Coventry student Faye Whitear, 23, has won the Student lighting designer of the year after designing customisable nightlight ‘Nuno’
‘Nuno’ is a children’s nightlight buddy with ears that also double as a dream catcher. Designed to help young children who suffer from night terrors; explaining the thought behind the product, Faye explains “I wanted to do something kids could connect with, that connects with their imagination. It is also customisable as the ears, colours and tail is interchangeable. I created a website establishing a magical world behind Nuno.”
The Graham Sutherland University building now holds five milling machines, unknown to any previous university. Manufactured by company Roland DG, these innovative machines were designed after companies struggled to create the intricate parts of products. A milling machine allows for the shaping of hard materials such as metal, pumping lubricant onto the product it helps to create a smooth finish. This helps to create 3D models that would not have been possible with a drill press.
This new addition allows Coventry students to enter competitions and formalise their ideas, Gary Owen, 49, a 3D demonstrator at Coventry University helped establish a way in which the product sides can be duplicated in 3D more efficiently. By creating the product in a wooden block, the entry points are all lined up meaning that once one side is finished; the block can be simply turned over for the other side.
Roland DG heard about this, and liking what the University was doing with their machines decided they would come to the university and held a meeting, bringing 30 international colleagues to the university to see how they were progressing.
Creating Nuno was a long and drawn out process, Gary explains “the speed at which the machine works is relatively slow so it took 14 hours per side and there were four sides. The equipment enables you to realise your 2D impression into a 3D form in a user friendly way.”
Faye created Nuno in just four short months, with the working model taking a month; this is due to Faye staying in university till ten most nights and working over weekends. However, she states that it was all worth it as she was passionate about the product.
Nuno created interesting problems that had to be solved in imaginative ways, such as the materials. Originally the product was meant to be made out of silicon, however in the process of creating the prototype Faye realised that this was not a possibility as the milling machine couldn’t create the undercut needed. The machine could only go vertical, so the pre axis cut couldn’t give the design what it needed. To solve this problem, Faye created the legs out of silicon and the sides out of acrylic.
Currently a proto-type, the university have paid for Faye to have a stool at the NEC lighting fair, this is the biggest lighting show in the United Kingdom. She is hoping that the product will be picked up by a company and manufactured. Faye is interested in entering child related design when she graduates this year as she likes playful design; with products like this entering the market it won’t be long until Faye Whitear is a household name.