Plus X Brighton
In May, ten creative physical product makers kicked off their journey on Product Foundry. In the inaugural cohort of the BRITE Project’s six-week programme, makers developed their prototyping skills in the Plus X Brighton workshop.
The group of local businesses joined this structured programme, led by Workshop Manager Andrew Sleigh and James Tooze, Course Leader of Product Design at the University of Brighton, to learn how to generate design solutions, test ideas, and create product specifications.
Check out what the founders and creators completing their journeys on the Product Foundry have gained from the programme. And, if your business would benefit from fully-funded innovation support, sign up for the October intake before 19th September, or get in touch to learn more.
Ben Rousseau, Owner of Rousseau Design
Inspired by the evolution of telling time, Ben launched Rousseau Design in 2001. Combining modern art and sustainability, Rousseau Design creates timepieces from sundials to mechanical clocks that tell the time using patterns of light.
Ben is a designer, engineer and light artist passionate about bringing together luxury and usability in his designs. During the Product Foundry, Ben focused on creating product prototypes that explore sustainable materials and manufacturing processes that align with his commitment to sustainability for his Tempus Time designs.
Maximilian Smith, Managing Director of Eluxevo
Driven by a desire for learning, Maximilian launched Eluxevo in 2022 to create an innovative, affordable and sustainable solution for domestic heating.
Created to support the UK’s transition to Net-Zero, Eluxevo aims to drive consumer demand for sustainable and affordable domestic heating. Maximilian joined the Product Foundry to create a product prototype that was both aspirational and functional for customers.
Katy Hanford, Studio Manager at Volume Creative
Volume Creative is an interior and product design studio that focuses work that champions sustainability and responsible design. Katy Hanford took an arm of the business, ‘Spared’, to the Product Foundry to explore and create new materials for Volume Creative to use in their designs.
Throughout the programme, Katy explored the use of recycled materials to create a physical product prototype. This included a prototype made from shredded recycled plastic, seashells and jesmonite that results in a luxury, high-end look and finish.
Adam Kemeny, Founder of Photobot.co
Photobot.Co provides striking photo booths with high-quality photography for some of the UK’s most prestigious events, brand activations, birthday bashes and weddings. Each booth can be customised to different levels, depending on the requirements of the events.
Adam’s booths initially were part-art installation and part-product, but it didn’t take long for him to receive bookings from major clients including Virgin and The Body Shop. Adam used his time in the Product Foundry to explore more efficient and sustainable ways to manufacture elements of the photobooth.
Shan Sun, Founder at ExcessOne
Shan Sun’s background in translation and publishing and her passion for storytelling lead to her launching ExcessOne, a creative content and publishing company.
Product Foundry was the perfect environment for her to explore her concept of sustainable and interactive children’s books that focus on mindfulness and wellbeing. During her time on the programme, Shan explored ways to make her sustainable pop up books a reality, from design to materials to manufacturing.
Julius Crutchley, Founder of GettaGrip
GettaGrip is on a mission to level the playing field for the competitive gaming landscape. 2022 Startup Sussex winner Julius creates affordable and inventive accessories for controllers that increase the comfort and accuracy of playing.
Jack Champ, Director of Recovery By Design
Jack Champ launched Recovery By Design for people that are recovering from addiction. He created a toolkit that aims to provide ongoing support to people’s recoveries.
Committed to creating a positive social impact, Jack joined the BRITE project to create a prototype for the toolkit to be used in multiple settings by people with a variety of addictions. Jack works on Recovery By Design alongside his day job as a landscape designer for Studio Bosk, joining the Product Foundry after discovering the programme while working in his office at Plus X Brighton.
Andy Mindel, Owner & Director of Shore Ride
Combining his love for the ocean with his passion for sport, serial entrepreneur Andy is on a mission to make it easier, more environmentally friendly and more accessible for people to enjoy watersports.
Wanting to eliminate unnecessary car journeys, Shore Ride is a product that easily attaches to your SUP or kayak, that allows you to then either walk or cycle to the water. Andy used Product Foundry to refine his product and to explore the design itself alongside alternative materials for manufacture.
Jazmine Tiley, Founder of Protective Bubbles
A 2022 winner of the University of Sussex’s Social Impact Prize, Jazmine Tiley came up with the idea for her product Drink Bubble after she and a group of friends had their drinks spiked. Her company Protective Bubbles will launch with Drink Bubble to help protect people from being spiked or spilling their drink in busy venues. Protective Bubbles aims to create other innovations and become the ‘go-to’ place for everyday protective products in the future.
Whilst taking part in the Product Foundry, Jazmine focused on the packaging of the product alongside some additional material exploration centering around price per unit and sustainability. She is completing the programme while studying for a BSc in Psychology at the University of Sussex.
Angela Fung, Director at Fung and Bedford
Fung and Bedford is the design studio of Sussex-based designers Angela Fung and Ashley Bedford. They combine architecture with origami to create large-scale, bespoke paper installations for inspiring spaces. Their designs are low-impact, sustainable and 100% recyclable, and have been seen in commissions and exhibitions for prestigious clients including Somerset House, the Saatchi Gallery, London Design Fair and London Craft Fair.
Both Angela and Ashley joined Product Foundry, with the duo splitting time on the programme. During their time on Product Foundry was used to explore how they could retain their intricate designs and commitment to sustainability whilst creating pieces on a smaller scale. It enabled them to work out different ways to move forward in creating products, focusing on creating a lighting prototype that could be used to collaborate with lighting companies.
“Product Foundry is a great programme for people like us who want hands on experience on different machinery that we haven’t necessarily used to explore different production methods, as well as having peer to peer support… It was very useful to learn how to use a laser cutter, and have experts on hand whenever things go wrong!”
Join the Product Foundry
Whether you’re looking for support to commercialise and scale your product or have always wanted to develop your prototyping skills, then Product Foundry could be the place for you. Product Foundry is a fully-funded innovation and product prototyping BRITE programme that gives makers and visionaries in the South East space to develop their product ideas and turn them from dreams into reality.
With the next programme starting in October 2022, all participants will be guided through the six-week intensive innovation programme by our team of experts in our cutting-edge workshops. Alongside eight to ten fellow product pioneers, you will develop your early-stage prototypes, all the way from testing ideas to maximising your product for its commercial impact. Even if you’re a workshop newbie, the programme is open to anyone in the Coast to Capital area with a great product idea and strong vision, as we’ll provide you with the tools and knowledge needed to see through your product to completion.
At Plus X, we pride ourselves on our expertise and passion for innovation, and by taking part in the programme you’ll gain fully-funded access to our workshop and specialists. Rather than having to wait weeks for your prototype to come back, you’ll be able to create in-house, using our digital fabrication tools like 3D printers, laser cutters and other hardware. We believe that true innovation takes a lot of trying, experiencing errors, learning from those errors and coming up with solutions. By facilitating you to create at speed, you’ll get to success faster.
Product Foundry is part of BRITE (Brighton Research Innovation Technology Exchange). Led by Plus X, in partnership with the University of Brighton, BRITE aims to support leaders of companies that have ambitions to grow and scale their business, receiving up to £5.5m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund. Applications for Product Foundry close in September. To apply, or to find out more, visit briteinnovation.co.uk/product-foundry.