Tabling new ideas

Otago Polytechnic second-year student Toni Linington views her product design of a chair to...
Otago Polytechnic second-year student Toni Linington views her product design of a chair to assist with the needs of older people, rehabilitation and management of injury and disability. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Otago Polytechnic product design students have been working with long-established Dunedin firm Otago Furniture to develop furniture for a diverse range of purposes.

The results were now on display as part of the polytechnic's end-of-year Student Showcase which is being held in The Hub until tomorrow.

Students in the programme gained a deep understanding of what was involved in identifying new product opportunities within a company, product design lecturer Tim Armstrong said.

"The students develop concepts to address these opportunities, and communicate their process clearly and professionally to their client.

"They learn about what it takes to develop and manufacture products in New Zealand, and the opportunities and considerations this presents. They design and prototype compelling products within these boundaries.

"They also keep a record of the time spent in each phase, considering hourly work rates, invoicing and other elements of professional practice," he said.

Second-year student Toni Linington's starting point was to research chair design in relation to the needs of older people and those undergoing rehabilitation due to injury, illness or disability.

She focused on an individual leg support that could be adjusted to raise the leg to different heights, providing comfort and supporting pressure areas to avoid further injury.

Other designs included a chair with the specific intent of encouraging elderly people to spend more time outside, a bassinet and co-sleeper for newborn babies, an ottoman to be used by primary school children, and an ottoman chair inspired by Pasifika culture.

Otago Furniture manager Juliet Dow was impressed by the students' designs, saying a lot of thought and research had gone into them. They were diverse and it was good to see cultural inspiration, she said.

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