Clear Channel, one of the UK’s leading Out of Home media owners, has joined forces with students from the BA Product Design course at world-renowned arts and design college Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, to conceptualise the street furniture of tomorrow.
The brief, “Future of the High Street”, challenges 25 second-year students to design an item of street furniture to provide genuine value to local communities up and down the UK. The brief, set for the next generation of Product Designers, was given at Clear Channel’s London HQ this week.
The unique brief asks the students to consider how their design could address a genuine concern or pain point for the public, improve a citizen’s experience of the high street and tackle issues that communities face, as well as well as considering how their product can withstand heavy use from the public for years to come.
The best designs, which identify and help tackle issues society faces today, will be scrutinised by the Clear Channel team with the most viable, scalable and affordable, potentially being brought to life and being offered to local authorities as part of future contracts.
Rather than creating a product around a screen or advertising panel, the designers have free reign to create a product over the next seven weeks that best serves the public, whatever its form.
Chief Investment Officer Will Ramage says, “Clear Channel has a long and well established history of building and maintaining ad-funded public infrastructure – we have a huge responsibility to the public and communities up and down the UK. As our world changes, so does our responsibility. I’m excited to see how the students approach the challenge and the unique ideas that they conceive, as well as helping to launch the careers of the product designers of tomorrow.”
CSM’s BA Product Design promotes the belief product design solutions should meet the wants and needs of real people. Widely recognised externally as an environment in which rigorous thinking generates creative, commercially relevant work, the course teaches the intellectual, academic and subject-specific skills needed for students to define their own professional practice.
The course’s lecturers and alumni have been associated with the production of ground-breaking products since 1947, including the first production laptop, the original London Routemaster bus, and the Apple iPhone. It has produced more Royal Designers for Industry in the subject than any other undergraduate course in the world.
The course was recognised for world-class excellence by the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education in 2013.
BA Product Design Course Leader Paul De’Ath says, “This brief is a reflection upon the changing landscape affecting design and designers. With the rapid development of technology and the shifting relationship between the environment, people and the things around them, a focus upon the concerns and the needs of communities requires rigorous design for valuable social impact. This is an exciting and challenging opportunity for the emerging generation of actively engaged students to have a positive influence upon our future communities”.