Flexible clothes hanger wins Design Innovation in Plastics award
By Hamish Champ
Posted 2 July 2012
Jamie Mansfield, a second year design student at Nottingham Trent University, has won the 27th annual Design Innovation in Plastics Award with his flexible clothes hanger.
Mansfield collected his award, which included a cash prize of £1,000 plus a two week-placement at Bayer MaterialScience in Leverkusen, at a ceremony held last week at the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) in London.
Jamie Mansfield with his award-winning clothes hanger
The theme of this year’s competition had been ‘universal design’ – products that could help those with disabilities and yet appeal to the mass market – and judges considered more than 100 entries.
Mansfield’s hanger caught the judges’ eye, with Robin Kent, managing director of Tangram Technology, noting that his device worked well “because it offers strong initial resistance to movement, but once the ‘break’ has been made it is quite flexible”.
Another judge, James Steiner, senior design researcher at PDD Group, said Mansfield’s hanger was “elegant”. The judging panel was also taken with the product’s robustness and the fact that it met the key sustainability criteria of the brief, being produced from polypropylene sheet.
On winning his award Mansfield told PRW he hoped to commercialise his design, a prospect which has been boosted by a patent application.
“In total it took about eight months to develop the hanger and I’m delighted to win the award,” he added.
Second-place in the competition went to Rowan Williams, currently studying industrial design and technology at Loughborough University, for his ‘Pego’ kitchen aid board – which also has a patent application – while third place went to Oliver Brunt from Northumbria University, for his ‘Sense See Remember’ textured and coloured memory aid.
Bernie Rickinson, IOM3's chief executive, said he had been “fascinated" by the six finalists’ designs, which included ‘Floor Mouse’, a foot-operated computer mouse and ‘Clean Cut’, a device enabling people with visual or physical disabilities to make sandwiches.
Rickinson said he was also impressed at how ‘market-ready’ the finalists’ products were.
Martin Sixsmith, chairman of Design Innovation in Plastics, said the calibre of the entries this year from 25 universities across the UK “clearly shows that these awards go from strength to strength”.
He added that the theme of next year’s competition was ‘Saving Lives – Design for Disaster Relief’, details of which will be available soon at http://www.designinnovationplastics.org/.
Highly commended designs in this year’s final were:
Gediminas Kuprys (University of Bradford): ‘Floor Mouse’
Danny Lynch (Nottingham Trent University): ‘Clean Cut’
Michal Mojduszka (University for the Creative Arts, Rochester): ‘Plug Pull Adaptor’
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