Finalists Design Innovation in Plastics 2020

Six talented university students have won their way to the final of the 2020 Design Innovation in Plastics (DIP) competition, having been asked to design a product for urban living.

Students from Brunel, Coventry, De Montfort, Dublin (two) and London South Bank have made the final and will represent their universities at final judging on May 29.

With a focus on ‘Improving lifestyle and saving resources’, this year’s theme challenged the students to come up with a brand new product which would enhance life in a city environment, for use in flat or whilst commuting.

Organisers, the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and the Worshipful Company of Horners, along with headline industry sponsor, Covestro, wanted to see how students would respond to the increasing demands of today’s social and environmental trends.

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Against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, the panel of renowned industry judges critiqued over 100 entries via video conference to choose their final six.

Chairman of judges, Richard Brown, commented: “The six finalists’ entries offered a diverse range of solutions to challenges such as pollution, how to stay fit – particularly in confined spaces – and how to make best use of that space.

They showed a good grasp of the brief, and the overall creativity of these six solutions is excellent.

A good number of entries displayed how they generated and developed their ideas, which is a key area to help the judges understand the journey from concept to product.”

As is customary, the judges have given feedback to all the students, requesting further thought into some aspects of their designs, which will then be presented by each student at the final judging.

This session will take place for the first time via video conference to comply with Covid-19 social distancing guidance.

First prize is a visit to the headline industry sponsor and leading polymer manufacturer, Covestro, in Leverkusen, Germany, along with a cash prize.

Another key feature of the competition is that every one of the six finalists receives a short industry placement with one of the competition sponsors: Brightworks, Innovate Product Design, PDD and RJG Technologies.

The six finalists are:

Ellen Dack – third year Product Design, Technological University Dublin

Complanter – an easy to use composting unit ideal for people living in confined spaces and which also functions as a planter for herbs.

Hannah Dempsey – third year Product Design, Technological University Dublin

Workspace – a personal ‘desk’ for students, which promotes better posture while being capable of being used in a variety of confined spaces.

Matthew Foord – third year, Product Design, Coventry University

A versatile urban trolley to be used on trains and buses or open city streets as an alternative to single-use carrier bags. Made with components that are 100 per cent recyclable.

Matthew Shaw – third year Product Design, De Montfort University

And as One – a smart device, which measures air quality, and helps the user to plan the cleanest and most direct route to walk, when in an urban area.

Kristen Tapping – fourth year Product Design, London South Bank University

Rolloe Roll Off Emissions – bicycle wheel caps that actively purify the air, making for a cleaner ride for the user

Zihao Zhang – MSc Product Design, Brunel University

FREEFITNESS – A sustainable fitness dumbbell, which uses plastic bottles, providing the user with multiple options for doing an upper body workout.


Design Innovation in Plastics: 2020 finalists announced

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