Design Innovation in Plastics - Student Design Award

Established in 1985, Design Innovation In Plastics is now the longest running student plastics design award in Europe. It is an opportunity for design students to make a name for themselves, but also for universities to raise their profile as institutes of excellence in this field.

Around 300 students from 20 universities register for the competition every year with many of these universities having now incorporated Design Innovation in Plastics into their coursework.
Organised by the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining (IOM3) and the Worshipful Company of Horners,Design Innovation in Plastics is headlined sponsored by Covestro and also supported by market leaders in the fields of design and innovation.

Both IOM3 and the Worshipful Company of Horners play important roles in the field of education, and this award was set up to encourage plastics design innovation and best practice in our future product designers.

For the latest news on the Design Innovation in Plastic Award, visit



Theme: Products For Pets - Design For Animal Wellbeing.

The winner in 2016 is Annabel Burton, a second year student at Nottingham University who re-designed the buckle that fastens around the girth of a horse to hold its rug in place. It is a quick release device moulded in thermoplastic polyurethane. Its quick release prevents injury when the horse's leg gets caught in the strap.

For more information visit



Theme: Design to Transcend Metal

The winner, Alexander Bordino from Nottingham Trent University, designed the Soft Ice S Pump - a redesign of the stainless steel pump fitted to soft ice cream machines. 

See the video by clicking here.


Recent winners

2014 - Michael Tougher - Dots

2014 - Michael Tougher - Dots

2013 Chris Natt ,Royal College of Art, Project Sting

2013 - Chris Natt - Project Sting

2013 Jamie Manfield, Nottingham Trent Uni, Collapsible Flat-pack Clothes Hanger

2012 - James Mansfield - Collapsible Flat-pack Clothes Hanger

2011 - Lewis Pearson, Swansea Metropolitan University - Moving Shelves for Primary Schools

2011 - Lewis Pearson - Moving Shelves for Primary Schools

2010 Dan Watson, Royal College of Art, SafetyNet Sustainable Trawling System

2010 - Dan Watson - SafetyNet Sustainable Trawling System

2009 - DIG Flatpack Garden Tools, James Ravenhall, Northumbria University - Theme: Sustainability

2009 - James Ravenhall - DIG Flatpack Garden Tools

2007 - Keepsafe Personal Bag Security Accessory, Sara Bellini, Central St Martins - Theme: Security

2007 - Sara Bellini - Keepsafe Bag Security Accessory

2005 - HushFlush Toilet Seat, Derek Muir, University of Huddesfield - Theme: Sound

2005 - Derek Muir - HushFlush Toilet Seat

2003 - Slegoon - Extreme Sport Craft, Spike Reid, University of Northumbria - Theme: Free Time

2003 - Spike Reid - Slegoon


Previous Winners

2002 - Theme Mind, Body & Soul Mobility
 Martina Carpelan, Central St Martins College of Art & Design - Quacky Flipper

2001- Theme Millennium Kitchen
 Rob Thompson, Central St Martins - Thermoplastics Button Bowl

2000 - Theme Plasti-city Mobility and Urban Life
Alan Whiting, University of Northumbria, Urban Window Cleaning Kit

1999 - Theme An Educational Toy or Learning Aid for the Disabled
 Ben Plewes, De Montfort University - 'Freddie the Frog' Buoyancy Aid

1998 - Theme A Design for Luggage
 Rob Law, University of Northumbria - BASF Design Award - 'Trunki'

1997 - Theme Plastics for the Patio
 Clive Nicholls, De Montfort University - Washing Line System incorporating a Rain Guard

 Calvin Hiscock, University of Plymouth - Oil Container

 Nick Cudworth, University of Teesside - Height Adjustable Tap

 Juliette Beauchot, De Montfort University - Outdoor Seating System

 Sebastain De La Hamayde, De Montfort University - Tactile Stickers for the Blind

 Alsed Briscoe, Leicester Polytechnic - Modular Pill Dispenser

 Gary Merrington, Colchester Institute/Birmingham Polytechnic - Light up Ruler

 Mark Lomas, Nottingham Polytechnic - 'The Tug Toy' educational bath toy

 Kenneth Newton, Teesside Polytechnic - Multipurpose light source for yachtsmen

1988 - Theme An Article of Kitchen Equipment
 Philip Thompson, Teesside Polytechnic - 'Freefall' Detergent Dispenser

 Richard Heayes, Colchester Institute - Multiple use Sports net, with accessories

 Eric Hewitt, Manchester Polytechnic - Small 'Lean-to' Folding Greenhouse

 Timothy Vince, Gwent College of Higher Education - Portable Pack-away Band Saw