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Sustainable Design is embedded into every 3D Design project

2nd year 3D Design students worked with Plymouth's nursing students to make future healthcare more sustainable.
Using scenario sessions, design students observe their counterparts working on clinical procedures, discuss issues and generate designs together.
These have been prototyped and tested as part of their design degree, and several are being developed for production. Sep 14

Upcycling in Style
Graduate Ian Reveley's Carpet Waste Chair wins an Awareness Award, an annual design competition that rewards creative re-use of carpet waste for new innovative products.
"The jury was very pleased with this chair, because of the way the waste carpet material was used, not only as a covering, but as part of the structural solution ...
Especially the liaison with the waves of the sound was found in the way the carpet is folded together and gives nice looks and comfort."
Ian graduated from Plymouth in 2012 winning the Devon Guild prize and exhibiting at 100% Design. Photo courtesy Awareness Award. Jun 14


Think fibreglass, but with wool. Solidwool is a unique, strong and beautiful composite material.
Justin set up Solidwool after graduating from our MA Design.
Using fleece from upland UK sheep from his home town of Buckfastleigh, once a centre of the woollen industry, Justin have developed this new way of working with wool.
Returning from Milan exhibiting with Designersblock, they can announce that the Hembury Chair will soon be stocked in two major furniture design stores in the UK.
Photo courtesy Solidwool. Apr 14

Field Trip in search of greenwood designs
Students on the annual Carousel project gained insights into greenwood working at John Makepeace's Hooke Park and Guy Mallinson's Woodland Workshop.
Besides climbing into Cocoon Pods and experimental buildings, students walked over a wooden suspension bridge built over 20 years ago by their tutor Roy Tam.
Guy, who was featured in the BBC series Mastercrafts, now runs an all-year Glamping site, where guests enjoy chair making, organic food and Somerset Cider.
At the end of the 6 week project, students proposed designs for batch produced greenwood products, as well as built a full size bridge as a team. Feb 13

Another 1st Prize RSA Student Design Awards
A campaign to extol the benefits of beekeeping have earned 2 students the 1st Prize in the 'Change Makers' category of the prestigious Royal Society of Arts Student Design Awards.
MA Design students Meredith Thompson and Nicole Shadbolt's project aims to improve food safety in local communities.
It uses the circular economy to create bee-friendly communities that educate neighbourhoods, benefitting the environment and reducing the future cost of food.
3D Design students from Plymouth University has been consistently been featured in the RSA Student Awards, covering the areas of medical, social, communication, transport and ceramics. May 13

Sustainable Design Challenge in China

3D Design Students triumph in international design competition
A team of students from Plymouth University have won 75% of awards in an international design competition in China.
The group travelled to Guangzhou where they went up against 15 other universities, 9 from the UK and 6 from China, in a British Council organised project.
The aim of the competition was for the students to spend two weeks creating designs for the 'upcycling' of Chinese industrial leftovers.
And the Plymouth team came away with three-quarters of the total awards, including the individual award for the best student design and the most outstanding group project.
Pete Davis, Programme Leader for MA Design, accompanied the students and said:
"Successes on a global scale such as this only goes to emphasise Plymouth's international reputation as a world class university.
The students deserve huge congratulations for their designs and their efforts over the two weeks, both qualities truly inspired the competition judges."
(May 2012)

green university award

Plymouth has been named as the UK's top university in environmental performance
The annual People & Planet Green League table ranks the University of Plymouth consistently in the top two - out of over 130 universities.
High environmental standards are part of the University's core business.
Plymouth enjoys leading research with the Centre for Sustainable Transport and is developing a new Sustainability Institute on the success of the University's Centre for Sustainable Futures.
The Green League is the only league table ranking all UK universities by environmental performance.

