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2016 RSA student design awards winners announced

Posted: 1st June 2016

The Royal Society of Arts is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s RSA Student Design Awards - the longest-running global student competition - which challenges emerging designers at university level to tackle real-world social, environmental and economic issues through design thinking and skills.

Winning entries this year include FrailTea, a system for collecting and analysing grip data via daily kettle usage, to help improve care of the elderly and enable them to live more independently; Playmake, a custom tablet app to enable children on the autistic spectrum to become more expressive, independent and sociable; It’s Great to Hydrate, a behaviour-change campaign to reduce food waste; M, A wearable gadget and app to make budgeting easier for young people; Aeropowder, a novel insulation material made from feather waste material; and WUDU Water Saver, a product to allow Muslims to practice the obligatory cleansing ritual of Wudu whilst reducing personal water consumption. Full details of the winning entries can be found here.

Over 900 entries responded to 12 different briefs, which tackle challenges faced by societies across the world, such as depleting resources, increasing populations, ageing demographics and overconsumption. Briefs included designing ways to ‘eliminate the concept of waste in developed societies’, ‘empower people with longterm health conditions to take a greater role in managing their care’ and ‘make sharing economies fairer’.

In their 92nd year, the RSA Student Design Awards demonstrate that these challenges can steer young creative minds to use design thinking to great effect, devising practical, playful and often witty solutions to solve some of the world’s most critical problems. Previous winners include Apple Design Chief Jonathan Ive, leading industrial designer Paul Priestman, GOV.UK mastermind Ben Terrett and renowned fashion designer Betty Jackson.
Sevra Davis, Director of the RSA Student Design Awards says “The awards encourage entrepreneurship, creative thinking, business acumen and real-life application. Since 2003, we have focused our efforts on inclusive design and setting briefs for social impact. It’s encouraging that each year, we are receiving more and more entries and partnering up with more universities and sponsors around the world. We’re also starting to see
collaborations between students of different disciplines, like design and biology. This is testament to the variety of the Awards programme as well as new, inclusive ways that students are working together and thinking about solving societal issues.”

Sponsors and partners of the RSA Student Design Awards include RBS, Airbnb, Unilever, Waitrose, Philips, GSK, Fazer, PriestmanGoode, Eden Project, Office for Disability Issues, Buro Happold Engineering, Springetts, Materials Council and Natracare. The winners receive either a cash prize or paid work placement with a sponsor, as well as Fellowship to the Royal Society of Arts.

The winners of the 2016 awards will be celebrated at a special ceremony at the Royal Society of Arts’ headquarters in London, including a keynote address by former RSA Student Design Award Winner and current Global VP of Advanced Innovation at Nike, Richard Clarke.