A screen-based book that raises literacy levels by allowing children and parents to read together and a medical innovation that minimises the risk of needle-stick injuries in hospital were among the winners of this year’s Design for our Future Selves Awards, announced in June.
The Awards, which provide the main focus for the Helen Hamlyn Centre’s engagement with RCA students, were presented at a well-attended ceremony on 26 June that acted as the curtain raiser for a special Innovation Night for business partners of the Royal College of Art.
A personal grand prix award for creativity was given by Helen Hamlyn to an RCA team which designed an interactive playground that encourages children to exercise outdoors.
Speaking at the event, RCA Rector Professor Sir Christopher Frayling, commented: “This has been another great year in this important awards scheme which cuts a cross-section through the design and communication disciplines of the College and shows social awareness right at the heart of our work at Masters level.“
Six main award categories were sponsored by Big Idea, CABE, Future Foundation, Help The Aged, Mobility Choice, and Michael Peters, who gave a special award for inter-disciplinary work. Lord Snowdon also gave an award for design for disability. 26 projects from 10 different RCA departments were presented as finalist.
A record total of 102 Masters students from 12 Royal College of Art departments entered the Awards last autumn, responding to the following brief:
'As a designer, architect, communicator, maker or researcher, identify a social group and engage with people in that group to develop a project that improves an aspect of their quality of life - such as their independence, mobility, health or work. Your project should demonstrate a combination of creative design thinking and user research.'
A total of 54 projects were shortlisted in January and these went through a second round of judging at Easter to arrive at a final shortlist of 28 projects.
The full list of finalists and winning projects here.