2016-17 - RSA

Student Design Awards winners 2016-17

In 2016-17, we received over 800 entries from 21 different countries spread over 4 continents. 82 percent of entries were from UK-based students and 18 percent were from students based elsewhere in the world.

View the full gallery of winning and commended work on our Facebook page.


Sponsored by RBS

Design and develop a vision and a business case for a new product and/or service made from disused office furniture.

Winner: Thomas Howell-Jones, Birmingham City University

Project: Rest?, a hard-shell rucksack and pannier bag made from the backrest of redundant office chairs. Through ‘Rest?’ the office chair is transformed into a multi-functional, ecological product promoting an active lifestyle.

Award: Winner of the RBS Award of £2500

Winner: Thomas Wastling, Cranfield University, Leicester  Ethan Howard, Uppsala University

Project: Bare Technology, a product and service design solution to convert old computers (e-waste) into simpler, more straightforward, accessible computers for older people; Bare Technology aims to address the increasing problem of e-waste and the fact that many older people are isolated by technology.

Award: Winner of the RBS Award of £1000 for the best business case

Commended projects

Christopher Vogt, Jana Lenhard, Nico Witwicki and Victoria Sandvoß, DHBW Ravensburg

Project: Beesley
Award: Highly Commended for the RBS Award and Commended for Best Business Case

Monique Ortman, University of Central Oklahoma

Project: ZED Keyboard Key Tiles
Award: Commended for Best Business Case

Rachel Brown, University of the Highlands and Islands

Project: Admyra Beautifiler
Award: Commended for Best Business Case

The Good Life 2.0

Sponsored by Philips

Use design to empower people to better prevent, detect, treat and possibly reverse lifestyle-related health conditions.

Winner: Aidan Postle, Plymouth University, 2017

Project: Breathe-Easy, a consumer healthcare system and subscription service that tackles the issues caused by ambient air pollution through the application of citizen science; it uses three key strategies (the product, a tree-planting scheme and citizen science) to not only reduce the potential risk of air pollution on the body but also decrease the amount of contamination in the air and address people’s mindsets around the impact of pollution.

Award: Winner of the Philips Award of £2500

Winner: Nerissa Arviana Prawiro, Loughborogh University

Project: Diit, a personalised automated diet management system that provides real-time handheld analysis of calories and micronutrients in food to detect over/under consumption through scanning and weight; the system encourages compliance with renal diet allowances and may prevent progression of kidney failure.

Award: Winner of the RSA Fellows Award of £1250

Commended projects

Marie Tricaud, Ahreum Jung, Bassam Huneidi and Pratik Ghosh, Royal College of Art

Project: The Brinery
Award: Highly Commended

Belfug Sener, Middle East Technical University/College for Creative Studies

Project: Blink
Award: Commended

Agile Ageing

Sponsored by Fazer with additional support from Waitrose

Design a way to increase and maintain mental agility and ‘brain power’ in older age.

Winner: Jinhui Low, Cchaiwat and Christie Cheng Wan Ting, LASALLE College of the Arts

Project: LIT, an app (supported by local supermarkets) that allows users to shop for food based on their individual medical history and/or dietary requirements, making it easier to eat foods that will improve overall health. Users will be rewarded with points for buying the ‘right’ foods that will offset future purchases.

Award: Joint Winner of the Frazer Award of £1250

Winner: Amber Ruske, Arts University Bournemouth

Project: Memory Bus, a regular bus service that also offers passengers a chance to play games and quizzes, engage in various activities, and have impromptu conversations in an effort to increase and maintain cognitive function and decrease loneliness.

Award: Joint Winner of the Fazer award (£1250)

Commended projects

Yasmin Dunnett, Middlesex University

Project: Skill Share Café
Award: Commended

Jade Innes and Lauren Mackay, University of the West of England

Project: 'Write a Letter, Story Teller'
Award: Commended

Hollie Fox, Plymouth University

Project: Mindfuel
Award: Commended

Circular Futures

Sponsored by Unilever

Design and develop a product, system or business model for Fast Moving Consumer Goods based on principles of circular design and value creation.

Winner: Philippa Bridges, Loughborough University

Project: Infinity Mascara: a refillable mascara product and service solution where the mascara can be applied to the lashes with a 3D-printed fingertip that fits the individual’s finger form; the product only needs to be replaced every 3-6 months and it is that Infinity will save an estimated 25 mascara bottles from landfill per person.

