2014 RSA Student Design Award Winners

Today is a big day.

Nine months ago on September 1st 2013, we launched our eight RSA Student Design Award briefs for the year and thousands of students across the UK, Europe and Asia began applying their design skills to a range of social, economic and environmental issues such as improving hygiene in low-income areas, managing water in urban areas, addressing changing work patterns, and many more. Over 600 students sent their work into the RSA and our judges began the arduous task of reviewing and scrutinising the work, looking for key insights and clever design thinking. Those 600+ entries became a short-list of around 80 and today, after interviews with all short-listed entrants, I am pleased to present the 18 winning projects and the designers behind them.

Today’s impressive list of emerging designers and innovators – some working in collaborative teams and some working individually – represent the best of what happens when good ideas meet good design (and good briefs too, I think!).

This year’s winners include proposals for new packaging made from beeswax, an alarm clock app to improve well-being amongst 18-25 year olds, an affordable sanitary towel for schoolgirls in low-income areas, and a frugally-designed hygiene pack for use in refugee camps.

Lisa Hornsey won for her project 'Raksha,'  a new brand of low-cost, environmentally friendly sanitary towel made primarily from biodegradable hemp. Rashka is aimed at school girls in rural India and manufactured by local women, who will deliver hygiene and menstruation education alongside the product to improve school attendance and self-esteem as well as hygiene.

Lisa Hornsey won for her project ‘Raksha,’ a new brand of low-cost, environmentally friendly sanitary towels aimed at school girls in rural India and manufactured by local women.

In addition to the 17 Awards given out across our 8 briefs this year, I am pleased to announce a new Award for graduates of the scheme: the RSA Student Design Awards Development Award. This award, supported by RBS, is given out to a past participant who has demonstrated further commitment and development of their RSA project. The inaugural award this year goes to James Langdon, for his project, The Gentle Guider, a redesign of the existing guide dog harness for Guide Dogs for the Blind, designed in response to the RSA’s 2011/12 Mine for Life brief.

You’ll find the full list of winners below. In addition to the winners, the judges on each brief offered many short-listed students commendations to reward their hard work and enthusiasm in response to the briefs. You can read descriptions and see images of all the winning and commended work on our Showcase.

Today isn’t just special because we’re announcing the winners, but also because 2014 marks the 90th anniversary of the RSA Student Design Awards. The scheme has mirrored – and in more recent years – pioneered the evolution of design from craft to a powerhouse of innovation and a valuable tool for positive social impact. I strongly believe that these winners and design thinking they embody is the true value of the RSA Student Design Awards and this talented group could easily be the next generation of Design 21: the Social Design Network, Curry Stone Design Prize winners, or MacArthur Fellows.

I am very proud of the impact that the RSA Student Design Awards have on all participants – demonstrating the value of social design to the next generation is of paramount importance to the scheme. Amy Webster, one-half of a team from Kingston University that won an RSA Fellows’ Award this year for the project ‘In Good Hands,’ a social enterprise that links student beauty apprentices with socially isolated individuals, said this about her win this year:

‘We are over-the-moon with excitement. This project has been an incredible journey for us – we have both learnt so much about ourselves and the field of social design, and feel we have gained skills that will remain with us in our future design careers.’

Amy Webster + Jade Kent won for ‘In Good Hands,’ which links beauty apprentices with socially isolated individuals.

I’m delighted that we’re holding a reception to celebrate the 2013/14 Award winners and participants on 19th June at the RSA. The event is a chance for past winners, sponsors and jury members to celebrate the next generation and will feature a conversation with Richard Howarth, a past RSA Student Design Award winner and now industrial design at Apple. Sir Jonathan Ive will address the event via video.

I have a lot more to say about the impact of the RSA Student Design Awards scheme on people, careers, and the power to create, but more on that to come in the next few weeks.

So, one last big congratulations to all the winners, commended students and participants in this year’s RSA Student Design Awards – without any further ado, here are the winners…

2014 RSA Student Design Award Winners

Tomorrow’s Workplace, sponsored by RBS

  • Winners of the RBS Award for Best Design Project
    James Donnellan and Kevin Glynn, BA Industrial Design at National College of Art and Design in Dublin, for
    The Hatchery: a methodology manifested through a work environment that gives workers a greater sense of place and autonomy.
  • Winner of the RBS Award for the Best Business Case
    Julie Berdou, BA (Hons) Interior Design at London Metropolitan University, for
    WW – A mobile workplace that connects: new spaces for activity-based working situated in transport hubs and other community and urban locations, blurring the lines between work and city.

Everyday Well-being, in partnership with We Are What We Do

  • Winners of the RSA Fellows’ Award
    Lizzie Reid and Olivia Charlesworth, BA (Hons) Graphic Design at Kingston University, for
    Good Morning:an alarm clock app targeted at 18-25 year olds where users select songs for friends or strangers to wake them up and aimed at giving them a positive start to the day.
  • Winner of the Fay Cuthbertson Memorial Award
    Katie Cadwallader, BA (Hons) Graphic Design at University College Falmouth, for
    No Screen Sunday:a behaviour change and communications campaign that encourages people to eliminate the use of screen-based devices on Sundays and instead engage in offline activities and interact with people face-to-face.

