The Worshipful Company of Horners


By July 3, 2020Company News

The winner of the 2020 Design Innovation in Plastics (DIP) competition has attempted to tackle one of the most pressing problems of the modern urban age.

Kristen Tapping, a third year product design student from London South Bank University, created a bicycle wheel with pollution filters, that uses movement to actively purify the air.

Her Rolloe – Roll off Emissions wheel operates in the busiest, most polluted roadways, requiring zero energy to function, except for pedal power from the cyclist.


Her concept is targeted at large scale shared bicycle schemes, such as those used in London, rewarding consumers based on distance travelled.

Organised by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and the Worshipful Company of Horners, and industry headline sponsored by Covestro, DIP challenged students to come up with a brand new product on the theme of urban living, which would enhance life in a city environment, for use in flats or whilst commuting.

Tapping beat an original entry of more than 100 students from all over the UK and Ireland to win the top prize of a trophy and £1,000; a trip to Leverkusen, Germany, to visit Covestro; a placement with sponsor PDD Innovation and an invitation to the Lord Mayor’s Banquet as a guest of the Worshipful Company of Horners.

“A very worthy winner”

The judging panel felt Tapping’s product, with further support and development, could be a viable prospect for the market.

“She tackled the brief extremely well and to a high level, addressing the points the judges raised at the preliminary judging session.”

Tapping, for whom this was a second attempt at the competition, said: “Cycling through London, I was able to see and smell the pollution coming from tyres and tailpipes. I thought – why not use the movement from vehicles to filter the air?  If it seems the product has a future, I may try to develop it to a commercial level.”

Meeting the brief “to the letter”

In second place, Coventry University’s, Matthew Foord, “met the brief to the letter”, according to the judges, with his Transforming Urban Trolley, whilst in third, Zihao Zhang (Brunel University), used the ‘utilitarian’ plastic bottle to create a low cost piece of fitness equipment which can be used anywhere, if a gymnasium is not available.

Each of the six finalists receives a short industry placement with one of the supporting competition sponsors: Brightworks, Innovate Product Design, PDD and RJG Technologies.

News ways of working

Uniquely, this year’s competition took place thanks to the wizardry of modern technology, with preliminary and final judging taking place through video conferencing, and the final award being announced in an ‘as live’ broadcast online.

DIP chairman, Martin Sixsmith, said: “Our committee has worked really hard to make this competition happen through the period of the coronavirus lockdown, and I must pay tribute to their dedication and creativity. Because of this, the number of designs submitted was pretty much the same as in any ‘normal’ year.

“In retrospect, a lot of positives have emerged from this year’s challenges, not least that we have found new ways of working, many aspects of which are sustainable, and which we will adopt permanently in future.”

In keeping with other years, the theme of next year’s competition was announced at the end of the ceremony. The 2021 brief is to design a product for a natural world, where students are asked to design a sustainable, high quality product in harmony with nature.

See the Awards Presentation by clicking here.

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