Celebrating the next generation of Designers


This week our Innovation Consultant, James Eelbeck, attended the final round of judging for the Wearing Intelligence brief for the RSA Student Design Awards 2017. Previously to this, our Executive Design Director, Craig Wightman had been involved in shortlisting all the entries down to just six.  

So what are the RSA Student Design Awards?

The mission of the RSA is to enable, support and reward design that positively impacts the world. Since 1924, the RSA Student Design Awards has represented a growing voice for socially responsible design, with students participating in the UK and beyond.

Previous winners include our very own James Eelbeck, as well as the Vice President of Industrial Design at Apple, who, when commenting about the RSA stated: “The award definitely put me in the place that I am today. I can’t see another route that would’ve got me here.”  

What happened this year?

After the difficult task of shortlisting, James and the other judges (Benedict Dellot, Paul Duffy, Ian Hunter, Karen Nicol and Sonnet Stanfill) had to whittle this down to just the selected winners. With one student from Russia, a group from Mexico, and four from the UK design courses, we were presented with a great range of designs across different backgrounds. Not only did they all show immense passion for their concept, they truly responded to meaningful and real life insights; many of which were personal to themselves and family. The students explained their respective design processes, all rooted in a user-centric approach. They made prototypes and showcased an iterative approach to design. Furthermore, all students had undertaken research and feasibility studies to prove that their designs had potential to work.  

What does it mean to win?

As well as the prizes, to win means you have truly portrayed something different to the judges. Following the brief is standard, however using imagination and thinking innovatively is essential, combined with showcasing individual passion and enthusiasm for solving real life problems.

This year, the winners will be publicly announced on 1st June 2017. There will be two prizes: a cash prize of £1500, generously donated by The Eddie Squires Legacy, the other receiving a three-month paid internship at our offices here in Bristol.

What next?

Here at Kinneir Dufort we work closely with the RSA on a range of activities and will continue to do so after these awards.

Finally, we look forward to congratulating the winners on 1st June, plus attending the Awards Ceremony in London on 21st June; and of course, welcoming our new intern later in the year!