Take a seat mum, I won the Crossrail design competition

By Robyn Rosen, July 15, 2010

A Leeds University student has won a national competition with a seat design for London's new Crossrail stations.

Michael Berwin, 22, applied for the competition as part of his master's in product design.

"I was sent this competition brief from my department and I'd never done any seating designs before, so I thought it would be a challenge," he said.

"I had only worked on consumer products and electrical designs before, and wanted the opportunity to do something a bit different."

Crossrail will open in 2017 and run 118km from Maidenhead and Heathrow through central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood.

There will be nine new stations in the central section and upgrade work for 28 stations either side.

Mr Berwin, from Hampstead Garden Suburb, joined the two other finalists for a week working on his design with engineering and design consultancy Atkins in Canary Wharf.

Berwin's father, Harold, was a warden at Hampstead Synagogue and his mother, Louise, a member of West London Synagogue, worked for a number of years for Jewish Care.

Mr Berwin said: "My initial design was based around the Crossrail logo but after I spent the week with the team in Canary Wharf,
I realised it wasn't suitable for underground level stations, so I kept some ideas but changed others to make it more suitable."

Mr Berwin has won a one-year contract with Atkins and his designs will be considered for implementation during consultations with the railway operator.

"I was so happy to win," he said. "I worked really hard for it. I'm so pleased to have a job and not have to look for work like a lot of my friends.

"I love the industry and everything to do with design and this is an amazing career booster which will give me a great insight into the industry."

Ailie MacAdam, Crossrail Central's commercial director, said: "The judging panel selected Michael's design because he demonstrated the greatest development over the week that he spent with the
design team.

"Michael's design displayed great functionality, but also explored the Crossrail brand to make his concept truly represent the project's identity."

    Last updated: 12:50pm, July 15 2010