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RSA Inclusive Worlds Design Awards recognise New Talent

Source: UN, 1 July 2004

The brief challenged design students to explore ways to make it easier and more engaging for people to take part in everyday life. Here are the winners...

Safe to handle, easy to read microwaveable food packaging; a portable, low cost visual display aid; and a holistic rehabilitation device are among the winning entries in the RSA Design Directions Inclusive Worlds Awards, presented this week by Ross Lovegrove, RSA Royal Designer for Industry. 

Usability News has been following the awards throughout the year, as the new RSA Inclusive Worlds encourages young designers to engage with the broader social and environmental context in which they will work. The brief challenged design students to explore ways to make it easier and more engaging for people to take part in everyday life.

Winning designs include:

  • Richard Telford, Northumbria University, has designed Healthy Choice microwave packaging which is safe for the user to handle when hot.  The packaging also includes easy to read instructions as part of the design.  Richard wins the Design Council Award of £3,500 and The Mercers’ Company Whittington Award of £1,000.
  • Laura Birtwistle Glasgow School of Art, won the ADAPT Trust Travel Award of £2,500 and the BT Award of £2,000 for her portable and low cost visual aid.  Her design allows people with macular degeneration or other visual impairments greater independence as the product is adaptable to all situations where text or images need to be magnified.
  • A holistic rehabilitation device has been designed by Allan Sinclair, Glasgow School of Art.  Motigate, designed with the intention of assisting people with multiple physical disabilities to integrate into society, was awarded the Helen Hamlyn Research Centre Award £2,500, The Mercers’ Company Whittington Award of £1,000 and the Design Council Award of £1,000.
  • Natalie Scott, Glasgow School of Art, has designed a product for people with diabetes to monitor their blood glucose levels.  The Lancitor, which combines two products into one, has won the Helen Hamlyn Research Centre  Award of £3,500 and The Mercers’ Company Whittington Award of £1,000.

The Design Directions programme this year attracted 1,600 entries in total and made awards worth around £100,000.  RSA Design Directions fosters the best of European design and has helped launch the careers of top designers including Jonathan Ive, creator of the iMac computer, fashion designer Betty Jackson and Andy Clark, designer of the Heathrow Express train.  The competition offers winning students either cash awards to fund travel, post-graduate studies, start-up costs/equipment or any other use deemed suitable by the RSA, or internships designed to provide valuable work experience opportunities.

The judging panel was:

  • Chair: Professor Roger Coleman, Professor of Inclusive Design and Co-director of the Helen Hamlyn Research Centre, Royal College of Art
  • Professor Anne H Anderson OBE, Director, People at the Centre of Communication and Information Technologies (PACCIT) programme
  • Anthony Di Bitonto, Director of Industrial Design, Smart Design
  • Stewart Coulter, Director, The ADAPT Trust
  • Bryan Dutton CB CBE, Director General, Leonard Cheshire
  • Lesley Morris, Design Learning Manager, Design Council
  • Jeff Patmore, Head of The Strategic University Research Programme, BT Exact
  • Professor Helen Petrie, Professor of Human Computer Interaction, City University
  • London (currently organises UKDeAN, the UK Design for All and eAccessibility Network)
  • Geoff Pickup, Principal Designer, British Museum
  • Melody Roberts, Director of Design Research, Smart Design
  • Marc Tanner, Cogent Innovation
  • Dr Duncan Watney FRSA, The Mercers' Company
  • Sarah Williams, Inclusive Designer, Sensory Trust