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Posted 27.02.20

Product Design students design awards for Devon and Cornwall Building Forum

By Naomi Girdler

Left: A render of the proposed award design Right: The finished wooden award

Students from our BA (Hons) Product Design & Innovation course designed the awards for the Building Forum for Devon and Cornwall Awards at the end of last year.

Approached by the Building Forum, the students had a short amount of time to come up with concepts and ideas for an initial design.

The Building Forum for Devon and Cornwall is a group of local construction professionals who host a number of social networking events throughout the year.  

Run by a committee of architects, engineers, surveyors and contractors, the Forum helps break down boundaries by providing opportunities to socialise with fellow professionals with proceeds from events donated to worthwhile local causes.

The final concept, a combined effort from the students involved, was to create a small microcosmic environment representing architecture and architectural iconography. Elements that represent different types of buildings identified mostly by the shape of their roof were combined into a block.

Represented in the design of the award were buildings of fortification, religion, industry and residency, spanning through different ages of architecture.

“As the award represented excellence in architecture, we wanted to incorporate those architectural elements, which was how the shapes evolved."
- Jack Rogers, Product Design & Innovation student

Senior Lecturer and Subject Leader Kevin Jenkins took the concepts and developed them into computer-aided designs, ready to present to the Building Forum for approval. 

The model was made by hand and by woodturning using American black walnut wood. The award was then assembled and the logo of the Building Forum added using state of the art laser cutting facilities at the college.

Because the students worked together on the design project, they decided to put their prize money for creating the awards towards a group BA (Hons) Product Design & Innovation budget, which contributes towards group events, field trips and supplies for students.

Subject leader Kevin Jenkins said: “This kind of collaborative live brief is always welcomed at Plymouth College of Art. The students were able to imagine a host of ideas, agreeing on a concept that incorporated various aspects of historical construction and was perfectly suited to what the Building Forum is all about. The design is quite toy-like, it’s a bit of a game of architectural history. It’s the kind of concept that could be designed into a chess set, for example.”

Student Jack Rogers, whose concept formed the basis for the design, attended the black-tie awards ceremony where the Building Forum announced their Building of the Year.

Product Design student Jack Rogers

Student Jack said: “Many of the previous awards for the Building Forum had been quite traditional in style, so myself and the team knew we wanted to create something more modern; a prestigious looking award you’d want to display.

“As the award represented excellence in architecture, we wanted to incorporate those architectural elements, which was how the shapes evolved. We discussed different materials and since we knew we wanted to use the facilities in the college, decided on wood and utilized the woodworking workshop. 

“It was great to see the finished product, and I really enjoyed the project. It was a professional experience and gave me insight as to how live briefs work within the industry.”