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DMU student wins national student furniture design competition

A student from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has been awarded the gold prize in the Alexander Rose UK Student Design Competition.

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Peter Geissler, a third year Product and Furniture Design student, entered the Alexander Rose competition as part of his course for his final year along with four other students, and his corrugated metal lounge chair was selected by a panel of judges as the winner ahead of entrants from universities across the country.

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It was the first time that DMU students had entered the competition in which entrants had to design and create an outdoor leisure product with anything from gazebos to barbeques being considered by the judges.

Peter’s winning design earned him a £1,000 prize as well as having the possibility for his chair to go into production through Alexander Rose which would see him collect royalties through sales, providing him with a fantastic platform to begin his career in furniture design and production.

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Peter said: “This is the biggest competition I have ever won so obviously I was more than pleased. I spent many hours in the workshop building the chair so it is very satisfying to see all that hard work pay off.

“I had to submit a few presentation boards showing overall details, dimensions, material choices, concept sketches, photographs and digital renders. I also had to submit full technical drawings and a short documentation explaining any additional information about the design such as manufacturing specifications.

“Following a meeting I had with the Head of Design at Alexander Rose a few weeks ago, I have begun tweaking the design to make it more feasible for manufacture and have also been asked by them to develop it into a range.”

Peter is now hoping his latest success, combined with a prize in the Crofts & Assinder Handle design competition last year and his work on his own website, www.pgeiss.com, will help him secure a job when he graduates in the summer.

He added: “This has really happened at the perfect time for me; I'm nearing the end of my final year and have begun to apply for jobs so this is something that will massively benefit my CV and portfolio.”

Stuart Lawson, senior lecturer at DMU, said: “We were very keen for our final year students to pursue this competition brief because it enabled them to be creative within genuine commercial constraints.

“Peter winning the Alexander Rose competition reflects what’s unique about what we do here in Design Products – which is balancing creativity with applied materials and manufacturing knowledge.

“We teach students to prepare them for the workplace and to design for a mass production market, which is something that a lot of product and furniture degrees don’t do.”

Posted on Tuesday 21st April 2015

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