Daniel Bonello – BA (Hons) Three-Dimensional Design

Daniel Bonello 3D Design Student, Gray's School of Art
Australian born, Daniel from Tillicoultry near Stirling, takes a human centred approach to design. He’s designed an Open Water Swimming safety device to tackle immersion deaths which sadly represent the third most common cause of accidental deaths globally.

Daniel was attracted to Gray’s School of Art upon leaving Forth Valley College because Gray’s 3D Design course offered lots of flexibility. It included a variety of workshops across a range of disciplines and also study specific areas to build up skills in design. He was also impressed by the relaxed and inclusive atmosphere at Gray's.

Gray’s has lived up to his expectations and Daniel’s benefitted from a high level of support from his tutors and technicians, who’ve provided specialisation-specific equipment. This has meant he’s been able to refine a high level specialist product design skills, which has been particularly beneficial as he’s coming to the end of his course.

The idea behind Daniel’s final degree project, GLLO, is to capitalise on technologies that have recently come to the market to help Outdoor Water Swimming. Immersion Deaths sadly represent the third most common cause of accidental deaths globally and Daniel has produced a water safety device to tackle this.

Daniel explains more: “The foundation of my entire project has been the new CORE Body Temperature Sensor by GreenTEG that works as the world’s first, non-invasive, core body temperature monitoring device.

“I’ve created GLLO which is an Open Water Swimming safety device worn on the hand that alerts the wearer when their body temperature drops too low. It lights up to attract the attention of the wearer and others. It achieves this by syncing with the torso or shoulder-mounted CORE device, to consistently monitor the body for temperature changes."


“I feel especially proud of the Honours project I have developed this year. It serves as a solid link to the sort of work that I want to be able to do in my own practice as an emerging product designer.

“I believe an innovative, human centred approach to design is so important because we can’t design in a vacuum, that’s not how the world is. The most important aspect of utilising an innovative human-centred approach when designing, is to ensure that real people can solve real problems.

“We design at our best when we make sure that by listening, everyone is able to safely and comfortably access tools that make themselves, and the lives around them, better. That’s what I’ve aimed to do with my product and I look forward to developing it further.”

Beyond his final year project, Daniel reflects on the many other highlights from Grays: “A key point of my final year of study was the opportunity to take part in the Gravity Sketch Student Ambassador program. Being involved on this level with a 3D VR modelling software was an amazing chance to get accredited by Gravity Sketch themselves, in not just using the software, but in being able to teach others how to use it.

“This is something that I took advantage of in Semester 1 by helping to instruct 2nd Year 3DD in the basics of the Gravity Sketch system for the project they were working on at the time. In addition, Gravity Sketch held a virtual Showcase event, for which I designed and created a VR room. This was a brilliant opportunity for me to present my project, my Gravity Sketch work, and ultimately, myself, to industry professionals in my field.”

As like many others, the Covid lockdowns that began, off and on in 2020, mean Daniel has only been consistently in the studio during his last year of study. This has given him a renewed appreciation for the Gray’s tutors including the amount of time they have dedicated to keeping the course running as smoothly as possible.

Now that Daniel is graduating, he’s applying and keeping tabs on relevant Product Design jobs and opportunities. He’s keen to use his practical problem-solving ideas and to play an active role in a product’s development, from the initial design phase, through to completion.

“I feel like my time at Gray’s has prepared me extremely well for my next steps after university. The opportunities I’ve taken whilst a student have really helped me develop my skill set and build up a network with my peers and established contacts across different practitioners in industry.

“I plan to use the skills I’ve accumulated at Gray’s as I move forward with my career, and feel confident that the things I’ve learned - both in terms of design, and  professional development - will help me get to where I want to go.”

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