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Student Showcase Archive


The Helen Hamlyn Design Awards 2009

British Council for Offices Award for Working Life

'Desk' System 
- Felix De Pass, RCA Design Products  (Winner)
'Desk' is a multi-functional desking system for the home office workplace. The essence of the desk's construction occurs in the corners where a singular repeated aluminium extrusion connects all the materials together, allowing for easy assembly or disassembly. The horizontal aluminium extrusion desk frame conceals integrated tracks to which various accessories are attached. Folded sheet aluminium drawers, cable management solutions and privacy screens can all be fitted allowing the elementary desk to adapt and meet the varying needs of the user and situation. By changing the lengths of the horizontal extrusions, the design can be made available in a variety of sizes to suit different environments.

Judges' comment:
“Unlike much work furniture imported into the home, this flexible and multi-functional system for the homeworker is scaled for domestic use. It is beautifully resolved in terms of detail."

Age Concern and Help the Aged Design Award for Inclusive Community

Move-it: Cardboard wheels
- David Graham, RCA Innovation Design Engineering (Winner)
Move-it, made entirely from cardboard, is a compact self-assembly carriage system for moving boxes weighing up to 20Kg. It is fully recyclable and lightweight and consists of a set of two wheels with an adjustable handle. Ideally the system will be available for a nominal price, in large shops such as IKEA, where customers with weighty or awkward purchases could utilise the system to ease their journey home. Once home the system can be either disposed of by being recycled; saved with the box for future trips; or reused on another box. The system is designed for withstanding a typical trip across London on public transport and can even cope with rain and wet pavements.

Judges' comment:
“A project that shows commitment to both inclusive and sustainable ideals. Relevant to all ages and stages. A low-tech solution for anyone who wants to remain independent. It makes you say 'I wish I'd thought of that!"

Factory Design Award for Healthcare and Patient Safety

PhD study of 3D Modelling Tools
- Jorge Roberto Lopes Dos Santos, RCA Design Products (Winner)
The project involves the experimental application of digital model making technologies in fetal medicine. It proposes a new form of interaction with the unborn child during pregnancy by physically recreating the interior of the womb during gestation: the physical appearance, the actual size, and also malformation. The project proposes an innovative contribution to science and the educational study of fetal malformations, as the methodology may be applied at different stages of pregnancy. The combination of USG, MRI and CT scans and Rapid Prototyping technologies aims to improve the understanding of fetal abnormalities.

Judges' comment:
"This project brings a different dimension to pregnancy. It could provide a bridge between clinician and patient, helping to illustrate and discuss particular conditions. An experimental application of digital modelmaking technologies, it could also have applications beyond fetal medicine.”

Technology Strategy Board Design Award for Independent Living

Touch&Turn: Cooking for the blind
- Menno Kroezen, RCA Innovation Design Engineering (Winner)
Touch&Turn is a new innovative cooking system specifically tailored to the needs of the blind and partially sighted. Out of the two million people with a visual impairment in the UK, half of them cook lovely meals every day. However, the other rarely cook because of various impediments. Whereas a small number have other disabilities that prevent them from cooking, most lack the confidence or find it difficult to overcome the hurdles involved in order to prepare a tasty and healthy meal. Touch&Turn is designed to overcome many of the practical and emotional barriers. It enables everyone to enjoy cooking safely while benefitting from an intuitive tactile and audio-based interface. Touch&Turn would be sold as a set consisting of a single hob and a matching pot.

Judges' comments:
"A exemplary project that demonstrates what the Helen Hamlyn Centre is all about. A simple, inclusive, safe and non-stigmatising solution based on strong user research."

“A thoroughly well-resolved project that uses both materials and induction technology in an innovative way. It has wide application, not just for blind people but also for those with cognitive issues. User-driven design addresses an everyday lifestyle so that a simple and safe product could be added to an existing kitchen at a realistic price."

Helen Hamlyn Design Award for Creativity

Touch&Turn: Cooking for the blind, Menno Kroezen, RCA Innovation Design Engineering (Winner)
Move-it: Cardboard wheels, David Graham, RCA Innovation Design Engineering (Highly Commended)


The Vidarbha Cotton Widows
- Verena Hanschke, RCA Communication Art & Design

This project started with a two-month trip to the Vidarbha Region in India. It examined the extent of an advertising campaign and the claims made by the worlds biggest producer of genetically modified seeds. Through interviews and discussions with more than 15 widows of GM cotton farmers, seed shop owners, the head of the local GM seed company Ankur Seeds and an organic farmer who has been developing a native seed bank that helps farmers to return to native seeds. Presented in a book, video and new campaign, photographs and stories behind the farmers and the possible reasons why they committed suicide are illustrated.

Reflections on Talking and Listening
- Yiqiao (Echao) Jiang, RCA Communication Art & Design 
Three animation short films that promote the importance of emotional communication through talking and listening, inspired by research with people with depression.
Three findings: talking, listening and fighting peer pressure, are the main focus of the project. The films promote the importance of talking and listening with the purpose of preventing depression.

Social Soap 1-Paris Suburbs,
- Thomas Pausz, RCA Design Products
Social Soap involved setting up a small soap factory in a housing estate in the suburbs of Paris and organising soap making workshops. The soap is made using plants and herbs from urban gardens nearby. The Arboretum created during the project stays on a communal terrace of the estate ready for next year's production. Social Soap, working as a social enterprise aims at promoting local knowledge for the makers, and improve the image of the suburbs to buyers.

Judges' comment:
"These three projects all used design to find a way to talk engagingly about important social issues – in their case, the effects of genetically-modified crops on Indian communities, the need for local social enterprise in large cities, and the fight against depression."