Dezeen Magazine

Pink food waste recycling bin on a kitchen counter

University of Nottingham spotlights nine design student projects

Dezeen School Shows: a cot that can be assembled in numerous ways to cater to all the stages of a child's development is included in Dezeen's latest school show by students at University of Nottingham.

Also included is an electric tricycle that encourages sustainable travel and a self-drive safari camper van that allows users to affordably explore Africa's wilderness.

University of Nottingham

Institution: University of Nottingham
School: Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering: Product Design and Manufacture
Courses: MEng Product Design and Manufacture, BEng Product Design and Manufacture, Product Design and Manufacture with an Industrial Year (BEng/MEng), Product Design and Manufacture with Study Abroad (BEng/MEng)
Tutors: Alec Machin, Christopher Bradnum, Emma Hartley, Neil White, Richard Tew and Simon Harrison

School statement:

"The University of Nottingham is where product design revels in the real – its product design and manufacture programmes have been specifically designed to provide a unique blend of engineering, manufacturing and design knowledge.

"This means that graduates have skills and knowledge that are highly sought after by industry. Many go on to lead design teams with University of Nottingham ranked second in the UK for top employers (High Fliers Graduate Report 2023).

"To prepare graduates for a career in industrial design, modern workflows and technologies are used in all areas including digital sketching, high-end rapid-prototyping and 3D-printing facilities, and leading virtual reality equipment.

"Product design and manufacture programmes are taught and delivered by experienced designers, all of whom have industrial experience.

"Students also benefit from the knowledge of design consultants who are currently working in industry, through design studio sessions and feedback provided on project work.

"Project-based learning forms a core element of the curriculum. Student projects take a realistic and industry-focused approach to design, using the knowledge gained of manufacturing and engineering principles.

"Students develop products and components that are appropriate for mass manufacture and consider both sustainability and commercial factors.

"University of Nottingham is the third most sustainable university in the world according to UI GreenMetric World University Rankings 2022 and is Top 10 in the UK for manufacturing and production engineering according to the Complete University Guide 2024.

"This is the place where you get the space, support, skills and connections to design a better future for people and the planet."

Electric off-road motorcycle in front of a camper van and mountains

Boda by Cian Watson

"Designed as a secondary means of transport for large motorhomes and overlanding trucks, Boda is a fully electric and space-efficient off-road motorcycle that is mounted to the rear of a vehicle on a custom charging dock.

"Boda provides an easy-to-ride, street legal and energy-efficient means of transport across rugged terrain, perfect for the lifestyle of world travellers.

"The bike is designed to collapse and insert into the charging dock. Although small, the bike features an impressive range of 80 miles due to its lightweight design and relatively large 150-cell lithium-ion battery (1,89kWh).

"The name Boda is in reference to the term 'boda boda' – the name given to the popular motorcycles seen in the streets and trails of Uganda."

Student: Cian Watson
Course: BEng Product Design and Manufacture
Email: cvhwatson07[at]

Display of garment hanging on the steamer and a hand holding the steamer against a shirt

Suave by Isabelle Clark

"Suave is a quick and efficient upright garment steamer designed for household consumers and professionals who are keen to look smart for work but are often in a rush in the morning.

"The product is designed with the assumption that users only steam one to three garments at a time. In order to make Suave time efficient, it was designed to be used in a bedroom so that it can be kept near clothing storage.

"It is a freestanding device that provides a place to hang garments to avoid moisture and humidity damaging the walls and doors that are typically made from porous materials.

"Suave collapses down to just 59 centimetres in height and can be as tall as 190 centimetres when fully extended, making it unobtrusive when placed in the bedroom.

"The steamer takes 45 seconds to heat up.  Pressing down on the dome releases the spring mechanism inside, bringing the dome to pop up 40 milimetres.

"Users can pull the dome to completely release the product, dress the hanger with their garment, lift the handle off the dome and slide the steam button to steam away."

Student: Isabelle Clark
Course: Product Design and Manufacture BEng
Email: isiclark10[at]

Rendering of an electric tricycle

Rouleur by Finn Reilly-McQueen

"Safety, visibility, maintenance and luggage carrying are four key problems that people face when cycling recreationally and commuting.

"Rouleur is an electric tricycle designed to solve these problems, simultaneously increasing the potential of using cycling as a method of transport.

"The design uses a third wheel to increase rider's stability. By taking up more space on the road than a conventional bicycle, drivers are forced to make more space around the rider when overtaking, increasing safety.

"The bike features a front and rear lighting system, a waterproof storage box behind the rider and riser handlebars with ergonomic hand grips and twist gear shifters, inducing a comfortable and highly-visible riding position.

"A drive belt and internal gear hub replaces a conventional chain and derailleur system. This drivetrain works far better in poor conditions, lasts longer and is low maintenance."

Student: Finn Reilly-McQueen
Course: Product Design and Manufacturing MEng
Email: Finnreillymcqueen04[at]

Visualisation of a cot bed in the form of a cot and a single bed with railings removed beside it

Arcane Cotbed by Isabelle Yee

"The brief for the project was to design a cot for domestic households. Arcane Cotbed uses hidden mechanisms to transform a cot into a small single bed.

"The product begins as a cot with mattress lowering capabilities, expanding into a toddler bed as the child grows. Once the child has outgrown the cot, it can be disassembled and extended into a small single bed without any additional expansion packs.

