Could jewellery brands revolutionise women’s safety in the next 15 years?

Student Circuit had an insightful conversation with Sophie Lazenby, a third year Industrial Design and Technology student at Brunel University. Sophie, and her project group, spoke to us about their final year project and how major jewellery companies could potentially revolutionise women’s safety in the next 15 years.

What was your project brief?

The project brief was to:

  • Explore and identify contemporary and emerging design issues and opportunities through a process of rigorous research.
  • Analyse an organisations brand to identify new product development opportunities that are appropriate to the researched design context.
  • Produce a design innovation strategy to project how the brand could stretch to produce products or services relevant to the context within the next 10 to 15 years.
  • Propose individual design directions for each member of the group and design product concepts that fit the context, design opportunity and the brand.

Could you describe the project?

Our project is looking into women’s safety while in both public and private environments. Each group member took a specific aspect of women’s safety.

  • Public transport – Wysiana Patricia
  • Clubs and bars – Henry Copeland
  • On the street – Sophie Lazenby
  • In the workplace – Chloe McCourt
  • In the home – Stanley Binns 

We identified a specific major jewellery company as the perfect company for the project due to their existing links to women through its rich history of jewellery and accessories. In recent years major jewellery companies have seen a shift in customer base with the rise of the self-purchasing women, demonstrating a boost in women’s personal empowerment. 

We project that in the next 10 to 15 years, major jewellery companies have the opportunity to branch out into a new market, producing products that help to ensure women’s safety. 

Why did you choose this issue?

We chose this problem due to the recent cases related to it that have shocked society, such as the Sarah Everard case. Also, the recent rise in cases of drinks spiking drove us to investigate women’s safety in an array of environments.

Has there been a specific project highlight?

So far this has been a fantastic project, possibly one of our favourites that we have taken on during our 3 years at Brunel. This has remained the case despite us having to undertake unbelievably deep research, really digging into a relatively sombre topic.

The highlight of this project was researching the brands to find the perfect fit for the problem and then consequently ideating and designing product concepts that help with the problem.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

I would love to stay in the industrial design industry following graduation. After doing a placement at a toy invention company this is an area I would like to continue with.

In five years’, time, I would love to see at least one or several things I have worked on go to market.

Do you have any advice for student engineers?

I would say my advice is to persevere even at stressful times. Also, ensure you get as much experience in industry as possible and have a range of projects that you can include in your portfolio.