Creative Design solutions for cigarette butts and graffiti

Creative Design student’s work showcased at end of year exhibition

Creative Design students in IT Sligo’s class of 2012 have tackled an array of challenges from how to dispose of cigarette butts and discourage graffiti,  to  the design of furniture and a stairs aid for the elderly.

In an impressive end of year exhibition, the students showcased their creations, and according to Nevil Walsh, chair of the Creative Design programme, demonstrated a flair for entrepreneurship as well as creativity.

 “What was most striking was the level of research and also the entrepreneurship involved,” said the lecturer. “They all came up with real life issues and with new ideas for tackling them”.

Fourth year Creative Design student Magdalena Przyblonska was so appalled by the scale of environmental damage caused when people discard cigarette butts that she resolved to design a solution.  Polish-born Magda who lives in Sligo designed “Butt-E” a bag which is chemical resistant and also corrosion and weather resistant and so a safe receptacle for butts.

“It’s a problem that tends to be over-looked but I did a lot of research and found that every year 5.6 trillion  cigarettes butts are thrown  on the streets of cities and towns around the world. They are not biodegradable – one cigarette butt can kill one fish”, she pointed out. Magda said her aim was to make people think about the consequences of their behaviour and about the chemicals which soak into the ground and eventually seep into water sources, when a butt is careless tossed on the ground.

Her classmate David Hennessy (21) from Drumsna Co Leitrim designed an anti- graffiti app for a smart phone.  “If someone spots graffiti the app helps them identify the exact location and then report it to a control unit, possibly run by a local authority,” he explained.

He believes the app which would cost from €2,000 to €4,000 to develop would pay for itself as immediate removal is the key to deterring other “artists”.  When graffiti remains in situ “there is a free for all”, David added.

“In Dublin alone €300,000 is spent every year removing graffiti so an app would pay for itself” the Leitrim student stressed.

One of the most impressive exhibits at the recent end of year showcase in IT Sligo was the range of seats made by the first year Creative Design students, entirely from cardboard, without any glues or tacks.

Rory Kelly (30) a first year student from Templeboy, Co Sligo made a stool from two sheets of cardboard with no glues, adhesive material or tacks. lt was modelled on traditional woven stools made by many grandmothers and still popular in many pubs. “I am over 14 stone and I can sit on it,” said Rory a carpenter by trade, who ran a business with five employees before the downturn.

Rory who also designed a poster for the exhibition, decided to return to the classroom when work dried up and is delighted with the Creative Design course. “I am doing things I never knew I could do. I have been introduced to graphics on the computers and lot of other things that I am really enjoying,” he explained.

Graduates of the Creative Design programme at IT Sligo are equipped to work in a broad range of design areas including as industrial designers, product designers, exhibition designers, furniture designers, interior designers or in web, multi media or graphic design. For more information see or call 071 91 55222.

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