Kebony and Brunel University London conclude inaugural product design competition

Innovative, eco-friendly bus shelter selected as winning design

Kebony, a leader in the production of sustainable modified woods, announced student Alex D’Souza and his revolutionary bus shelter, as the winner of the innovative product design competition, held in partnership with Brunel University London

Alex D’Souza and his revolutionary bus shelter
Alex D’Souza and his revolutionary bus shelter

Five finalists, who were shortlisted from more than 140 students in April 2019, presented their Kebony wood prototypes to an esteemed panel of judges. Following a series of presentations which showcased: the students’ design vision; the importance of Kebony wood in their product; and the viability of bringing it to market, Alex D’Souza’s urban bus shelter was selected as the winner for this prestigious competition. 

Kebony and Brunel University London conclude inaugural product design competition
The finalists and their diverse range of designs

The finalists and their diverse range of designs comprised: Maria Beatriz Inacio’s Kapau, the ultimate workout bench aesthetically designed for use in public spaces to blend into natural surroundings; Ollie Singleton’s Kompis Benk, a two person bench which can be extended to seat four – designed with a focus on structural efficiency; and Kaelum Van Der Berg’s musical take on the challenge, a Cajon made of Kebony to showcase how the material can be used to create fresh and original sounds. Jake Chamberlin was confirmed as the competition’s runner-up showcasing his uniquely designed EcoFeeder, which strives to combat the short lifespan and often low aesthetic quality of traditional birdfeeders.

Maria Beatriz Inacio’s Kapau, the ultimate workout bench
Maria Beatriz Inacio’s Kapau, the ultimate workout bench
Ollie Singleton’s Kompis Benk, a two person bench
Ollie Singleton’s Kompis Benk, a two person bench
Kebony and Brunel University London conclude inaugural product design competition
Kaelum Van Der Berg’s musical take on the challenge, a Cajon made of Kebony
 Jake Chamberlin was confirmed as the competition’s runner-up showcasing his uniquely designed EcoFeeder
Jake Chamberlin was confirmed as the competition’s runner-up showcasing his uniquely designed EcoFeeder

The judging panel which consisted of Bert Beagley Brown, Founder of TOG Knives, breathtakingly sharp and innovative blades widely recognised as the best knives available by many of the UK’s top chefs; David Morris, Founder and Travel Editor of Design Exchange Magazine; and Arnt Kristian Barsten and Ian Luzmore from Kebony, deliberated for some time to decide between each of the finalists’ design. However, after much debate, it was Alex D’Souza who took home the crown due to the forward-thinking nature and exciting potential of his product design – a beautiful, modern bus shelter which unites urban transportation with the natural aesthetic of the sustainable wood to create a captivating cascading roof. With almost 100 single Kebony tiles, Alex’s D’Souza’s bus shelter has the potential to be built in a wide range of diverse international locations, from rural business parks to city centre tourist hotspots. 

Kebony and Brunel University London conclude inaugural product design competition
Student Alex D’Souza and his revolutionary bus shelter, as the winner of the innovative product design competition – With Judges

For many years, Kebony’s performance has been proven in a variety of architectural and design applications including; decking, cladding, interior and exterior furniture, cutlery and more. The wood is sustainable, durable and requires no maintenance beyond normal cleaning. The forward-thinking company awarded Alex D’Souza with a cash price and will now work with Alex to take the concept further and support with the construction and installation of the winning design. 

Alex D’Souza, Second Year BSc Product Design Engineering Student at Brunel University Student and Winner commented: “I’m delighted to have been given the opportunity to take part in this competition with Kebony. After being shortlisted as one of the five finalists, it was a real joy to create my design at Brunel University, who were a great help in providing me with the facilities to make the best possible scale model I could. I’m now really excited to refine my design with the support of Kebony and I’d like to thank both Kebony and Brunel University for giving me this opportunity.”

Kebony and Brunel University London conclude inaugural product design competition

Dr Eujin Pei, Programme Director for Brunel University’s BSc Product Design and BSc Product Design Engineering courses commented: “Alex’s concept for the bus shelter truly embodies what we teach our students in the BSc programmes where form follows function. Alex was also able to capitalise on his market research to strategically position his product for Kebony.”

Kebony and Brunel University London conclude inaugural product design competition

Arnt Kristian Barsten, Product and Market Development Manager at Kebony explained: “I speak for everyone on the judging panel when I say that we were bowled over by the quality of entries. All candidates did a fantastic job presenting their ideas to us; it was extremely difficult to select just one winner. On behalf of Kebony, I would like to thank all the students and staff at Brunel University who took part and made the competition so enjoyable and exciting to be a part of.” 


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