TWO students studying sustainable product design at Falmouth University will be embarking up to the big city to showcase their graduate work later this year.

Dani Middleton from Callington and Ewan Scobie from Helston are part of a group of 13 third-year students who have created products to exhibit at the show.

The group is currently organising and fundraising for their venture to the ‘New Designers’ Exhibition’ which will take place at the Business Design Centre, London, in June.

The projects have been made in response to a host of global issues, ranging from bio-material exploration to accessibility difficulties.

One of the students, Lil Orton, explained: “The central theme to our work and journey is low impact, in traveling to the event we have two of our students cycling from Cornwall to London and then on to Edinburgh after the exhibition. As a group we are calculation our CO2 impact to push the theme further.”

Dani’s work which she will showcase explores bio-fabrication and nature connection for mental and physical wellbeing.

Dani’s primary passion has always been around nature and sustainability. For her final year, Dani decided to investigate the growing nature disconnection that society is currently experiencing and how this has had an impact on people. Her role as a designer, is helping shape a future more centred in deep ecology practices. 

While creating her graduate work, bio-materials became a pivotal part of her research, as a circular way to incorporate nature into people's lives. Dani investigated the use of mycelium, seaweed and moss primarily. In the process, she discovered a hesitance amongst consumers to use bio-materials due to a lack of understanding, aesthetics and fear of difference.

These materials, for Dani, are a focal part of the solution to the climate and ecological crisis as well as the societal nature disconnect as they fit into a circular material system, and are proven to be much better for physical and mental wellbeing for consumers. Her belief is that the more we reintegrate natural materials into peoples lives, the more unconscious knowledge and care people will rebuild for the environment. 

Dani’s final design centres around mycelium wall tiles designed to introduce a wide audience to bio-materials in their domestic spaces. Dani’s work has played with colour, texture, form, material and user experience to curate a product that fits into these spaces. Dani is very passionate about using natural and circular process from start to finish, swapping out plastic moulds for natural biodegradable ones such as; waste wood and cork for the mycelium casting process, making her own natural dyes from waste foods and seaweed, and using technologically advanced digital processes to authentically replicate textures from nature. 

Dani Middletons work she will show at the exhibit
Dani Middletons work she will show at the exhibit ( )

She hopes to show a blend of digital technology and natural materials and processes for a future of design rooted in innovation, circularity and sustainability.

Dani explained: “Growing up in Cornwall I fostered a deep  connection with nature from a young age, my fondest memories are being at the local beaches and in the fields. I grew up in a small hamlet tucked into the South East of Cornwall, fostering creativity and a care for the environment. At school is where my passion for design started, where you would most often find me, in the wood workshops at any spare moment I had. 

“After school I took a few years out to travel and see other parts of the world, however Cornwall drew me back. I returned to blend my passions and study Sustainable Product Design at Falmouth University. My work is always inspired by the local area, community and landscape and I owe much of my inspiration to Cornwall.”

Ewan’s focus for his third year project is Emotional Durability. He is developing a modular lighting system adaptable to various scenarios. Users would craft the arms and shade, while the system provides templates and essential components like base, wiring, and joints. The lamp's versatility will be showcased in its final design. 

Ewan Scobie from Helston
Ewan Scobie from Helston ( )

This project presents real-world problem-solving challenges, especially in ensuring component harmony and accessibility of materials.

Ewan added: “Being a student that's born and raised in Cornwall has been a unique experience. I initially studied in Bristol but found myself missing my home which led me to return and start at Falmouth university. I feel my connection with the county has strongly influenced a number of my projects, in which I've designed:  A Beach cleaning kit, Coastal hike shelters and an exploration tool kit. All while developing connections with the amazing local businesses that are also based here. I now hope to eventually start my own design and manufacturing business in Cornwall using the skills and connections I've built whilst on the Sustainable Product Design course.”

To follow the students’ progress follow them on Instagram using @fal_sustainableproduct_nd