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RSA Student Design Award Winners Announced

Posted: 2nd June 2017

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.

The winning entries this year include:

  • Kamereon, a wearable game that utilises ‘smart’ shoes and geodata to motivate teens to go outside, exercise and socialise;
  • Infinity Mascara, a refillable mascara that can be applied using a 3D printed fingertip, saving an estimated 25 mascara bottles from landfill per person over 10 years;
  • Rise, an intelligent carpet that relies solely on human urine to grow crops in refugee camps, specially designed for use in non-fertile humanitarian crisis regions;
  • Culture Connects – Culture Tower, a board game for school-age children that aims to confront the issues of cultural misunderstanding that lead to social conflict.
  • Curve, an indoor wheelchair designed as a piece of residential furniture, whose elevated seat height is better suited to household tasks; and
  • Lit, an app that allows users to shop for food based on their medical/dietary requirements.

Briefs are issued each year to encourage designers to tackle some of the world’s most pressing issues. This year, over 800 entries from 21 countries across the globe responded to 12 different briefs, around topics such as designing ways to increase mental agility in old age, ensuring mothers and children in emerging markets have the greatest chance of survival through pregnancy and birth, and designing new products or services from disused office furniture. The Inclusive Living Award is sponsored by the Office for Disability Issues as part of the Built Enviroment Professional Education Project which is being taken forward by CIC.

Now in their 93rd year, the RSA Student Design Awards demonstrate the ways in which design thinking can benefit society. They encourage students to apply their skills for social good, and forge networks of creative individuals, partnerships between emerging designers and established industry giants that are leading the way in solving the world’s most critical problems through ingenious, playful and resourceful solutions. Previous winners include the Chief Executive of the Design Business Association Deborah Dawton, Apple Design Chief Sir Jonathan Ive and Founder/CEO of renewable energy company Pavegen Laurence Kemball-Cook.

Sevra Davis, Director of the RSA Student Design Awards says “The awards encourage entrepreneurship, creative thinking, business acumen and real-life application. The programme’s long-standing success is testament to the value of forging inspired partnerships between young creative minds and experienced industry leaders. Since the early 2000s we have encouraged students to think differently about design and to consider design for social impact as a viable career path. We are indebted to our many sponsors for making this a possibility, for their vision and investment in innovation and for nurturing the future leaders of tomorrow.”

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 will be celebrated at a ceremony at the Royal Society of Arts’ headquarters in London, including a keynote address by past RSA Student Design Award Winner David Constantine MBE, co-founder of Motivation, a charity that sets up self-sustaining projects to improve the quality of life of people with mobility disabilities in developing countries.