University launches My Big Furniture Idea competition to find Britain's young design talent

PUBLISHED: 18:00 03 November 2010 | UPDATED: 18:06 20 February 2013

University launches My Big Furniture Idea competition to find Britain’s young design talent

University launches My Big Furniture Idea competition to find Britain’s young design talent

Bucks New University is inviting school and college students to take part in its exciting competition, My Big Furniture Idea, now running for the second year.

The aim of the competition is to encourage more young people to become involved in the furniture industry and to continue the furniture-making legacy provided by the countys past generations.

The University is inviting school and college students to design a form of outdoor seating for use at their school or college and submit their entry into the national competition. There will be two entry categories, Key Stage 4 (age 14-15) and Key Stage 5 (age 16-18), and prizes will be awarded for first and second places in each category.

The winning design from each category will be manufactured in the University workshops, or, in the event of architectural scale designs, the University will build a professional scale model of the winning design.

The closing date for entries is Friday 17 December 2010, and the judging will take place during the week commencing 10 January 2011 with the winners announced a week later. Entrants to the My Big Furniture Idea competition are encouraged to consider issues of outdoor usage, sustainability and environmental impact in their design and choice of materials.

Last years competition winner was Joe Buttigieg, from South East Essex College in Southend-on-Sea, who created a design for outdoor seating inspired by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Joe has since left South East Essex College and has become a student at Bucks on the BA (Hons) Furniture: Contemporary Design course.

He said: The My Big Furniture Idea competition has developed my skills and ability to communicate ideas. As well as this, I have discovered various processes and new materials along the way.

I hope to eventually see my furniture idea develop from a scale model to a 1:1 full size functioning piece in the landscape, which will be amazing. From winning and taking part in the competition, my knowledge and understanding of design has grown."

Dr Lynn Jones, course leader for MA Furniture Design & Technology at Bucks New University, said: Joe has very much enjoyed seeing his design become a reality, as we have been building a professional scale model of his design in the Universitys workshops.

He has learnt an enormous amount about how to take a preliminary conceptual design through to realisation with a landscape architect and a spatial designer. The nature of his design was for a series of seats that are cut into the landscape, so because of the scale of the design it is nine meters long! - we settled on making the scaled-down model which will go on display at the University.

The distinguished competition judging panel will include Dr Tony Smart MBE from The Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers, who recently received an honorary degree from Bucks New University, Dr Vicky Tadros from ercol, and Andrew Shenton, course leader for BA (Hons) Furniture: Design and Craft at the University.

Bucks New University has a long tradition of providing skills relevant to the furniture industry. Originally founded in 1893 as a School of Science and Art, after the First World War the institution began to provide disabled veterans with skills such as cabinet making, carving and polishing, to help them find work in the numerous furniture factories for which High Wycombe became so well-known.

Today, the University is renowned in its field and offers a broad range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in furniture design and conservation, and has strong links with well-known furniture designers and makers, such as ercol, Hands of Wycombe and Verco.

Entries to the My Big Furniture Idea competition should be submitted to: Karen Christie at Bucks New University, Queen Alexandra Road, High Wycombe, Bucks, HP11 2JZ.

For further information about the competition, please contact Karen Christie on 01494 603 054 /, or go to:

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