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Student designers imagine the future for Orange international competition

Press release   •   Jan 28, 2014 00:00 GMT

Design students from Northumbria University are representing the UK in a prestigious international design competition run by Orange.

Just five design schools from three countries – France, the United Kingdom and South Africa – have been selected to participate in the third edition of the Orange Young Designers Competition.

Northumbria University’s design school is the only UK institution to be invited to enter the telecommunication operator’s international design competition, ‘Orange spreads your wings’.

Young designers are challenged to take a fresh look at personal digital space and how it will evolve in the short to mid-term.

Entrants must imagine the future in the form of a filmed scenario that explains how cloud computing and cloud-based services will help people in their daily lives.

Eleven Northumbria students, from Design for Industry, Fashion Communication and Interactive Media Design programmes, will develop their UK competition entries. During a three-month project the students are supported by Northumbria designers and academics in close collaboration with Orange’s professional marketing and design teams.

This month the Northumbria team showcased their concepts to senior representatives from Orange.

Matthew Lievesley, Reader in Human Centred Problem Solving at Northumbria, said: “Orange are clearly passionate about design that puts the interest of the user first, which matches the philosophy of Design at Northumbria very well. This means the project is not about imagining how technologies will work in the future but exploring what kind of future we really want. Only then can we consider how digital technologies can help to bring those ideas to life.”

The competition entries will be judged by a prestigious panel of experts, presided over by Margaret Stewart, Director of Product Design at Facebook, and including professional designers, industry experts, sociologists and journalists. The judges will examine the ideas and concepts presented by students, deciding on the winning projects on Tuesday 28 March, 2014.

Three prizes of €5,000 each will be awarded. ‘Design for all’ prize highlights the most accessible project, ‘Embodiment’ supports an innovation that could rapidly be on the market, and ‘vision’ rewards tomorrow’s innovations that goes beyond the frontiers of today’s knowledge.

The awards will be presented during a ceremony on Thursday 1 April, 2014. A series of exhibitions to promote all the projects presented by the young designers, providing the public with an original insight into emerging design trends, will take place after the awards ceremony.

For Orange, the competition reflects their overall policy to use design as a key ingredient for improving customer experience. By facilitating close cooperation between their marketing and design teams and some of the world’s most prestigious design schools, Orange hopes to stimulate innovation, anticipation and creativity at its very source and in a way that provides a real stepping-stone for students.

Pierre-Yves Panis, Director of Design and User Experience at Orange, said: “Design at Orange is focused on customer-experience above all else. This means stepping into the shoes of technology users in order to think about new ways to make their experiences more practical, more intuitive, simpler and even more memorable.

“For us, it makes perfect sense to ask design students, who are ideally positioned both as users of technology and future designers, for their vision and empathy on all these areas.”

For the latest news on the competition and to find out more about design at Orange, visit

For more information about studying Design and Fashion at Northumbria University, Newcastle,

Northumbria is a research-rich, business-focussed, professional university with a global reputation for academic excellence. To find out more about our courses go

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