We are delighted to announce that sixth form student, Glenn Crombie has won first prize in The Future Perfect Company and Collyer’s competition to encourage young designers to think about the challenges that an ageing population presents – and to create innovative, attractive and aspirational designs that allow people to continue to live enjoyable, active and independent lives as they get older.
Glenn’s winning product is designed to eject a standard plug from a socket at the touch of a button – deceptively simple but very ingenious! Although initially designed to meet the needs of people with arthritis and similar gripping disabilities, this product has universal appeal and because it is based on a standard UK plug socket fitting, it is easily installed anywhere it is needed.
Joint second were Lucy Martlew, Andrew Marsh, Lauren Hale, James Delve and Jessica Chapman. whose designs included a light bulb changer, a mug which boils water using electromagnetic induction, a drinking glass with finger grooves for easy gripping, a soap sword and a long-handled personal grooming set.
The competition was open to Collyers students on the GCE Advanced Subsidiary Product Design course and judged by Denise Stephens (co-founder of online design community Enabled by Design), Harry Trimble (former winner of the competition at University of Brighton), and Philippa Aldrich (founder of The Future Perfect Company). Tutors Kate Sharp (Faculty leader – Arts and Communications) and Hari Atkins (Subject Leader – Product Design, Materials) acted as advisors to the judging panel.
Denise Stephens commented: “It was great to see design students exploring and addressing the challenges faced by many of us, but especially an ageing population. I was particularly excited to see entries that were clearly developed from a real need identified when speaking to people during the research stage of the design process, leading to some innovative results and mainstream appeal too.”
Harry Trimble said: “Collyers’ students demonstrated great quality of thought and initiative to uncover the fundamental issues underpinning the various challenges of becoming older. The competition illustrated wonderfully how the standard of design education can be significantly enhanced if we encourage designers to have firsthand experience of the problems we hope to resolve through design”
We were delighted with the enthusiasm with which the students approached the subject of ageing, something that they would not ordinarily consider and the high quality of the design thinking which resulted. It was good also to see that the students had spoken to potential older users as to what sort of products they wanted and needed and listened to what they were told.
We will feature more of the winning designs over the next few weeks but would interested to hear what you think about Glenn’s push- out plug socket. Would you buy one?