An ingenious and original solution to an everyday, practical problem has not only won a prestigious award for a university student, but is also now the subject of a patent application.
Jamie Mansfield, a second year student of furniture and product design at Nottingham Trent University, has won a £1,000 prize for his collapsible flat-pack clothes hanger as well as a placement at one of the world’s leading polymer producers, Bayer MaterialScience, at their headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany.
Jamie was one of 274 students who registered to enter the 2012 Design Innovation in Plastics Award. The brief was to design a product to help those with physical or cognitive impairments that is also appealing to the mass market. By developing a unique, integral mechanism, Jamie designed a plastics coat hanger with flexible arms that collapse and spring back, allowing the user to attach clothing via the neck without having to take the hanger from the rail or undo buttons.
The 'Key Note' speaker at the Awards Ceremony was Rob Law, the creator of The Trunkie. Having been turned down by The Dragons Den, he went on to show that you should never give up and always believe in yourself. Trunkies are now starting production in the UK after initial production in China. The production swith improved quality and reduced costs.
Jamie Mansfield, Furniture & Product Design Year 2, Nottingham Trent University
Flexible Flat-Pack Clothing Hanger, a clothes hanger with flexible arms that collapse and spring back allowing the user to attach clothing via the neck without taking the hanger from the rail or undoing buttons. This is a completely original plastics product that uses an integral mechanism not seen before. Jamie has already applied for a patent pending and wins £1000 plus a placement at Bayer MaterialScience in Leverkusen, Germany.
Rowan Williams, Industrial Design & Technology Year 4, Loughborough University
Pego, a kitchen aid free of the visual aesthetics of current disability products that provides grip and stability in food preparation and incorporates kitchen knives and weighing scales. Rowan wins £500 plus a placement DePuy in Leeds, UK.
Oliver Brunt, Design for Industry Year 2, Northumbria University
Sense See Remember, an organisational memory aid based on a series of textured and coloured adhesive tabs to use as prompts in place of expensive electronic devices. Oliver wins £250 and a placement at PDD Group Ltd in London, UK.
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Gediminas Kuprys, Product Design Year 2, University of Bradford
Floor Mouse, a foot-operated computer mouse with options for using the foot control with a keyboard to suit personal needs and speeds. The inclusion of a wheel adds value and moves the product forward to meet a market need. Gediminas wins £100 and a placement at HellermannTyton.
Danny Lynch, Furniture & Product Design Year 2, Nottingham Trent University
Clean-Cut, a tool to help those with visual or physical impairments to safely construct and cut sandwiches. No similar product exists and this aid also has universal appeal. Danny wins £100 and a placement at Brightworks.
Michal Mojduszka, Product Design Year 2, University for the Creative Arts Rochester
Plug Pull Adaptor, a simple strip attachment, incorporating Braille, that makes identifying, using and removing plugs very much easier for everyone. Michal wins £100 and a placement at Hi-Technology Group.