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Sonoco presented the students with a catalogue of their product's application. A guided tour of the Sonoco factory enabled our students to investigate the manufacturing process of a cardboard tube in terms of capabilities and limitations. With these insights, the students set out to discover areas of untouched application, with emphasis on the potential for large volume application in manufacturing processes.

The Design Opportunity:

Sonoco challenged MDI to innovate new market applications for an existing product. Opportunities for innovation involved scoping future possible applications for cardboard tubing in the manufacturing and commercial arenas, generating a volume of concepts to be presented to Sonoco.

The Project:

Five broad headings were created as starting points for exploration: transportation, environmental, structural, indoor/outdoor and inconceivable. MDI student teams designed and led workshops with fresh undergraduate students, operating free from the inhibitions that a deeper knowledge of the context can cause, in order to generate a high volume of ‘blue sky‘ concepts for each of these areas.

The ‘off the wall‘ ideas generated in the workshops acted as an excellent catalyst for the creative minds of the MDI students, who analysed and adapted the outcomes into commercially viable, technically feasible and exciting product pathways for Sonoco.

Several themes that had developed during the conceptualisation stages included: horticultural products, framework structures, novelty applications and furniture. The best concepts within each of the categories were developed into more solid proposals and presented to Sonoco.

The Result:

As well as a colourful insight into future possible applications for its products, Sonoco also went on a creative journey with the students, experiencing some unique approaches to thinking around idea creation.

Course info

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time

Location Northern Design Centre

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

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