Richard Burbidge and Birmingham City University Discover 'Balustrade of the Future'

Richard Burbidge and Birmingham City University Discover 'Balustrade of the Future'

Talented students at Birmingham City University have stepped up to the challenge of creating inspiring new ideas for staircase design, in a special competition run in conjunction with balustrade specialist Richard Burbidge.

14 students on the MA Product Design course designed and built prototypes of a new stair balustrade system during an intensive one-week project.

The designs were judged by a panel of industry experts, who selected Habib Djalilov’s ingenious bubble-effect design as the winner. In second place was Xunbo Tang’s mesh design, inspired by the Beijing Olympics Bird’s Nest stadium, while third place was awarded to Diana Proost for her 1960s-style floating balustrade. A special award was also presented to Jui Hsuan Chang who incorporated planters into her balustrade design.

Each winner received a voucher prize and overall winner Habib has also been offered a work placement at Richard Burbidge Ltd, the UK market-leader in stair balustrade. Richard Burbidge is also donating technical equipment to the MA Product Design department, as part of the project.

The MA course is delivered by the University’s Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD); the largest centre for art and design outside London.

David Richards, Specification and Trade Marketing Manager for Richard Burbidge, said: “We were amazed by the creativity and quality of the students’ work, especially as they had a limited amount of time.

“We genuinely struggled to choose a winner, but Habib’s bubble-effect design was truly inspiring and really pushed the design boundaries. He was keen to explore whether balustrade had to be linear and he certainly succeeded in challenging the norm to produce a stunning concept.

“The competition generated a diverse range of ideas and we are now reviewing whether the concepts are deliverable in the real world.”

Graham Powell, Course Director and Product Design Subject Leader for BIAD, added: “The competition gave the students a fantastic insight into the excitement, pressures and challenges of delivering design projects in the field. The results were outstanding and it was great to work with a manufacturer like Richard Burbidge, who really supported the students and the project.”

Richard Burbidge supplies an extensive range of indoor and outdoor balustrade for installation on staircases, decks, patios and balconies. The company has historically specialised in timber products but has used other materials in recent times, including metal, glass and acrylic.

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