Award: Winner of the Unilever Award of £2500

Commended project

Blair McIntosh, Northumbria University

Project: Honest Water
Award: Commended

Mind Your Money

Sponsored by RBS with additional support from NCR

Design a way for people to improve their financial capability and manage their money better.

Winner: Liam Tuckwood, University of Derby

Project: Emote, an interactive debit card with a face that reacts and emotes based on the user’s spending and remaining bank balance; the card is linked to an app that serves as a budget tool and reminder.

Award: Winner of the RBS Award of £1500

Winner: Sarah White, Sheffield Hallam University

Project: Back in Black: a money management app for students to help people spend and save money wisely; the app is specifically targeted at students and works to prevent the urge to spend impulsively by reminding students of their longer-term saving goals. 

Award: Winner of the NCR Internship

Commended projects

Dan Davies, Cardiff Metropolitan University

Project: Connect
Award: Highly Commended

Kilian Kottmeier, Maya Pillai and Retnodewiningrum Hadiningdiah, Aalto University of Arts Design and Architecture

Project: Dibs
Award: Commended

James Burnside, Northumbria University

Project: T.A.B. (Touch Allocated Banking) 
Award: Commended

Happy Birthday

Sponsored by GSK

Design a way of ensuring that mothers and children in emerging markets have the greatest chance of survival in pregnancy and birth.

Winner: Emily Brook, Leeds Beckett University

Project: Reusable Maternity Kit, a safe, sustainable and comfortable solution for managing after-birth bleeding designed specifically for mothers in The Gambia; the kit includes four reusable maternity towels, two pairs of cotton underwear and instructions showing how the kit can be used.

Award: Joint Winner of the paid placement at GSK and half the cash award (£500)

Winner: Elspeth Coutts, Edinburgh College of Art

Project: Chain Reaction, a unique peer empowerment campaign and workshop programme tackling and breaking the everyday stigmas faced by women (with a focus on East Africa) designed to address a lack of sexual health, menstruation, pregnancy and childbirth education.

Award: Joint Winner of the paid placement at GSK and half the cash award (£500)

Commended projects

Ana Vieira and Claire MacDonald, Middlesex University 

Project: Baba Hero Blanket
Award: Highly Commended

Hannah Spearman-Oxx, Arts University Bournemouth

Project: New Life Carrier Cot
Award: Commended 

Beyond Borders

Sponsored by Marketing Trust with additional support from The Chartered Institute of Marketing

Create a campaign, service, product or environment designed to promote inter-cultural understanding.

Winner: Areli  Jacobs, University of Bedfordshire 

Project: The Welcome Project, a community-based service scheme and campaign aimed at newcomers in a new community/society looking for guidance and friendly advice; the Welcome Project also provides locals with an opportunity to give back to their community in a number of ways and even promote their business.

Award: Winner of the CIM Paid Placement Award

Winner: Antonia Lowe, University of Northampton 

Project: Culture Connects – Culture Tower, a fun and educational board game for school-age children that aims to confront the issues of cultural misunderstanding that lead to social conflict.

Award: Winner of the Marketing Trust Cash Award of £2000

Commended projects

Teodora Hristova, Charlotte Keyworth, Eleanor Allcock, Jessica Rooney, and Rose Haverman, University of Leeds

Project: Write & Unite
Award: Highly Commended

Ailsa Inglis, Northumbria University

Project: Squidge Language
Award: Highly Commended

Luca Westwood, Middlesex University

Project: Culturama
Award: Commended


Sponsored by Global Disability Innovation Hub with additional support from Disrupt Disability

Design a wheelchair of the future for the #HackOnWheels library of open source designs.

Winner: Nelson Noll, Central San Martins - UAL

Project: Curve, an indoor wheelchair designed as another piece of furniture in the home that is aesthetically pleasing and does not have a medical look or feel and is more suited to household tasks because of its elevated seat height.

Award: Joint Winner of the GDI Award (student will receive £1,250)

Commended project

Alex Bignell, University of Nottingham

Project: Movement
Award: Highly Commended

Wearing Intelligence

Sponsored by The Eddie Squires Legacy to the RSA with additional support from Kinneir Dufort

Develop a design solution that utilises ‘advanced textiles’ to improve wellbeing or the quality of people’s lives.

