Design Museum award for ambulance redesign
The redesign of the emergency ambulance, a joint project between the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design and the Vehicle Design programme at the RCA, won the Transport category of the 2012 Design of the Year Awards at a special ceremony at the Design Museum on 24 April.
The awards showcase the most innovative and progressive designs from around the world spanning seven categories: Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Furniture, Graphics, Product and Transport.
The new ambulance addresses the problems crews face working in poorly designed ambulances. These include poor layout, access to the patient, communications, infection control and stock control, and cramped conditions.
The ambulance redesign project was carried out in collaboration with NHS London, London Ambulance Service, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and the University of the West of England.
South Korean-born Kihyun Kim, a 2011 graduate from the Royal College of Art's acclaimed Design Products programme, took the award for the Furniture category for his ultra-light balsa wood chair, weighing just 1.3kg.
The overall prize for Design of the Year was won by RCA graduates Barber Osgerby for their design of the London 2012 Olympic Torch.
Rector of the Royal College of Art, Dr Paul Thompson, said: 'We are thrilled with our Design of the Year successes. Our ambulance redesign is crucial given the demands of 21st-century healthcare.'
Jeremy Myerson, Helen Hamlyn Chair of Design, added: 'The Design Museum award is a real boost for the RCA research and design teams behind the new ambulance. It also raises the profile of co-design as this is very much a project developed in partnership with paramedics, clinicians and patients.'
Lord Ara Darzi, who led Imperial's contribution to the project, added: 'Effective use of design can enhance the translation of technology and provide higher quality of care for patients, citizens and consumers. This was a wonderful project for Imperial to be part of and it clearly demonstrates the impact that can be made if clinicians, researchers and designers from different disciplines collaborate together. We hope that this award-winning new ambulance design now becomes a reality for the future.'