Bus shelters are often steel and glass structures but if the winner of a recent design competition takes off we could be seeing more use of timber in them.

Modified wood producer Kebony’s product design competition, held in partnership with Brunel University London, was held recently. Five finalists, who were shortlisted from more than 140 students in April 2019, presented their Kebony wood prototypes to an esteemed panel of judges.

Student Alex D’Souza, a second Year BSc Product Design Engineering student at Brunel University, had his revolutionary bus shelter declared as the winner 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.

Judges liked the forward-thinking nature and exciting potential of Mr D’Souza’s product design – a beautiful, modern bus shelter which unites urban transportation with the natural aesthetic of sustainable wood to create a captivating cascading roof.

With almost 100 single Kebony tiles, the 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 awarded Mr D’Souza with a cash prize and will now work with him to take the concept further and support with the construction and installation of the winning design.

The judging panel which consisted of Bert Beagley Brown, Founder of TOG Knives; David Morris, Editor of Design Exchange Magazine; and Arnt Kristian Barsten and Ian Luzmore from Kebony.

“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,” said Mr D’Souza.

“Alex’s concept for the bus shelter truly embodies what we teach our students in the BSc programmes where form follows function,” said Dr Eujin Pei, programme director for Brunel University’s BSc Product Design and BSc Product Design Engineering courses.

“Alex was also able to capitalise on his market research to strategically position his product for Kebony.”

“I speak for everyone on the judging panel when I say that we were bowled over by the quality of entries,” said Arnt Kristian Barsten, product and market development manager at Kebony.

“All candidates did a fantastic job presenting their ideas to us; it was extremely difficult to select just one winner.”

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.

Kebony’s main applications are decking, cladding, and interior/exterior furniture.