, as well as producing a link between the subject and the product, fabricating a more considered and connected product. Its aims are to show just how effective something as simple such as a single characteristic can be to help us as designers be more creative than ever. 

An example exploration would be taking a personality like Kanye West, and his disruptive characteristics. A suitable product to design would be an alarm clock due to its disruptive nature. It is then designed with disruption in mind, taking into account ‘disruption’ in terms of colour, material, size and sound, then branded with details based on his secondary characteristics.

Sometimes it’s what you can’t see that makes things great. From design details to emotions and senses, I believe it’s the connection a user forms with a product subconsciously that makes design so powerful. My design ethos is based around the idea of brand, and how the experience of branding can make people inclined to buy into products. Throughout my time at Plymouth, I’ve been trained in Product Design, but my exploration and interests have been brand orientated. I’ve designed products around brands, designed brands and then products and created identities around brands. I want to take branding as far as it can go and I’m looking to pursue my interest in branding in my future career.

Runecycle - Lisa Taurer and María Parejas



Runecycle – Lisa Taurer and María Parejas
My name is Lisa Taurer and I am from Graz in Austria and I am here on an exchange programme studying Graphic Communication with Typography.
My name is María Parejas and I am from Argentina and I am already a product designer. I got my first degree in product design back in Argentina, so this is my second degree in Graphic Design and Communications. I am also here as part of an exchange programme. I chose Plymouth because of the facilities, it was one of the best. We are both very lucky because we do not have as much access to facilities like 3D printers or laser cutters back home so we are really enjoying this experience and making the most of it. 

What is your product?
Our brand is Runecycle and we have developed a series of rings based on ancient runes.

We had the choice of working individually or in pairs, so we decided to team up, especially with María’s background as a product designer. It was really lovely to come together and combine our knowledge and skills as one. María loves rings, so we decided to go with that but we wanted to create something that was meaningful for the user, not just fashionable. We wanted the rings to represent individualism, so we created 28 rings from runes, each containing a different meaning and different letters from the alphabet. 

The runes come from the Anglo Saxons so from there we just picked the runes that we thought were the most significant and most powerful. Some of the meanings are fire, emotions, wealth and strength. Our favourite is strength, warrior and beauty. 

We didn't just want to make something that was pretty but empty. We wanted to make something that means something to people. The trend today is having something that is individual and something special to you. We wanted something completely personalised and that means something to the user. I think a lot of people will buy it because it stands for the letter of their name or their personalities. It’s a great gift when you want to wish someone strength, luck or love. It’s an easy way to give a ‘feeling’ as a present. 

What was your approach to creating your rings?
We did a lot of research about rings, and those being sold on ETSY, as well as runes. We wanted the making process to be as modern as possible and unusual for jewellery making so we decided to use laser cutting. To do this, we had to do research on modern technologies and we wanted the design to be really simple with clean fine lines. If we had used 3D printing it would have been more intricate but we wouldn't have been able to be as sustainable. We have made the rings from waste materials so that we could also make this a sustainable product. To combine these two things laser cutting was the best process to use. Currently, we use mostly left over acrylic to make the rings. We have black, orange, green and transparent acrylic. We currently sell them on ETSY for £5.

How did you develop the idea?
We researched lots of different things before we settled on runes. We also looked at the elements like air, water, fire and earth. We tried designing with many different meaningful symbols that we thought would be nice to have or wear. When we settled with runes we tried to find a way to include that into a shape that would be modern and easy to wear and one that people would like to have. It’s not just a rune, it’s something new, we have taken the basic lines of the runes and made something new.

How did you find using ETSY?
We had never used it before or even heard of it. It is such a great website and we will use it in the future for sure.  It was so nice to use and there are so many creative people and their stuff on there. It is quite easy to set up and easy to use and we have gotten a lot of inspiration from there. We also looked at laser cut jewellery so that we could see how they promote themselves and how they present themselves with pictures and pricing. We will continue to sell on ETSY along with our social media pages because it has been very easy.

As a seller, is there anything that ETSY can do to better the selling experience?
Yes, there is one thing. For our product we have 28 different designs and we sell them in different colours and three different sizes. You are able to upload one product, and pick the sizes and colours you wish to sell, but not how many you are selling. You are not able to inform the customer how many rings that are left in each size and colour. We have to manually update the information, which can cause problems.

What is next for Runecycle?
We have already begun our next project, which involves the left over material from the centre of the rings. We want to use every bit of material to create something new in the future, maybe make some bracelets or necklaces. It’s another window to branch in to something new. It is important that we use every bit of the ring, even the centre. Everything down to our packaging and business cards has a sustainable aspect to it. We have made everything from recycled materials and we want to keep it that way. There is so much going on in the environment right now and we want to help even if it is not that big.




Can you tell me about yourself?
I am 21 years old and I am from Italy. My passions include literature, photography and films. I came to Plymouth because it allows me to study Typography as well as Graphic Communication. Graphics can be quite general so I thought that this would be very interesting to look at Typography as well. This course is much more focused on projects rather than theory so it’s nice that this allows me to be in an environment that is like the world of work. 

What did you create for your ETSY project?
I created a brand that would appeal to film buffs so basically a pattern has been created for each film which customers can select. The selected pattern is used to create a box, inside the box there is a description of the film along with a head band or bow tie that they can wear. Depending on the film a note book or some form of stationary may also be included. All of these products have the film pattern print on them. People are also able to buy things in isolation for example you can buy just the head band or a pair of socks as the box is quite expensive. 

I am quite passionate about films so I wanted to choose films that where not so mainstream. I was trying to pick up a specific target market on ETSY as there are so many people on there. 

What inspired your project?
As I love films I wanted to make a piece that would be something that I would like to buy as a film lover. I felt that the bow tie and the head band represent my personality more. I looked around on ETSY and I realised that there are quite a lot of people like me so I wanted to target them particularly. Some of my friends also thought it would be cool to give as a gift to friends so after that I decided to go forward with the project. 

What was your approach to creating the product?
I started by watching the films and summarising each story by creating tables with drawings inside of them. From this I began to create the patterns for each film based on what I had drawn in my summary. I decided that I would then use screen printing to carry on the process so I tried a lot of different colours to see which looked the most interesting. After screen printing I moved on to using the magic touch paper that would allow me to print my design on to fabric. The final part was to begin making the prototypes so I started sewing a lot of headbands and bowties to see how it would all look with the different patterns on. For the packaging I wanted something quite different so I created boxes using a laser cutter so that all of the individual items could be nicely packaged within one space. 

How did you develop your idea?
I think I already had the idea in my mind before the assignment was given to us so it was a really easy process. I knew exactly what I needed to do because it was something I would have wanted. When selecting what products would go in to the box I looked at what accessories were the most popular on ETSY in 2014, bow ties and headbands were some of the most successful products sold. I also chose these two because they are both quite hipster products so I was able to target specific people within ETSY. 

Why did you choose to make this product?
Because I love films and I wanted the opportunity to create a product that represented myself. We do not often get the opportunity to just create something we want, we often have a brief or a client so this allowed all of us to just make something we wanted to. You put a lot of effort in to the development of the product, you spend a lot of hours designing and making it. I was sewing throughout the night to get this project finished so of course it naturally means a lot to me and it is a very important piece for that reason. 

Were you aware of ETSY before this project?
Yes, I was aware that it existed but I had never used it I didn't really have a reason to. Working on this project has changed that I have already begun selling things online. I found it really easy to use I was quite surprised. You just have to upload a picture and add a description, it was very uncomplicated. I personally made the decision to only make one box per film so once it has been sold on ETSY that is it, there are no more they are one of a kinds, for now.