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'Universal Design: Designing for the Rest of Us'

Design Innovation in Plastics 2012 open for registrations Undergraduate and postgraduate design students in the UK, enlisted for the academic year 2011-12, can now register to be part of Europe's longest running students design award..

September 22, 2011

The Design Innovation in Plastics (DIP) 2012 competition focuses on 'Universal Design: Designing for the Rest of Us'. While many of us take our physical and mental abilities for granted, others are less fortunate and can suffer from dexterity, visual, auditory and cognitive impairments. By taking into consideration a broader set of user needs at the outset of a project, designers can address these requirements directly while still creating products that are functional and appealing to everyone. Well-known examples might be the Good Grips kitchen utensils range by OXO or the Apple iPhone.

Martin Sixsmith, DIP Chairman, comments: "We wanted a very specific brief which will really challenge the students while at the same time providing them with a clear focus to produce an innovative product which appeals to everyone. We are sure they will find this to be an interesting and exciting competition."

Students are required to design a product to help those with physical or cognitive impairments that is also appealing to the mass market. Whether the solution is an answer to an existing problem or something entirely new, the focus should be on creating a design that is innovative, functional and universally appealing.

Registrations need to be received by Friday 21st October and entries submitted by Friday 24 February, with judging taking place in spring 2012.

Entries will be judged on the effective use of plastics as well as showing a solid understanding of ergonomic considerations, manufacturing costs, sustainability principles, environmental impact and commercialisation. Above all, entries must demonstrate an understanding of the ethos of inclusive design.

DIP is co-organised by the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining (IOM3) and the Worshipful Company of Horners, a City Livery Company that has forged strong links with the plastics industry.

For more information and to register, go to: www.designinnovationplastics.org