DMU student lands placement with prestigious design company

By Kerri Stevenson

A student from De Montfort University has been awarded a work placement with a leading street furniture company who will put her winning design into production.

Fatima Manji, 31, a second year Product and Furniture Design student, impressed judges from Marshalls, after taking part in a competition in which students designed a range of street furniture.

The collaboration has taken place for the last two years and the winner is offered a three-month placement with Marshalls at their Leamington Spa HQ.

Fatima said: “I was very surprised to win, it was so unexpected for me and this whole project has been such an amazing experience.

marshalls-image “I was interested in doing this as it goes into a lot of detail about examining how people react around street furniture in public places such as train stations and I wanted to be able to bring something new to the market.”

In 2nd place was Harris Priest, 21, a 3rd year Furniture Design student and taking 3rd place was Toren Storer, 20, a 2nd year Product and Furniture Design student.

The project was managed by Associate Head of School of Design and Senior Lecturer Stuart Lawson, who tutored the students while they worked on their projects.

He said: “I loved doing the project again this year, as it involves students working on a real brief for a real commercial project and every aspect of it was so interesting, especially the fact that the students got the chance to create new concepts for new realms.”

Project Manager at Marshalls, Abby Kellett, said: “The idea of DMU and Marshalls collaborating first came about in late 2015 and this is when I and my colleagues Jon Scott and Chris Lamb, who are also managers at the company, came together.

“The first competition happened in spring 2016 and it was great to have the opportunity to make use of functionality and trends as well as taking on competitors in the marketplace, which is why I hope the project happens again next year.”

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