Moss is boss at Design Icons exhibition

Published: 18 January 2012 at 12:24

Solar powered table tops public poll to feature in Anglia Ruskin event

An innovative “Moss Table” has won the People’s Choice poll to be included in the Design Icons: Cambridge Innovation Festival exhibition at Anglia Ruskin University (8-23 February).

The interactive Design Icons exhibition, organised by Creative Front and staged at the Ruskin Gallery on Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge campus, will showcase 20 of the most important products designed in Cambridgeshire over the last 40 years. 

A panel selected 19 of the 20 products with the Moss Table capturing the public’s imagination, securing over a fifth of the votes cast. 

Designed by Alex Driver and Carlos Peralta of the University of Cambridge in collaboration with scientists, the table is a concept for a potential future application of biophotovoltaic technology.  The moss produces energy through photosynthesis, which would be stored in a battery. 

Although it is currently unable to power the built-in lamp, scientists have been able to demonstrate that moss can be used to drive low energy devices such as a digital clock. Because the table is a “living exhibit”, it will only be on display from 8-10 February.

Tim Evans, director of Cambridge-based Think Product Design, was one of the design and industry experts who selected the remaining 19 products to be showcased, from a shortlist of over 90 submissions.

“What’s particularly exciting about the products we’ve selected is their diversity,”

said Tim.

“While Cambridge is world famous for science and technology, innovative products such as the Evian water bottle and Prestige kettle demonstrate the real impact that Cambridge design can bring to products in any sector.
“We had a number of criteria for selecting the final products including innovation, market success and pure design aesthetics, but just as important was to select products that would interest a cross section of the population, so it was great to be able to put a hi-tech ophthalmoscope alongside the Evian water bottle.”

The 20 products on show from 8 February are the Dulux PaintPod Roller System, Easi-Breathe asthma inhaler, Evian Action Water Bottle, iCAP Spectrometer, Kenwood Juice Extractor, Proprio Foot (prosthetic foot), Hayter Spirit Lawnmower, Prestige Traditional Kettle, Sepura Tetra Police Radio, Meridan Audio M80, Lecson amplifier, Sinclair Sovereign and Executive Calculators, Freudenberg Vileda Magic Mop II, SureFlap catflap, DuoFertility (fertility monitor), Optyse ophthalmoscope, Sinclair C5, Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Torch (the world's first energy saving white LED torch) and the Moss Table.   

Creative Front Cambridgeshire, based within Anglia Ruskin, was chosen by the Design Council to lead Design Icons: Cambridge Innovation Festival, which will feed into a national series of design events during 2012.

In addition to the Design Icons exhibition at the Ruskin Gallery (open Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm), Creative Front will be running a series of networking events focusing on how to incorporate creativity and design into business practice. Further information is available by visiting or phoning 0845 196 2997.