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12th November 2020

Pupils successfully design products for black & blum competition

One of Oakham’s youngest designers has taken the top spot in a competition that saw them challenged to make food and drink ‘on-the-go’ products for teens.  

Dan Black, Co-founder & Lead designer at black+blum created the competition to encourage pupils to design products. The brief was to help the company to expand its adult lunch range into the teen market. Pupils were encouraged to design anything they wanted – water bottles, lunch boxes or accessories like cutlery and lunch bags that were specifically aimed at their age group.  The competition followed on from last year’s equally popular and successful Otter Box competition.  

All pupils were encouraged to take part, to think through the target market, to do some consumer research and to create a mood board of their unique product idea.  

Form 1 pupil, Emma, impressed Dan with her ‘Magnum Cooler’ to win the top prize of a £100 Amazon gift voucher.  “I loved the originality of this concept. It stood apart from the other ideas for being so different to anything else on the market. As designers, we are always looking for innovation and this idea definitely had it. I am sure if it was possible to take this concept into production, people would buy it… the ability to take your favourite ice cream indulgence with you would definitely resonate with people.  A great unique original idea… well done Emma!” 

Sixth Former, Amy, won joint runner up prize for her ‘Mix Bowl’ design.  Dan praised Amy for having “very clearly laid out research, lots of different concepts and an original idea at the end of it… and even built it up into CAD. I really liked the idea of having a mix function on a lunch bowl.”  

Third Former, Ollie, also garnered praise and the joint runner up spot for his ‘Lunch Bag and Bottle’ design. “I was very impressed with the research for this project and great to see a market survey was carried out to understand what aspects of a design people found important. We do similar studies whenever we design a product. The concepts were clearly illustrated with good attention to detail for individual features.” 

“It’s really important to give pupils the opportunity to think about product design,” says Head of Design Technology, Tim Weston. “It’s great to be able to offer inspiring competitions such as this to encourage design-thinking from an early age.”  Tim and Dan are both so passionate about inspiring Great Britain’s next generation of designers and engineers that they are now in talks to roll out a similar competition, nationally. 

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