Follow Northumbria University, Newcastle

Award-winning design students follow in footsteps of Northumbria alumnus Sir Jony Ive

Press release   •   Jul 08, 2016 10:13 BST

Poppy Crow and Callum Smith

Two Northumbria students have had their innovative designs recognised by leading companies after being awarded prestigious prizes at the RSA Student Design Awards. Design for Industry students Callum Smith and Poppy Crow are following in the footsteps of Northumbria alumnus Sir Jonathan Ive, Chief Design Officer of Apple, who won two RSA Student Design awards consecutively in 1988 and 1989.

Callum, from Middlesbrough, developed a specialised kettle which detects an elderly person’s frailty to help understand care requirements. Smith’s ‘FrailTea’ project was designed in response to ‘The Good Life’ brief, sponsored by Philips at the RSA Student Design Awards 2016, and has secured him an internship with the company.

Poppy, from Leeds, has been awarded the Waitrose Internship Award for her socially conscious project ‘It’s Great to Hydrate’. Developed in response to the ‘Waste Not, Want Not’ brief by food company Fazer Group, Poppy’s three-step behaviour change campaign is aimed at informing the public about how hydrating vegetables can help them last longer and reduce food waste, helping to ensure a more sustainable world for future generations.

Both Poppy and Callum are among the winners of the RSA Student Design Awards 2016 and follow in the footsteps of a number of notable Northumbria University design alumni, including Sir Jonathan Ive, Chief Design Officer of Apple, who won two RSA Student Design Awards consecutively in 1988 and 1989, before going on to design globally successful products like the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

Commenting on the award, Callum said: “I was thrilled to even be considered for the award, getting the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the past prestigious winners is extremely exciting. The opportunities afforded through the RSA award and fellowship will be integral in going forward into my career after university. I’m very much looking forward to starting at Philips and discussing the potential of developing the concept further out in Eindhoven.”

Poppy added: “I feel incredibly grateful to have had my work recognised by such a prestigious panel of industry professionals; it’s a real honour. I am also very excited to begin working with Waitrose graphic design team. It’s going to be fantastic to learn and work alongside one of my favourite brands -and hope that this opportunity will also allow me to gain a richer understanding of the design processes within the retail environment from a world-class team.''

David O’Leary, acting Programme Leader for Design for Industry at Northumbria University, said: “It is fantastic to see Callum and Poppy recognised in these awards, they now have amazing opportunities to kick-start their careers in design.”

Poppy and Callum are visiting London this month to exhibit their award-winning design projects at New Designers. Northumbria offers a range of courses at its award-winning School of Design. For further information on studying at Northumbria or for further information about this year’s graduate work, please visit: Northumbria School of Design

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

If you have a media enquiry please contact our Media and Communications team at or call 0191 227 4571.