"Mattress heights can be easily lowered and rail structures removed as the infant grows with use of an Allen key. The cot aims to provide a safe sleeping place for multiple different growth milestones in a child's life.

"The main extension is made possible through a complex set of left-hand and right-hand thread components that lock the cot at both collapsed and extended positions.

"The Arcane Cotbed does not visually reveal any split lines or active mechanisms from the outside and has a striking mid-century Bauhaus feel to it, much different to the standard wood frames seen in the market today."

Student: Isabelle Yee
Course: Product Design and Manufacturing MEng
Email: isabelleyee98[at]

Man wearing continuous positive airway pressure device

Airwave by Luke Armstrong

"Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) restricts users' airways during sleep, preventing them from breathing properly and causing numerous health complications.

"Airwave is game-changing, integrated and minimalist Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) technology that offers users unparalleled freedom, comfort and peace of mind.

"Despite its unconventional placement on the head, Airwave boasts incredible benefits that significantly improves the user experience. The double tube design enables seamless communication with loved ones without the need to remove the mask.

"When users roll over during sleep, potentially blocking one tube, the other tube continues to supply much-needed therapy, ensuring uninterrupted treatment throughout the night.

"With its compact size, Airwave fits effortlessly into any bag without the need for excessive tubing or power cables, allowing users to travel freely without compromising their therapy.

"Its impeller operates above natural human hearing frequency, delivering optimal therapy while minimising discomfort.

Student: Luke Armstrong
Course: Product Design and Manufacturing MEng
Email: Latmstrong76[at]

Electric bike and scooters locked into stations

Econet by Maria Hernan-Gomez Alonso

"Econet consists of a modular ecosystem of multifunctional urban furniture blocks designed to provide secure and reliable parking and charging spaces for electric bike and scooter users.

"Econet is made up of three stations that can be installed in a range of ways due to their modular forms. The open electric bike station can park and charge a maximum of three bikes simultaneously, whilst the scooter bench can house a maximum of four.

"All user interface interactions can be carried out through an inclusive phone app. Users can simply scan the QR code to access the app and locate nearby stations.

"From there, users can select an available hub, choose their required locking and charging time, pay and keep track of their electric bike or scooter status throughout the day.

"Both stations employ an automatic and sleek locking mechanism that is activated by the app. A one-by-one centimetre, strong stainless steel bar rotates, locking the bike or scooter safely into place.

"The self-sufficient stations are powered by the grid and solar energy, equipped with a sensitive vibration detector that generates a loud alarm in the case of vandalism attempts."

Student: Maria Hernan-Gomez Alonso
Course: Product Design and Manufacture MEng
Email: Maria.hga00[at]

Visualisation of a safari experience unit

Ute by Thomas Farren

"Ute is designed to accommodate people who want to experience the wilderness in Africa in a more luxurious way than is currently offered by other self-drive safari companies at a lower cost than a typical safari.

"Ute has evolved to become an outdoor product designed to challenge the way people view camping and camper vans. This project aims to reach out to a larger audience of people by advertising the product to be more than just a pickup camper van.

"The unit is able to accommodate up to four people comfortably, boasting two large double beds, a shower facility with solar-heated water, and a fully equipped kitchen and cooking area.

"The product has two lifting roofs with large skylights that introduces more light into the space and allows for star gazing.

"The main focus for this project was to create large open spaces that can accommodate four people with a light and easy-to-install and remove kitchen."

Student: Thomas Farren
Course: Product Design and Manufacture MEng
Email: Tom.farren2[at]

Visualisation of a modern film camera

Pico by Yucef Hassaine

"Pico is a stylish modern-day take on a retro photographic medium, featuring a fun and playful design using contemporary materials and technology.

"It responds to the increase in popularity of selfies in modern society, featuring a new button position that is ergonomic in both taking traditional photos as well as selfies.

"The front-facing camera features a domed mirror, allowing the user to frame themselves accordingly and ensure their photo does not go to waste. The camera body itself has been carefully crafted to minimise size, yet sit naturally and securely in the hand.

"The product is catered towards a more casual audience – the most eager to take up to film photography in recent times. It includes features such as an auto focus lens and preset photo modes to make capturing moments easier than ever.

"It also features a never-seen-before LED exposure counter to indicate how many photos the user has used on their roll of film."

Student: Yucef Hassaine
Course: Product Design and Manufacture MEng
Email: yhassaine30[at]

Pink food waste recycling bin on a kitchen counter

Binbox by Daisy Dawson

"There are many people who choose not to recycle their food waste. The main deterrents are the mess and smell the food waste creates in the kitchen and the hassle of dealing with it.

"Therefore, the aim of this project is to design a product that solves these problems, encouraging more people to recycle their food waste.

"Binbox is a food waste storage container with an inbuilt cooling system. Cooling the food waste will slow the decomposition process of the waste, reducing the smell and mess produced by the waste.

"It also allows the food waste to be stored in the kitchen for longer before needing to be emptied into the outdoor food waste bin, reducing the hassle of dealing with the waste.

"Binbox uses a Peltier cooling system with two fans to direct the cooled air into the product's cooling chamber, which surrounds an aluminium container in which the food waste is housed.

"In summary, Binbox presents an improved solution to home food waste management that will encourage more people to recycle their food waste."

Student: Daisy Dawson
Course: Product Design and Manufacture BEng
Email: daisymdawson1[at]

This school show is a partnership between Dezeen and University of Nottingham. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.