Northumbria University students create novel consumer concepts out of cork – part 1 of 4

by | Dec 6, 2023 | General

As part of their curriculum, students at the School of Design at Northumbria University were this year assigned to create unique consumer products using cork as the main material.

Led by Assistant Professor Rickard Whittingham, they took on this challenge with impressive outcomes.

In part 1 of this 4-part series of news articles, we explore a travelling design kit, designed by Ben Watson.

Beach Bros Ltd, a member of the Cork Industry Federation, provided the cork for this project.

You can explore more of the students’ work on the specific Instagram page for the project –

Travelling design kit

Ben Watson

Crafted from cork, this travelling design kit revolutionises wearable storage, providing a fashionable and environmentally friendly option that stands apart from conventional storage solutions for designers. The use of cork not only adds a unique aesthetic but also ensures sustainability, making it an appealing choice for eco-conscious creatives.

Central to the kit’s design is a cleverly constructed in-built pencil clip, demonstrating the versatility and robustness of cork. This clip is tailored to securely hold pens and pencils of varying sizes, keeping essential tools readily accessible for the user. The simplicity of inserting and removing pencils from the clip not only enhances practicality but also saves valuable time during creative endeavours.

The kit also features a seamlessly integrated pencil sharpener within its structure. Its maintenance is made effortless with the inclusion of a cork bung at the bottom. This bung, easily removable for emptying the sharpener, showcases the natural grip and adaptability of cork. The travelling design kit transcends its role as a mere storage device, embodying a commitment to sustainability, efficiency, and style in the realm of design and artistry.

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