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Godfrey Syrett and Teesside University Designing a Partnership for the Future

19th December 2013, 17:00pm

A recent collaboration between Godfrey Syrett and Teesside University gave second year Product Design students an opportunity to develop their skills and gain a real taste of the working world. As a business we were hoping to be presented with innovative and up-to-the-minute product ideas which could be added to our existing product portfolio.

The students were able to choose a design brief from the following areas:
  1. Furniture for the future office
  2. Furniture to create a better learning environment (creative spaces or teaching in flexible spaces)
  3. Collapsible and flexible office furniture
The students visited our manufacturing facilities to gain an understanding of the different processes undertaken to design and manufacture furniture products. This greatly contributed to their research and aided the decision process between design aesthetics and manufacturing capabilities.

Developed over a 9 month period the NPD Live Project reached an exciting finale as the students attended a presentation at the Godfrey Syrett Head Office on December 3rd 2013.
A coveted first prize of £200 went to David Spence for his design of an inspirational transparent chair, a second and third place prize of £100 went to Aaron Moffitt for his space maximising dome pod design, and Nathan Ashford for his versatile fold down office space.

Three of the student’s designs were selected for prototyping by the business, this included Scott Henzell’s futuristic Chair; Daniel Swales’ stylish stacking chair with wing arm design and Jessica Kirkby’s playfully designed Butterfly Table. The initial prototypes were displayed and discussed at the presentation. The students were all very proud of their achievements and were thrilled to see their designs taking shape.


Peter Reid, Senior Lecturer; Product Design & Enterprise, from Teesside University, gave the following feedback on the opportunity.

“Our collaborative project gave the students a fantastic opportunity to learn, at first hand, how commercial constraints impact on the design process. Presentations by Craig and Mike gave a great insight into the company and the factory visit helped the students gain a better understanding of the manufacturing process. It is very exciting that some of the designs have already been prototyped and I would like to thank all those involved at Godfrey Syrett for making this happen. We will be holding an exhibition of some of the designs at the university in the New Year.
I am very pleased with the outcome of the project and the developing relationship we have with Godfrey Syrett. We have already seen two students undertaking summer placements with you in the product and graphic design areas. This academic year will see another live project, this time involving our interior design students.
Working with significant industry Partners such as Godfrey Syrett ensures that our practice as design educators remains current and relevant. I very much look forward to developing our relationship in the future and I am sure that many exciting projects and collaborations lie ahead.”



Craig Billingham, our Financial Director commented

“Godfrey Syrett is delighted to have been involved with this project. We felt that the quality of the submission was excellent and exceeded our expectations. Initial market testing suggests that some of the products may be viable for full manufacture and potentially will be available in 2014 as part of our offering to clients.” 

The project has been a resounding success and all students were praised for their dedication and hard work.