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The charity making life better by water

Collecting boxes of the future

We’re giving product design students at Central St Martins the task of creating a brand new collection box, which will capture the public’s imagination and generate funds to protect our much-loved canals.

A good collection box attracts attention and finds its way into people's hearts and minds. From spiral wishing wells to the WWF's pandas, everyone has a memory of their favourite, and putting in their pennies and pounds accordingly. In recent years, however, collection tins have fallen out of fashion in favour of on-line donations and the soulless bucket.

Our challenge to Central St Martins is to create a collection box that is fit for the 21st century while capturing more than 200 years of social history that was fuelled by innovation, industry and the colourful characters that lived and worked on and alongside the canals.

The three strongest designs will be developed as prototypes and put into our museums and attractions over the summer. The winner will be selected on the basis of which box has raised the most money. We intend to buy the winning design with a view to taking it into production to be used nationwide by our fundraisers.

Next generation of designers

A selection panel, including a judge from the Institute of Fundraising and from Central St Martins will select the three designs in June. Students can choose to design counter-top boxes or portable tins.

Simon Salem, marketing director at Canal & River Trust, said: “Our canals have a special place in the nation's heart, with 10 million of us regularly visiting and many of us having fond childhood memories of mucking about by the water, secret hideouts and holidays afloat. As a new charity, we want something that will make more of an impression than the ubiquitous bucket; something that will tell our story and inspire people to stop, think and decide they want to support their local waterway. Who better than to create a classic tin than the next generation of designers at Central St Martins? They had the extraordinary good taste to relocate to the banks of the Regent's Canal and they have the creativity to create a true design classic. I can't wait to see what they come up with.”

Jane Penty, Product Design stage leader at Central St Martins, said: “The simplest objects are always the most challenging to design but connecting with people through objects is what we are all about at CSM. Our students are enjoying the opportunity of playing with the many ways of adding to the experience of giving for the Canal & River Trust.”

Last Edited: 16 May 2013

photo of a location on the canals
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