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'Student proves his creative mind with an innovative hanger'

Newbury, June 29, 2012

An ingenious and original solution to an everyday, practical problem has not only won a prestigious award for a university student, but is also now the subject of a patent application.

Jamie Mansfield, a second year student of furniture and product design at Nottingham Trent University, has won a £1,000 prize for his collapsible flat-pack clothes hanger as well as a placement at one of the world’s leading polymer producers, Bayer MaterialScience, at their headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany.

Jamie was one of 274 students who registered to enter the 2012 Design Innovation in Plastics Award. The brief was to design a product to help those with physical or cognitive impairments that is also appealing to the mass market. By developing a unique, integral mechanism, Jamie designed a plastics coat hanger with flexible arms that collapse and spring back, allowing the user to attach clothing via the neck without having to take the hanger from the rail or undo buttons.

One of the seven judges, Robin Kent, Managing Director of Tangram Technology, said: “I have never seen this mechanism before in any form - let alone a coat hanger. It works well because it offers a strong initial resistance to movement, but once the 'break' has been made, it is then quite flexible. It’s a good mechanism with other potential uses, particularly in safety applications where you need something to resist movement but also be very flexible.” Described as ‘elegant’ by another judge, James Steiner, Senior Design Researcher PDD, the hanger has been praised for its robustness and the fact that minimal energy was used for its manufacture and transport.  It is also ideal for travelling as it packs flat. The product, which is produced in polypropylene sheet, also satisfies the key sustainability criteria contained in the brief for reducing, reusing, recycling and recovering plastics.

Jamie Mansfield, Furniture & Product Design Year 2, Nottingham Trent University.
Flexible Flat-Pack Clothing Hanger, a clothes hanger with flexible arms that collapse and spring back allowing the user to attach clothing via the neck without taking the hanger from the rail or undoing buttons. This is a completely original plastics product that uses an integral mechanism not seen before. Jamie has already applied for a patent pending and wins £1000 plus a placement at BMS in Leverkusen.

Rowan Williams, Industrial Design & Technology Year 3, Loughborough University.
Pego, a kitchen aid free of the visual aesthetics of current disability products that provides grip and stability in food preparation and incorporates kitchen knives and weighing scales. Rowan wins £500 plus a placement DePuy in Leeds.

Oliver Brunt, Design for Industry Year 2, Northumbria University.
Sense See Remember, an organisational memory aid based on a series of textured and coloured adhesive tabs to use as prompts in place of expensive electronic devices. Oliver wins £250 and a placement at PDD Group Ltd.

Gediminas Kuprys, BSc Product Design Year 2, University of Bradford.
Floor Mouse, a foot-operated computer mouse with additional options for using the foot control with a keyboard to suit personal needs and speeds. The inclusion of a wheel adds value and moves the product forward to meet a market need. Gediminas wins £100 and a placement at HellermannTyton.

Danny Lynch, Furniture & Product Design Year 2, Nottingham Trent University.
Clean-Cut, a tool to help those with visual or physical impairments to safely construct and cut sandwiches. No similar product exists and this aid also has universal appeal.  Danny wins £100 and a placement at Brightworks.

Michal Mojduszka, Product Design Year 2, University for the Creative Arts Rochester.  
Plug Pull Adaptor, a simple strip attachment, incorporating braille, that makes identifying, using and removing plugs very much easier for everyone. Michal wins £100 and a placement at Hi-Technology Group.

Founded in 1985, the Design Innovation in Plastics Award is a student competition jointly sponsored and run by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and The Worshipful Company of Horners, with the continued support of Bayer MaterialScience as the principal industry sponsor. The Award also acknowledges support from a number of key industry sponsors*.

The theme for the 2013 Award, ‘Saving Lives – Design for Disaster Relief’, has just been announced and further details will soon be available on the Award website: www.designinnovationplastics.org and also via Twitter,  DIP (@designinplastic), which will post regular updates nearer the time.


For further information and images please contact:
Sylvia Katz, Award Coordinator tel: 020 7503 5949
email: sylviakatz@designinnovationplastics.org.uk    www.designinnovationplastics.org

The winners’ presentation boards will remain on display at the IOM3 until the end of July 2012 IOM3, 1 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5DB. Tel: 020 7451 7300.