Real Japanese Lacquer Workshop
Plymouth students took part in a Real Japanese Lacquer one-day workshop with Bill Tingey, a rare chance in the UK to explore this versatile material.
Between hands-on sessions including brush trimming, they gained insights into its use as a decorative finish as well as a stiffener for flexible materials like paper or textiles.
Japanese lacquer is a truly organic finish, milked from trees and just needs warm humid air to cure to form a deep resilient finish.
To finish off the day, Bill demonstrated Japanese bamboo bending, using nothing more than a hot air gun - a workshop for a future occasion.

Laura Cahill at the Geffrye Museum's Eco Home feature
The mantra 'Reduce, Reuse, Recycle' is prompting us to change our habits and there are now a plethora of products out there to help us.
Graduate Laura Cahill's vases injects life into old books that cannot be easily recycled due to their glue.
The Geffrye Museum's Eco Home exhibition hopes to address, without preaching, widespread concerns about ecology and how this links to our homes and the way we inhabit them. Nov 09

Plymouth students exhibit at London's Eco Design Fair
A group of 2nd and 3rd year students exhibited their work at the Eco Design Fair alongside other sustainable businesses at Truman's Brewery on London's Brick Lane.
On show were lighting, benches, coat stands and accessories. (Nov 09)

Plymouth joins 10:10
10:10 is a project to unite every sector of British society behind one simple idea: that by working together we can achieve a 10% cut in the UK's carbon emissions in 2010.
10:10 is the perfect opportunity to discover what's possible when we work together. Let's get started. Join up. (Sep 09)

Showing at the Bristol Eco Design Show
A confident 2nd year Designer Maker student will be showing his work at the Bristol Design Festival's Eco Design Show alongside other established eco designers.
Michael Charlton will be showing his Plastic Bag Monster as well as this Fold Flat Stool that can be made from recycled Corex sheets.
Students who exhibited in previous years have benefitted greatly from this experience and are now show their work regularly. (May 09)

recycling bins and cycle parks at the university of plymouth
go green logo

Plymouth is UK's 2nd Greenest University
According to a national survey the Green League by People & Planet Plymouth is is ranked 2nd out of 120 UK universities and scored 52.5 points out of 60 for its green credentials.
Sustainability is being both taught and practiced, working closely with the University's Centre of Sustainable Futures, a Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. (Jul 08)

logo of new designers exhibition

sustainable lamp stand made from recycled books

Sustainable debate live on BBC TV
A Plymouth graduate was one of only two exhibitors selected by New Designers to take part in a debate on Sustainable Design live on BBC TV.
Laura Cahill discovered that glue in old books make them difficult to recycle, so she was determined to turn them into desirable objects like lighting, furniture and ornaments.
Her method ticks many boxes in sustainable design because it extends product live, uses less energy then recycling, requiring only local transport, and reduces landfill. (Jul 08)

woodfair tippee

Plymouth students at Woodfair SW
Sponsored by the University's Center of Sustainable Futures, Plymouth students showed the wonderful world of wood at
Woodfair Plymouth on Sat 10 May.
Schools and the public alike showed great interest in their work which included an oak bench, cnc machined stool, coffee tables and lounger all located in a 21' Tippee. (May 08)

sustainable chairs book of sit up 07 exhibition by re design

Graduates feature in [re]design book
Sustainable designs by Plymouth graduates were selected by [re]design to show at SitUp 07 in 100% Design.
Their work are now published in [re]design's book Sustainable Seating Stories (Apr 08)

Showing again at the London's Eco Design Fair (23-24 Nov 07)
After a triumphant showing in 2006, our brave 3rd year Designer Makers are showing off their work again at the Eco Design Fair alongside well established eco designers.
Those who exhibited while still in their 2nd Yr in 06 realise how useful their experience is and are now showing at national show regularly. (Nov 07)

