Universal Design Challenge 2011
“The design techniques and team building was a great experience and I would recommend anyone to get involved with future Universal Design Challenges”
(Student design team member)
“Challenging students to design products for their non-peers should be part of all college courses” (Design team mentor)
The Universal Design Challenge for 2011 was operated to engage 3rd level final year and MSc product design students. It was a two day competition for design teams to create a new Universal Design. The challenge focused on embedding Universal Design thinking at the key point for students finishing university and transitioning into their design careers. It was held in Tullamore approximately 1 hour outside of Dublin and it attracted product design students from 3rd level colleges across Ireland.
The theme was Everyday Consumer Products. The brief was about Activities of Daily Livingand the design stimulus was how Extremes Inspire Design.
The keynote speech was by Brian Stephens, Managing Director/CEO of Design Partners.
The design teams were made up from a mix of members from different colleges. They were inspired by members of the public as users of everyday consumer products. The teams were guided by Universal Design advisors and mentored by expert Irish product designers including:
- Colin Maher, Dolmen Associates, Dublin
- Garrett Stokes, Design Business Ireland, Dublin
- Gregor Timlin, Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, RCA, London
- Marianna Kane, DesignBurst,Trim
- Murty O’Donohue, TIDI,Shannon
The teams persevered through the rigorous iterative design process and finally presented their new designs to an invited audience. The audience voted to choose the winning team for the People’s Choice Award and a jury of Universal Design Champions chose a team to win the Judges’ Choice Award
Winning team designs were:
The People’s Choice Award went to Team “Vessel” for their recognition of the universal difficulty experienced by all people when carrying items on a common serving tray, and at times having to release one hand temporarily.
Their design solution shown in the following image is a serving tray with a molded feature that enables a person to slide their hand into one end to temporarily hold the tray stable with one hand. The unique design feature makes transporting items much easier for all people regardless of their age, size or ability.
The Judges’ Choice Award went to Team “ALF” for their recognition of the universal difficulty experienced by all people when accessing lamp fittings or smoke detectors mounted high on walls or on ceilings.
Their design solution shown in the following image is a two part fitting that allows one part to lower to a height that makes changing a lamp or battery much easier for all people regardless of their age, size or ability.
The other team designs were:
Team OGO recognized the universal difficulty experienced by all people when trying to keep all of their belongings organized while on the go.
Their design solution called Organization on the Go “OGO” shown in the following image is a modular system of portable organizer components that can be assembled as a customizable kit. The OGO makes organizing your personal items much easier for all people regardless of their age, size or ability.
Team “Turtle” recognized the universal difficulty experienced by all people when trying to carry and handle multiple keys for a variety of locks in a variety of environments.
Their design solution shown in the following image is a stylish product that houses your keys to fit comfortably in your pocket. The shape acts as a lever that makes handling and turning keys much easier for all people regardless of their age, size or ability.
Team “Easy Bathe” recognized the universal difficulty experienced by all people when getting in and out of a bath.
Their design solution shown in the following image is an attractive multipurpose hollow bench that secures over the rim of the bath to offer stability with getting in and out of the bath. It can be used also as a small table with internal storage space. Easy Bathe makes getting in and out of the bath much more possible for all people regardless of their age, size or ability.
The Universal Design Challenge 2011 was operated by the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design at the National Disability Authority in collaboration with the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Royal College of Art, London and DesignHub Offaly County Tullamore Ireland.
We also want to send a special thank you to:
- Antoinette Fennell, NCBI/CFIT, Prize Site Coordinator / Organising Committe;
- James Hubbard, CEUD/NDA, Director, Universal Design Challenge 2011
- Neil Murphy, CEUD/NDA, Judging Coordinator / Organising Committee
- Noel Joyce, Designhub, Team Member Recruitment Coordinator
- Sean McNulty, Dolmen Design Associates / Organising Committee
And to our judges, the design advisors and all participants and contributors
The judges for the Universal Design Challenge were:
- Neil Murphy, CEUD/NDA (chair)
- Anne Kelly, Consumer expert for NSAI, AASCC, WG7
- Jim Harrison, University College Cork
- Keith Finglas, Innovation Delivery,Dublin
- Leanard O’Sullivan, University of Limerick
- Mark Dyer, TrinityHaus, Trinity College Dublin