Improve Hygiene, Improve Lives, sponsored by Unilever

  • Winner of the Unilever Award
    Oliver Brunt, BA Design for Industry, Northumbria University, for
    Managing Personal Dignity in Times of Need: 4SANITATION is a frugally designed hygiene pack for use in refugee camps. It consists of 5 ultra-condensed, long life soap blocks which are infused with a harmless yet powerful substance called ‘Titanium Dioxide’ which destroys bacteria and odour, and leaves a shield of protection after use.
  • Winner of the Unilever Award
    Lisa Hornsey, BA Design for Industry, Northumbria University, for
    Raksha – a hybrid sanitary towel: a new brand of low-cost, environmentally friendly sanitary towels made primarily from biodegradable hemp. Raksha is aimed at school girls in rural India and manufactured by local women, who will deliver hygiene and menstruation education alongside the product to improve school attendance and self-esteem as well as hygiene.

Water Water Everywhere, sponsored by Severn Trent Water

  • Winner of the Paid Internship at Severn Trent Water
    Oliver Liddard, BA Product Design at Birmingham City University, for
    Rethink Sink:a household sink with a tipping bowl that reminds users how much water they use by keeping the water in a plugless bowl that can then be decanted into another bowl for re-use.
  • Winner of the Severn Trent Water Award
    Paul Moran and Jess Lockhart, BA Industrial Design at National College of Art and Design in Dublin, for
    Water sculptures in the home: a series of sculptures that work in conjunction with home water meters to let household occupants know how much water they are using in an elegant, simple, natural analogue way.

Re-invent the Toilet, sponsored by Loughborough University

  • Winner of the Loughborough University Award
    David King, BA Design for Industry at Northumbria University, for
    The Community Toilet: a proposal for a community toilet that aims to address challenging attitudes to sanitation and actively engages the community in the process of changing attitudes through creating a sense of ownership.
  • Winner of the Innovation Award
    Phillip Jackson
    for his commitment and innovation on his project, outside of the scope of the brief.

The Whole Package brief, sponsored by Waitrose

  • Winner of the Paid Internship at Waitrose
    Alec Machin, MEng Product Design and Manufacture at the University of Nottingham, for
    Decorate Paints: A solution to short life paint containers: Decorate is a new paint container that reduces both paint and packaging waste– it has a one-way pouring valve that prevents paint from drying out, the paint is stored in a bag made from a metallized PET that maintains its temperature, and the cardboard outer, plastic lid and valve can all be recycled.
  • Winners of the Natracare Award
    Riikka Suominen and Thea Engerdahl, BA Graphic Design at Kingston University, for:
    Sustainable Packaging: Beeswax:a food packaging brand made from beeswax; a natural material that is sustainable and simple to produce whilst effectively protecting and preserving food. Production of this packaging will furthermore increase beekeeping and contribute to stabilising bee populations.

Innovation in Giving, sponsored by Springetts Brand Design Consultants

  • Winner of the 12-week paid placement at Springetts
    Ashley Pickford, BA Design for Industry, Northumbria University, for:
    Breakfast for Two: volunteering initiative that connects two groups of people in need – isolated older people and children who suffer from food poverty – via a breakfast club that provides a space for children to eat breakfast whilst interacting with elder volunteers.
  • Winners of the RSA Fellows’ Award
    Amy Webster + Jade Kent, BA Graphic Design at Kingston University, for
    In Good Hands:a forum that links student apprentices with socially isolated individuals, enabling the students to fulfil their ‘live practice’ training requirements whilst providing social interaction free beauty/well-being treatments for vulnerable people.

Collaborative Consumption, sponsored by the Patricia Tindale Legacy and Priestmangoode

  • Winner of the Patricia Tindale Legacy Award
    Samuel Hoh, BA (Hons) Graphic Design at Leeds College of Art for
    Aye Skipper: a logistics service and application that enables businesses to offer clean and safe waste materials/products to their local community, thereby reducing waste and associated disposal costs, and supporting reuse and upcycling of useful materials.
  • Winner of the Patricia Tindale Legacy Award
    Joshua Dean, BA Graphic Design at Kingston University, for
    Sharing High-Idle Products Through Libraries: a service that enables people to borrow seldom-used products from their local libraries, and in the process, reinvigorates libraries as relevant, valuable public services.
  • Winner of the Paid Internship at Priestmangoode
    Lee Clarke
    , BA Product Design at DeMontfort University, for
    The Community Rail: a system for leasing bulky items, for example vacuum cleaners, which is installed in communal areas of limited space accommodation such as single room flats or student halls. The communal rail eliminates unnecessary ownership of bulky equipment, whilst providing a space for social interaction among residents.

RSA Student Design Awards 2014 Development Award, sponsored by RBS

  • Winner
    James Langdon, (Graduate) MEng in Product Design and Manufacturing from the University of Nottingham for
    The Gentle Guider: a redesign of the existing guide dog harness used by blind users using 3D scanning and 3D printing capabilities to better serve the dog and the user. The Gentle Guider design is patent pending and being developed in collaboration with Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and University of Nottingham Veterinary school. James developed his Gentle Guider project in response to the 2011/12 RSA Student Design Awards ‘Mine for Life’ brief, which asked students to design an assistive technology product, service or equivalent that involves additive manufacture and uses a consumer-driven and people-centred design philosophy.

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