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29 universities ~ 76 entries ~ 6 winners

The theme of the 2011 competition, ‘Design4Fun – a plastics product that solves a real problem and puts fun back into the lives of users’, challenged student industrial designers to create an innovative product that addressed the concerns of day-to-day life while bringing fun and pleasure back into the experience of using the product. Interpretations of the theme could include, for example, a novel solution to an existing problem, a brand new way of injecting enjoyment into an activity, or the use of material properties in a novel way.

We were delighted to receive more entries than last year, and Richard Brown, Operations Director for Hi-Technology Group and Chairman of the Judging Panel, commented that: “The winning entry, by Lewis Pearson from Swansea Metropolitan University, ticked all the boxes of the brief. He had thought it through and concentrated on the fun element. We were also especially pleased to see how well he was supported by his university, as were other finalists.”

A unique feature of the Design Innovation in Plastics Award is feedback from the judges following the preliminary judging session, which enables the students to refine their designs for the final judging stage.



Lewis Pearson, Swansea Metropolitan University, Moving Shelving
An interactive library shelving system for young children of 3-6 years.
Lewis wins a placement with Bayer MaterialScience, Leverkusen, and a cheque for £1000.
This shelving system reacts as books are taken or placed on it, encouraging interaction and engaging the child on an emotional level. It is in the form of a figure struggling to carry books and brings a fun
reading experience to children in schools and libraries, and in addition, teaches children the principles of balance.


Russell Tuit, Northumbria University, Little Helper
An educational children’s product aimed at turning family shopping into a pleasurable activity and encouraging parent-child bonding and early behavioural routines.
Russell wins a placement with DuPont in Geneva and a cheque for £500.
This is a counting and educational device that connects to a shopping trolley. Once an item on the supermarket shelf is spotted, the child decides on the category and as it is placed in the trolley, useful
information is available about it. A shopping list entered in advance online can be downloaded to the device.


Bumki Cho, Northumbria University, Hugging Angel
‘A warm-hearted stacking valet chair that holds your clothes and belongings with affection.’
Bumki wins a placement with the PDD Group and a cheque for £250.
In public places clothes hung on the backs of chairs can be touched, contaminated and dropped by others. Intended to induce user interaction together with a feeling of pleasure, the chair includes a side lock for securing a variety of belongings.


Christopher Hyde, University of Huddersfield, Sky Rise,
A dual-function teacher’s chair for use in primary school classrooms.
Christopher wins a placement with Brightworks plus a cheque for £100.

Teerapon Techapanichgul, Royal College of Art, Spine Toothbrush
A toothbrush with a replaceable brush head that is made from half the amount of plastic compared to a traditional toothbrush.
Teerapon wins a placement with HellermannTyton plus a cheque for £100.

James Whitfield, University of Huddersfield, Paint Stream
A waste-reducing paint tray.
James wins a placement with Hi-Technology Group plus a cheque for £100.


Richard Brown (Chairman), Hi-Technology Group
Mandy Haberman, Haberman Associates
Rob Holdway, Giraffe Innovation
Dr Robin Kent, Tangram Technology
Stuart Patrick, IOM3 Polymer Society
Alan Tear, Bayer MaterialScience
Alun Wilcox, PDD Group

The winners’ presentation boards will remain on display until the end of July 2011 at the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, 1 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5DB. Tel: 020 7451 7300.