STUDENTS from Huddersfield University are celebrating the successful completion of a major project with car makers Jaguar.
The project, which consisted of teams made up of transport design and textile design students, aimed to build teamwork in car design.
Kim Challinor, colour and trim manager at Jaguar and a former Huddersfield textile student, organised the multi-disciplinary project with Huddersfield’s visiting professor in transport, David Arbuckle, in the light of her own experience working at Jaguar.
She said: “Because I work closely with designers from all areas I realise how important it is to not only work in a team, but to really understand where the other designers are coming from.
“I’m always on the lookout for new talent and I want Jaguar to be inspirational to young designers.”
Working in 16 teams of two – one transport and one textile – the students were asked to make imaginative changes to the seats, steering wheel, instruments, transmission top, door inserts, glove compartment, interior finishes, materials and colours.
They were so successful that Jaguar offered placements to two students, Aidan Walsh (transport) and Christina Ryan (textile design).
Prof Arbuckle said: “This has been a really useful exercise which has fully fulfilled the aspirations that Kim and myself had for it when we first discussed the potential of the project.
“We were both very keen to demonstrate to the students in the different departments how different design disciplines have to interact and work as teams in industry. This is often a difficult and steep learning curve for newly recruited graduate designers.”
Ian Callum, Jaguar’s director of design, said: “Despite having to work with students from a different area of expertise on a challenging brief, they produced work of a high standard for this project.
“We are looking forward to working with some of the successful students on our placement scheme later this year.”
Aidan and Christina will work at Jaguar for two months with in-house designers on current projects, which could see their work end up in a car.
Mr Callum said: “Choosing the two winning students was difficult; they all produced some very good work during the project.
Obviously, we are primarily looking for talented people to come and work with us. But what we were also looking for in the students was teamwork.
“One of the biggest challenges I have when bringing young designers in is to get them to realise they are part of a team.
“I know they are very individual, but at the end of the day they are producing a car and that has a multitude of objects and disciplines and they have to work well together.’’
Aidan, 20, from Stoke-on-Trent, is a second- year student on the transport design BA (honours) course. Christina, 22, originally from the Philippines, is just finishing her second year on the BA/BSc (honours) textile design for fashion and interiors course.