Exciting times as 2020 DIP winner goes global and 2021 registration gathers pace

By 09/12/2020 News

The end of the year may be approaching, but the Design Innovation in Plastics competition is already well into preparations for the 2021 competition. DIP chairman, Martin Sixsmith, reflects on a highly successful 2020, and explains why it is so beneficial for students to get involved in this competition.

The new competition year is now underway, and it is always with growing excitement that we already see registrations arriving for the next Design Innovation in Plastics competition.

As ever, some students have already booked their place, so to speak, so please do add your name to the list and fill out our registration form at https://www.designinnovationplastics.org/enter/ to let us know you intend to make an entry.  Full details and the timeline are available on this website.

Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic at the beginning of 2020, we made a very early decision that we still wanted the competition to go ahead. The tremendous support we had from our 2020 students was truly inspirational. They overcame their own constraints superbly, including working from home, and they came up with some highly ingenious new products.

Mention should also be made of our panel of judges for the seamless way they embraced the online judging process without any compromise to their unerring standards.

This year’s winner, Kristen Tapping, from London South Bank University, has been an exceptional ambassador for DIP.  Her pollution filtering bicycle wheel, Rolloe, has not only ‘gone global’, her details having been picked up by publications as far afield as Hungary, Turkey, and Italy, but it has also smashed it in the UK, being featured by energy drink giant Red Bull, and the UK’s prime time television technology programme, The Gadget Show, among others.  Since then, Rolloe has received mention in The Independent, and Belfast City Council is now interested in trialling it when it is ready to be launched.

Previous winners of our competition have gone on to great things too: for example, DIP 2014 winner, Michael Tougher’s music learning product for children, Soundbops, has been nominated for Beazley Designs of the Year and will be on display at the Design Museum in London until March, 2021.  We are very excited to hear his product is being launched to the market this Christmas! 

Rob Law was a previous winner in 1998 with his Trunki design (then called Rodeo), the renowned brand of ride-on/carry-on hand luggage for children. Trunki has gone on to achieve global success for Rob and his company Magmatic.

It is clear from the feedback we receive, that being a finalist in our competition is a prized goal for design students around our universities.  We are delighted, because for us it has never just been a numbers game: on the contrary we make it our business to get to know our finalists, give them work placements as prizes,  and provide them with as many hints, tips and ongoing mentoring advice as we can, within the parameters of our operation, as well as taking an interest in their future progression.  The experience and knowledge the students gain from this competition is invaluable in their learning and career development. 

The challenge of 2020 has brought out the best in our students, our own organisation and our valued sponsors.  We have drawn many positives from our new situation, which we will take with us into 2021, and we hope this will inspire the current year of talented students to get involved!  We very much look forward to hearing from you all!