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Graduate’s ‘sound’ design idea wins prestigious national award

13th July 2015

A Northumbria graduate has been awarded a Red Dot prize for her innovative product design work at a global hi-fi manufacturer.

Emily Hesslegrave, who graduated from Northumbria in 2012, was awarded the prestigious Red Dot Award: Product Design 2015, for her creativity in producing the compact wireless speaker system, Airstream S200 for company, Monitor Audio Ltd.

The speaker system, with a footprint smaller than a single DVD case so that is requires minimal space, delivers powerful audio, with uniform sound distribution throughout an entire room thanks to its design.

Monitor Audio Ltd is a British owned and managed global specialist in hi-fi loudspeaker design. This prestigious award for the Airstream S200 is the third Red Dot prize that the company has won, and the first since working with Emily as their Product Designer.

The Design for Industry graduate said: “Winning a Red Dot Award for the first time as product designer is so exciting. A 38 member jury discuss and assess each entry but only designs that have won over the jury with their quality and innovation were given an award, so it is a great achievement for us.”

Emily, who has been working at Monitor Audio for almost three years, believes the skills she developed studying at Northumbria, prepared her fully for the working environment.

She said: “I would say that the two work placements I completed and the numerous live projects with leading brands whilst at Northumbria were invaluable in preparing me for the work environment.

“In my opinion, nothing can beat that kind of experience and they definitely helped me secure my job here at Monitor Audio.”

Mark Bailey, Principal Lecturer of the BA (Hons) Design for Industry said: “We’re absolutely delighted with Emily’s success in the prestigious Red Dot awards which are a benchmark for Industrial Design excellence. To achieve such an accolade so early in her career is a testament to Emily’s talent as a designer and professionalism.

BA (Hons) Design for Industry has nurtured to development of very many award-winning designers over the decades and it is always a pleasure to see our graduates achieving sustained success as they progress to through their careers. Well done Emily and the team at Monitor Audio!”

With her first success under her belt, Emily is now looking to the future. She said: “At Monitor Audio, I am constantly developing my knowledge of different manufacturing processes. I’m not sure what the future holds however thanks to Northumbria and the Design for Industry course, I know there will always be a supportive network of people around to help.”

Northumbria’s award-winning and internationally recognised School of Design offers a range of courses in this field. For more information on the University’s Design for Industry course, visit:

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