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RSPB

The Big Question for our Students:

How do you create a bird feeder or nest box that will remain fit for purpose but, at the same time will;
- Appeal to new markets
- Utilise environmentally friendly materials
- Continue to be an product that is affordable to make and buy

The Design Opportunity:

With half of all the adults in the UK looking after wildlife in their garden, nest boxes and bird feeders are more popular than ever.

Northumbria University and the RSPB teamed up to ask their undergraduates on the Design for Industry courses to think up new designs with a contemporary edge.

Project Scope:

To design and produce a contemporary yet innovative bird feeder or nest box for common garden birds and bats, that could be hung on a branch or fixed to a tree with only one fixing.

Phase One - What we did and how we did it:

The initial phase asked the students to consider the following:
- Environmental factors for daily use
- Specific use of size, form and use of colour
- Choice of material and manufacturing technique
- Transportation of the product to the point of sale and cost

The students were also required to use their general knowledge as well as undertaking detailed research of the current products on the market in order to gain an in-depth understanding of the subject area of nest boxes and bird feeders. Once complete students began the interim phase where they began working on their ideas. At the end of this phase students communicated their designs, detailing, function and uses along with detailed explanations of the front and side elevations of their proposed design, together with the chosen materials they intended to use to build the objects.

Phase Two - What we did and how we did it:

Having researched and designed their chosen item, the next phase was to progress these 2D designs into full-scale life like 3D models using their chosen materials.

In addition to this students had to detail their design journey by presenting a professional sales presentation board to the RSPB of their chosen products, which included photographic imagery of their chosen designs.

The Result:

Over 50 finished products were displayed in an exhibition at the School of Design, where three representatives from the RSPB attended and selected two winning designs by Rhydian Lewis and Matt Fenny. From here a selection of the finished products, including the two winning designs were chosen to be displayed at the RSPB Saltholme Wildlife Reserve and Discovery Park. 

Course info

UCAS Code W240

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2023 or September 2024

Fee Information

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