Design Show 2010


The Design Show is held each year for an invited audience of local industrialists and designers. Students put together displays to explain the technical and business ideas behind the products, together with design details and prototype models of the products themselves.




Design projects




An urban vehicle concept with a retractable wheel base that enables the vehicle to park in small spaces

Parking space is at a premium in many of today’s modern and congested cities. Statistics from research at MIT show that approximately 40% of fuel is used in the search for a space in which to park. Reducing this excessive, wasteful and environmentally damaging use of fuel is an important part of reducing the effects of emissions from vehicles.


Having the minimum sized passenger compartment for 2 people and luggage the E3 has a passenger pod of 1.4 x 1.35m. This pod size enables 3 vehicles to be parked in a normal sized parking space. However, the size of this wheelbase causes instability at speed. We have therefore created a retractable wheelbase concept that enables stability whilst driving, but maintains the small size when the vehicle is parked.


Team: Emma Burrow, Julia Toynton, Sufyan Khan, Robert Hayes


 Wheels extended

Wheels retracted




An integrated foot and ankle prosthetic offering greater flexibility at a competitive price

Although the number of devices available in the lower limb prosthetic market has grown significantly in recent years, so too have the prices. Ever-increasing high levels of technology mean that many of these devices are well beyond the price range of potential customers.

The design of the Ascend offers an integrated foot and ankle joint that gives greater flexibility to the user. The unique design of the heel and toe allow for a much livelier response, more closely mimicking the action of a human foot; it also offers greater stability. The increased functionality of the foot and ankle joint gives the user the freedom and confidence to traverse uneven terrain in comfort.

Team: Rebecca Cuthbertson, Hannah Wells, Sahil Shah, Mia Liu




Your picture is worth a postcard

Getting the perfect photo on holiday can be difficult. Our product allows tourists to photograph themselves perfectly positioned in a picturesque location. The photo is instantly printed as a unique postcard to send to your loved ones or retained as a keepsake.


Post-Me is a fixed unit incorporating a camera and printer. The device has been designed to operate as simply as possible – the tourist inserts the coins, a photo is taken and then printed out as a postcard. There are no similar products that provide these functions in one system. We will work with tourist attractions to place our devices in locations that guarantee the perfect photo.

Team: Juliette Sanders, Peter Thum-Bonanno, Emma Yau




Improving quality of life for MS sufferers

There are 100,000 sufferers of Multiple Sclerosis in the UK alone, coping with symptoms such as reduced stability, balance and fatigue. Their mobility needs are currently unsatisfactorily met by products on the market, which are too ugly and unfashionable for this younger demographic, and too limited in their functionality, being a hindrance and socially awkward to use on a daily basis.

FlikStik aims to provide convenience, freedom and comfort for MS patients and those with other neurological disorders with similar symptoms. FlikStik combines a walking stick with features that allow dropped items to be retrieved and an internal mechanism that enables the stick to become self-standing when required. A strong focus on aesthetics also seeks to make this daily aid either discreet or flamboyant, to fit with the individual’s character.

Team: Emma Dabbs, Chris Bryan, Eesa Mohammed







A solution to the need for safe and effective disposal of Auto-Disable syringes appropriate for the developing world

Each year millions of people in the developing world are exposed to the risk of infection due to the reuse of unsterilized syringes, causing an estimated 1.3 million early deaths worldwide. Mechanisms that prevent the syringe from being used more than once – so-called ‘Auto Disable’ (AD) syringes - have been developed. However, the problem of safe syringe disposal remains largely unsolved. With the rapid uptake of AD technology, this is an issue which is set to become increasingly prevalent.


Our solution involves separating the ‘sharps’ or needles from the less dangerous plastic syringe body at the point of use, thus reducing the volume of critical waste produced. This makes appropriate incineration and transport to incineration facilities feasible where it has before not been an option. We have re-designed the syringe itself to make the separation action and the equipment as cheap, simple and safe as possible.


Team: Adrian Wallis, Harry Simpson, Luke Jesson


FloDrive Turbine


Easy-to-install hydropower generator


This design is a small run-of-river hydropower solution, initially capable of providing up to 1 kW of power in rivers. The main product offering consists of a turbine, generator unit and supporting structure. It weighs approximately 500 kg and is 12 x 0.5 x 1 m when deployed, but compacts to a box of 3 x 2 x 2 m for transporting.


The FloDrive Turbine is intended to be as easy to install as possible, with no special infrastructure required. It should take less than a day to install, require no specialist equipment, and would be possible for untrained individuals to accomplish a successful installation. The electricity generated would be output in DC to charge batteries or AC to power homes, complementing available grid power.


Team: Deniz Erkan, Ned Stuart-Smith, Li Jiang


The Mark 1


The Africa wheelchair revolution

The World Health Organisation estimates that around 150 million people in the world's poorest countries who would benefit from a wheelchair, cannot afford one. Charities struggle to address this need due to the sheer scale of the problem, and often deliver donated chairs which cannot meet the requirements of all-terrain use.


Our design aims to address these issues by designing an affordable wheelchair from scratch to meet its user’s needs. Excluding the wheels, existing wheelchairs are assembled from around 100 components; the Mark 1 has only three: two sides of a chassis and the chair it supports, at a material cost of under $10. The three-wheeled configuration allows for greater manoeuvrability over rough terrain, and front-driven wheels benefit users with limited shoulder movement and strength. By careful material selection and design for mass manufacture, the potential scale of production would make a sizeable impact on meeting the needs of those who currently cannot afford a wheelchair.


Team: Xiong Chang, Sophie Burgess, Chris Stanyon




A bicycle that grows

Currently, bikes are designed for a relatively narrow body size variation. We have developed a bicycle frame that can accommodate anyone; age 10 – 100, male or female. It is a completely self-contained bike that ‘grows’ with the user. You will never need to throw your favourite bike away as you can now have a ‘Bike for Life’. The main inspiration behind this product was to provide children in developing countries with a safe means to travel to school. Children often have to adapt to riding bikes that are significantly too big for them, by sitting on the cross bars and hoping they don’t crash!

Using ergonomic data and research into the ideal riding position, we have created a V-shaped frame that can be easily extended or shortened to accommodate any user from age 10 onwards, using standard quick release clamps. Other special features include a low cross bar which will allow users to ride while wearing a dress, shorter crank length to allow maximum power transmission for most people and hub gears for differential cycling speed.

Team: CJ Hou, Oscar Chan, Jen McCann





Combining construction and creativity in a product where imagination is the key

Young children grow up in an over-stimulating world where television and media can dominate. However, it is in these age groups that the next generation are rapidly developing their minds, personalities and imaginations – through their interactions and experiences.

In contrast to most construction toys on the market, building with MakeAShape is not only a means to an end but also the play itself. Two lengths of rod and three different shapes combine into abstract sculptures, and are then transformed into dens, rockets, castles... Shapes and spaces grow as the construction continues, and the modularity of the components allows the build to evolve and change naturally as it goes on.

Team: Michael Parrott, Dominic Thompson, Silas Yuen








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