Leading bathroom supplier HiB has partnered with the University of Wolverhampton for a project aimed at inspiring the next generation of product designers. As part of the collaboration, HiB has sponsored the university’s Interior Design, Furniture Design and Product Design degree courses which are delivered by the University’s Wolverhampton School of Art.
Steve Kaye, Marketing Director for HiB and in-house Product Designers Dan Cook and Rob Stiff visited the University to host a presentation which offered an insight into the bathroom industry, HiB’s position as a manufacturer and current trends. Students were also given a brief to produce a product concept that pushes the boundaries of innovation and goes beyond conventional design. The brief offers the students the opportunity to explore ideas that could complement any of HiB’s mirror, cabinet, accessories and HiB Novum furniture ranges.
Steve said: “At HiB, we feel that it is incredibly important to support the next generation of product designers and offer opportunities which spark innovation and creativity. The partnership with the University of Wolverhampton has been a chance for us to contribute to their learning and offer an insight into the industry today. We’re really looking forward to seeing what ideas the students produce and their perspective on trends and styles within the bathroom industry.”
The partnership is set to continue for the remainder of the year, with students asked to present their findings at the end of the semester.
Rhys Thomas, Senior Lecturer 3D Design at the University, said: “One of our core values in the 3D Design Department is to promote employability and skills development relevant to the evolving needs of industry. There is no better way to validate these skills than to provide students with the opportunity to engage with our industry partners and challenge their creativity with real projects and with a real company.
“Projects such as the one with HiB provide students with valuable insight into the challenges of working to deadlines while meeting the requirements of the design brief. Live projects are vital to build creative confidence in students while equipping them with real life skills in preparation for the careers ahead of them.”
Adam Heath, Product Design Degree student, said: “I’m thankful for the opportunity HiB and the Design Team at the University has given us. This will not only give me some valuable experience working with an industry leading company, but has also given me a platform to showcase my design skills.”
Rebecca Lewis-Knight, Interior Design Degree student, said: “Having the opportunity to design for HiB and be involved in a live brief is really exciting. It has facilitated exposure to a new area of industry and I have gained a greater understanding of bathroom accessories and technology across the market.
“Trend based research has opened my eyes to the possibility of integrated clever technology within the home and I look forward to presenting a fresh design solution to the company which will help make bathrooms beautiful, functional and most importantly desirable.”