Five Brunel University students shortlisted for innovative product designs in Kebony competition

Five students have had their designs shortlisted in a product design competition, held by Kebony, a leader in the production of sustainable modified woods, in partnership with Brunel University London.

More than 140 students were invited to submit their initial designs to the esteemed judging panel which includes: Dr Eujin Pei, programme director for Brunel University’s BSc Product Design and BSc Product Design Engineering courses; Bert Beagley Brown, founder of TOG Knives; David Morris, editor of Design Exchange and Arnt Kristian Barsten and Ian Luzmore from Kebony.

After much deliberation, the judges marked all entries on a scale of one to five using a set of criteria which measured: the originality of the concept; the innovative use of Kebony wood and finally, the project viability. The five shortlisted candidates will now be provided with a sample of Kebony wood and a further £200 to spend on additional materials to execute their final designs.

The shortlisted candidates comprise: Maria Beatriz Inacio’s Kapau, the ultimate workout bench aesthetically designed for use in public spaces to blend into natural surroundings; Jake Chamberlin’s EcoFeeder, which strives to combat the short lifespan and often low aesthetic quality of traditional birdfeeders; Alex Dsouza’s Bus Shelter providing an urban organic design with community outreach projects and worker transportation in mind; Ollie Singleton’s Kompis Benk, a two person bench which can be extended to seat four – designed with a focus on structural efficiency, and finally Kaelum Van Der Berg’s musical take on the challenge, a beatbox made entirely of Kebony to showcase how the material can be used to create fresh and original sounds.

The candidates will all be asked to present their final designs to the judging panel at the end of May and the winning entrant will be awarded with a £1,000 cash prize.

Dr Eujin Pei, programme director for Brunel University’s BSc Product Design and BSc Product Design Engineering courses said: “I’m delighted with the success of the competition so far and I am extremely proud of the students and the concepts that have been created. I appreciate that a lot of hard work has gone into thinking of a product and presenting ideas to a judging panel and I have full confidence that the shortlisted entrants will demonstrate their remarkable skillset when developing their final product.”

Arnt Kristian Barsten, product and market development manager at Kebony added: “The calibre of entries was extremely impressive which made it difficult to select just five candidates for the shortlist. Having spent the day at the university to present Kebony’s unique qualities to the second year students, I was thrilled to experience their talent first-hand and very much look forward to seeing how the student’s designs have progressed in the final round.”

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