Winner: Michael Soper, University of the West of England

Project: Felicitate, a new breed of catheter that gives the user the freedom, discretion and dignity they would have without one. Felicitate uses electro-active polymers to pump fluid out of an evacuation pipe placed in the underwear, enabling them to easily empty it into the toilet themselves.

Award: Winner of the paid placement at Kinneir Dufort

Winner: Dominik Falconi, Denisse Rodriguez and Jose  Ortiz, Tecnológico de Monterrey - Campus Puebla, Mexico

Project: RISE, an intelligent carpet for growing crops in refugee camps to boost resources and restart economic flow. RISE is specifically designed for use in non-fertile humanitarian crisis regions; it is made from 100% biodegradable materials, contains locals seeds and liquid filters, and relies solely on human urine as the liquid source.

Award: Joint Winner of the Eddie Squires Award of £1500

Winner: Nataliya Savicheva, British Higher School of Art and Design, Moscow

Project: Kamereon, a wearable game that utilises smart shoes (that change pattern and texture depending on the wearer’s activity), fashion and geodata to motivate teens to go outside, exercise and socialise.

Award: Joint Winner of the Eddie Squires Award of £1500

Inclusive Living

Sponsored by the Office for Disability Issues with additional support from PRP

Design and develop a proposal for inclusive living that challenges the current way we design our homes.

Winner: Sophia Bannert, Oxford Brookes

Project: Bee-Able, a rating system for accessibility in the city powered by user-generated content (UGC) and a set of illustrations that show the frustrations that thousands of people go through on a daily basis due to thoughtless inaccessible and exclusive design.

Award: Winner of the ODI Award of £1000

Winner:  Jemima Oliver, Plymouth University

Project: Umbrella, an inclusive and interactive game designed to establish a holistic mindset and nurture a resilient community by revealing the importance of empowerment and integration within society through promoting trust, collaboration and connection.

Award: Winner of the paid placement at PRP

Learning For Life

Sponsored by the Government Office for Science and Policy Lab

Design an exciting new way to support, encourage or stimulate learning throughout people’s lives in the future.

Winner: Jasmine Robinson, Norwich University of the Arts

Project: Project UX, a social enterprise with two key aims – firstly, to provide a rigorous user testing service for digital products and services and secondly, to provide testers with the opportunity to improve their own digital skills while earning money through a structured user testing programme; the programme is targeted at companies trialing new online and digital products and services intended for mass use.

Award: Winner of the paid placement at Policy Lab

Winner: Thomas Wastling, Cranfield University, and Ethan  Howard, Uppsala University

Project: Bare Technology, a product and service design solution to convert old computers (e-waste) into simpler, more straightforward, accessible computers for older people; Bare Technology aims to address the increasing problem of e-waste and the fact that many older people are isolated by technology.

Award: Winner of the cash award of £1000

Commended projects

Dan Eames, National College of Art & Design

Project: A hands-on paper-craft method for making a CV
Award: Commended

Christopher Reid, Northumbria University

Project: A programme for using technology as an educational tool within the prison system 
Award: Commended

Alison Blake, Kingston University

Project: A service to help people in a transitional stage of life to create community and learn new skills
Award: Commended

Moving Pictures

Sponsored by NHS England with additional support from RSA Events and Natracare

Conceive and produce an animation to accompany one of the two selected audio files that will clarify, energise and illuminate the content.

Winner: Yasmin Cowen and Wyl Parkes, Birmingham City University 

Project: Collaborative Animation, an animation based on two contrasting styles – tonal portraiture and loose gestural drawing – to create an overall concept that flows and transitions with the key words in the audio. (‘End Ageism’ audio)

Award: Winner of the Natracare Award of £1000

Winner: Eleanor Russell-Jones, Arts University Bournemouth

Project: Age Pride, an animation that highlights the negative stereotypes our western culture has of older people and argues that these views are wrong and outdated, emphasising the message that age really is just a number and is not what defines us. (‘End Ageism’ audio)

Award: Winner of the RSA Award of £1000 and Winner of the RSA Staff Choice Award of £500

Winner: Sarah Nyhan, Limerick School of Art and Design, Ireland

Project: A Helping Hand: an animation that focuses on the power of togetherness to communicate the idea of harnessing the existing energy (visualised as batteries) we possess as a society and how we can use this improve our collective well-being. (‘More Than a Pill’ audio)

Award: Winner of the NHS Award of £1000

Student Design Awards winners

See the winning submissions from past Student Design Awards.

RSA Student Design Awards

Our competition for emerging designers who want to make a difference.