Shorty, Tufty and Lofty goes East
After showing at [re]design's Sit Up, Sam Murat has been selected by the British Council's Climate Cool Exhibition to show her work to show in China.
As part of the China programme, 3 Grazing Sheep are travelling to Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing to educate people about climate change and sustainable consumption. (Oct 07)

recycled chair

Independent's 'Best Buy'
The Independent chose Claire Heather's Once-A-Door chair as the Best Buy out of their search for the top 10 recycled chairs. Produced to commission,
Claire uses customers' surplus doors and window frames to assemble bespoke items. To minimise environmental impact, just a single steel cable is used. (Jun 07)

exhibition stand sketch

Students design sustainable exhibition stand

For New Designers 07, Plymouth students designed their own eye-catching reusable 'Snake' exhibition stand in sustainable birch ply. Plinths were made in Strawboard, an alternative to chipboard, composed of 80% straw.
The scheme was supported by the university's Centre of Sustainable Futures, a class leading unit which embeds a global culture of sustainability into university teaching. (Jul 07)

Students star at Homes For Good Show
Plymouth students exhibiting at Homes For Good show took part in a debate with Julie Davenport on the BBC's 'Inside Out' West on climate change.
Their sustainable designs on show (9-10 Feb 2007) included Recycled Seating, Sustainable Tourism and Energy Saving Radiators and Lighting. (Feb 07)

ice lolly has seeds to encourage planting

BBC features Tree Planting Lollies
Graduating student Alex Worswick's sustainable project caught the eye of the BBC web news team.
Designed to encourage children to do more planting, the empty lolly sticks come with seeds which are pushed into the ground. (Jun 07)

Students take part in London's Eco Design Fair (2 Dec 06)
A group or 2nd and 3rd year students have been invited to show off their on-going work at the Eco Design Fair alongside well established eco designers.
On show were items for sale including furniture and lighting, as well as project proposals such as Sustainable Tourism and Recyclable Packaging.
Their eco tutors Asaf Tolkovsky and Roy Tam also showed their work, and Roy gave a slide talk about his experiences at Hooke Park and Trannon Furniture. (Dec 06)

ReThinking Design Conference, Dublin
'How long does it take to change a light bulb? ... 131 years' is one of the headlline highlighting the advances in energy saving at Ireland's leading sustainable event.
A few brave 3rd years and their tutor Roy Tam engaged with top industrialists and authors at Cultivate's Rethinking Design: Towards a Low-Carbon World.
Rubbing shoulders with design students were renowned speakers including Alastair Faud-Luke, author of the Eco Design Handbook, and Frank O'Connor of Design Wales.
An exhibition of eco designs by Plymouth's student representatives went on public show.
'Cooling a can of Coke cost more energy than producing and getting it to you' ... so we had Guinness instead. (Oct 06)

Plymouth students at London Design Festival
Plymouth 3rd years rubbed shoulders with established eco companies at Eco Design Day during the London Design Festival.
On show were prototypes and projects to solve problems on waste reduction, recycling, and to encourage planting, use of sustainable materials, and involving young people.
The work by Alex Worswick, Adam Male and Hannah Spender were joined by 2005 graduate Colin Lovekin's Sainsburys Trolley Armchair, and tutor Roy Tam's low impact furniture.
Along with great feedback, the group gained valuable experience and an invitation to show their work at the Eco Design Fair on 2 Dec in London. (Sept 06)

eco design day exhibition standeco design day at trinity touy wharf opposite the millenium domecastor chair from a recycled washing machine drumplant a seed when you finish your ice lolly projecteco design day recycled sainsburys shopping trolley armchair exhibiteco design day recycled washing machine tub chair exhibit

