Students’ water bottle design praise

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Harrogate Grammar School has been shortlisted to pitch to Sebastian Conran at the Design Museum for the 2016-17 Design Ventura.

A group of Year 10 students recently submitted their design project Aqua Hook, a water bottle that can be clipped to any loop outside of a bag to carry a bottle, into the seventh annual Design Venture challenge where they were shortlisted from 240 schools to the top ten.

The students - Oliver Bean, Seb Cassidy, Ben Jackson, Jonty Trott and Harris Calvert - pitched their product concepts to Sebastian Conran and a panel of design and business professionals at the new Design Museum in Kensington. The aim of Design Ventura, run by the Design Museum in partnership with Deutsche Bank’s youth engagement programme, Born to Be, is to develop students’ design and enterprise skills.

Sebastian Conran, one of the UK’s top industrial and product designers, who led the judging panel encouraged the young entrepreneurial designers recognising that they were essential to the UK economy.

“Good design comes out of communication and collaboration, as demonstrated by the shortlisted Design Ventura teams,” he said.

“Britain is great at design and we must enable the next generation to create outstanding products that compete for consumers’ needs and their emotional desires.

“This needs a school curriculum which does not marginalise creative subjects, where designers collaborate with scientists to combine the functional with the beautiful, and they can gain an understanding of the business.”

He added: “Maybe 2016 has demonstrated that it is soft emotions, as much as hard data, that wins out.”

Upon seeing the Aqua Hook design concept from Harrogate Grammar School, Sebastian commented: “It was the most commercial product he had seen in the several years of the competition.”

Students work to a live design brief set by professional designers for Design Ventura.

This year London-based designer, Asif Khan, who with Stanton Williams was recently chosen to design the new Museum of London at West Smithfield and a Design Ventura judge, set the theme Change.

Students receive mentoring from designers and essential business and enterprise skills from Deutsche Bank employees.

The Harrogate Grammar School students have been invited back to the Design Museum in February where they will attend a VIP event and the winning team will be announced. 

The work of the shortlisted teams will be showcased at the Museum and the winning team will see its product sold in the Design Museum shop on Kensington High Street, having been involved in all aspects of production, packaging, pricing and promotion. Profits from sales will go to the school’s chosen charity.