Branson seeks students’ ideas

Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson is launching a student design challenge, following the opening of the University of Derby’s new £21m art, design and technology building last Friday (2 November).

Branson is calling for students there to generate ideas that ‘improve the environmental performance of Virgin Atlantic, to create the sustainable airline of the future’.

Competition winners stand to win a work placement at Virgin Design Studios next year, although it has not yet been agreed how many.

Branson suggests design ideas, such as lightweight seats, recycled uniforms and energy efficient terminal facilities.

Designed by David Jovetic and Alison McKerracher of Architects Design Partnership, the building features an Apple Centre with more than 100 new Macs, four auditoriums, CAD studios, digital TV studios, a printing facility and workshops for craft, engineering, woodworking, metalworking and model-making. It will accommodate up to 3000 students.

Professor Huw Davies, Dean for the University’s Faculty of Arts, Design and Technology, says, ‘We have an opportunity for this faculty to become the best in its field in the UK.’

University of Derby alumni include the late Arnold Machin, who designed the portrait of the Queen that appears on British stamps.

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