The BU community expects the unique from the Festival of Design & Engineering (FoDE), and this year’s show certainly promises to be that. Current world events mean FoDE 2020 will be showcased entirely online, but the students studying Product Design, Design Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Design still can’t wait to share what they’ve been sketching, crafting and prototyping.
Product Design student, Nicola Buxton said: “We watch our projects develop throughout the year so it’s so nice to see everyone’s final products displayed on the website. It’s especially rewarding to show our friends and family what we’ve been working on. The website gives us an opportunity to show our work to the public and begin our future careers.”
In previous festivals, the students would get a chance to network with some of the biggest names in design and engineering on the look out for the brightest future talent. Nicola’s project, Re:mind, focuses on reducing sleep deprivation in parents of young children by creating a visual stimulus to encourage the establishment of beneficial bedtime routines. It’s one of a diverse range of designs from this year’s event that aim to make the world safer, cleaner and happier.
This year’s FoDE entries include: a redesigned steam steriliser for HIV+ mothers to prevent mother-to-child transmission; a wearable solution to help with the early detection and rehabilitation of Parkinson’s disease; an automated shopping cart to aid the elderly and the physically handicapped; a security testing system for inflatable lifejackets, and more.
But this year, not only have the participants produced exciting and innovative work to be shared with a global audience, they’ve also donated all funds raised for the physical event to those affected by Covid-19.
Product Design student, Becca Yih, who developed an emotional communication aid for children who have been parentally bereaved, was one of the FoDE reps involved in organising the donation, alongside Nicola Buxton, Luke Slaney-Hewitt, Amber Howell, Reed Webb, Bethan Jones and Thomas Faragher.
The money was originally intended for exhibition equipment, catering, printing and other show-related costs. Becca said: “As soon as we realised FoDE wouldn't be going ahead in a physical form we were faced with the reality of what to do with the money. It was an obvious solution that if we couldn't use it to benefit our degree and the show, then it should go to people suffering most severely during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Becca continues: “We chose a few key charities such as the Trussell Trust, Age UK and Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospital, alongside fundraisers suggested by course members, such as Captain Tom and Aetha Design.”
The students explained the situation to friends, family members and those who had donated to the psychical event, then asked anybody who required a refund to contact them. Becca added: “We're also very grateful to the amazing people who donated in the first place for allowing us to use their generosity to benefit others. Without their kindness, this never would have been possible, and it's taught all of us that in times like these we can rely on each other.”
Whether online or in person, Becca feels the Festival of Design & Engineering is a fantastic way to represent her hard work to a wider audience. She added: “We won't let Covid-19 ruin our final year.”
See our YouTube playlist showcasing some of this year’s FoDE entries.