Plymouth taking part at London Design Festival
Three brave Plymouth 3rd years will be showing their 2nd year work at the Eco Design Day at the London Design Festival.
The 1-day event is at Trinity Buoy Wharf, which houses the only Lighthouse in London and offers a shining example of sustainable building design with its Container City,
studios and offices built from converted shipping containers. Look out for the Plymouth stand. (Aug 06)

eco design day poster

Plymouth graduate and tutors promote Eco showhouse
No sooner had the dust settled on Alex Langston's dining set, and they are off to enhance the latest Eco Show House in Reading by eco-minded developers St James.
The showcase of sustainability features solar tiles, wind turbine, hot water exchanger and grey water recycling, and Alex's minimal contemporary style fitted the bill well.
Also sharing the limelight are eco furniture by senior tutor Roy Tam and visiting lecturer Jonathan Wright. More photos soon ... (Jul 06)

stools made of ply sheets cut by computerise routing

Willow Workshop
Expert basket weaver and willow grower Malcolm Seal gave a talk and workshop to our Carousel Projects.These 4 sustainable projects not only team up
over 80 students from the 1st and 2nd years, but also allow them to cross over each other's disciplines, eg. an interior student can learn earth fired ceramics. (Mar 06)

malcolm's willow seat

NATIONAL PUBLICITY: Plymouth 2005 graduate Colin Lovekin's Armchairs made from end-of-life Sainsbury's trolleys
received national newspaper, BBCi, local TV and Channel 4 coverage. (Aug 05)

Wire frame armchair made from end of life supermarket trolley

Visiting Speakers
A mouth watering line up of visiting lecturers is hitting Plymouth's courses, starting with

Shin Azumi

Internationally renowned designer and visiting lecturer.

Alastair Fuad-Luke

Internationally renowned design researcher, visiting lecturer and author of The Eco-design Handbook.

Edwin Datschefski

Talk and workshop by internationally renowned consultant and author of The Total Beauty of Sustainable Products.

Alastair and Edwin are speaking to Plymouth's 3D Design course at their annual Carousel Project, where not only 1st yrs team up with 2nd yrs,
but they also work across all disicplines. (Feb 06)

Links to Ecological websites:

: Sustainability Research at Plymouth Uni.

GREEN PROVIDERS DIRECTORY: goods and services including renewable energy, fair trade goods, news on the environment, recycling, energy efficiency, climate change.

GREENER BY DESIGN: Unique green corporate consultant Edwin Datschefsk's well balanced view's on sustainable design.

ECO ARTWARE: Gifts from recycled, reused or natural materials.

ECO DESIGN FRANCE: Sensitising you to ecodesign.

LA-MEDITTERRANEA: Spanish online shop for products that respect the environment.

O2: International network for sustainable design which Roy Tam is a UK representative.

RE-F-USE: Cross out the F, and it becomes reUse.

REESTORE: Contemporary furniture made solely from discarded items rather than raw materials.

S L O W D E S I G N: Take your time and slow down.

TEMPLE DESIGN: Design focused on economic, environmental and socio-cultural well-being.

TREE HUGGER: US web magazine dedicated to everything that has a modern aesthetic yet is environmentally responsible.

VALUE CREATED REVIEW: Canada's e-journal for contemporary furniture and sustainable SMEs.

VIVAVI: Life, style, planet.

RECYCLE NOW: Public service website with lots of eco-quotes.

HOW GREEN IS YOUR MDF?: Your choices for 2006.

ZERO FOOTPRINT: Content hub linking people towards a more sustainable lifestyle.

Links to websites on Ecological Buildings:

AECB: The association of Environment Conscious Building design and eco material sourcing.

GREEN BUILDING PRESS: 3 unbiased publications: Building for a Future Magazine, Green Building Bible, and GreenPro product directory.

SHIGERR URBAN ARCHITECTS: Amazing cardboard tube architecture structures.

TIMBERBUILD: Promoting sustainable use of local timber in buildings.

WOOD AWARDS: Winners and competition entry for good designs in wood.

NEWS! . Sustainability . Graduates . Teaching staff . BA Degrees . MA Degrees . Degree Show . Research . Links . Contact . How to apply . Design Shop . Open Days

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Contact Roberto Fraquelli, School of Architecture & Design, Faculty of Arts, University of Plymouth, Roland Levinsky Building, Plymouth PL4 8AA, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1752 585 170

Updated 19 Sep 2014
Copyright Roy Tam University of Plymouth 2006-8