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9 June 2005 PR 05/47

Students’ designs receive national acclaim

The work of Loughborough’s final year Industrial Design and Technology students has received national recognition at this year’s RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce) student design competition.

Paul Wolfson took top honours in the ‘Inclusive Worlds’ category, for his tactile watch design for the visually impaired. He was awarded two prizes – the Helen Hamlyn Research Centre Award, worth £2,000, and the Mercer’s Company Award of £1,000.

Four other students – Alex Atkinson, Antone Atkinson, Oliver Bradley and Kate Malpass – received commendations for their work. Oliver and Kate have now been invited to show their designs at the London Design Festival in September.

In all, seven Loughborough Design and Technology students were shortlisted in their chosen categories for Design Direction awards, more than ever before.

“It was a tremendous achievement to have so many students shortlisted and to gain the subsequent prizes and commendations from the RSA,” says Paul Wormald, a lecturer in the Department of Design and Technology.

Category winner Paul Wolfson says he was delighted to receive such a prestigious award. “To have my design recognized in the RSA Design Direction awards is a real honour and a great boost to my future aspirations,” he said.

Paul’s watch design, called ‘tac:tic’, allows the user to ‘feel’ the time. Made from polished steel, with a stretch-on rubber surround, the watch has raised hour markers and hands. It can be worn in various ways – in the pocket, mounted in a pocket watch sheath or on a wrist strap, which has a flexible wire-inner that bends around to form the shape of the user’s wrist.

Paul intends to use his prize money to buy computer equipment and fund training to further his skills as he begins a career in product design.

The RSA highlights the best of British and European design. Its Design Directions Awards challenge young designers to respond to projects with a strong social context and intend for them to question the role of the designer in the modern world.


For further information contact:

Hannah Baldwin, Head of PR, Loughborough University,
T: 01509 222239, E: H.E.Baldwin@lboro.ac.uk

Notes to editors

  1. Images of Paul Wolfson’s design are available on request. Please contact Hannah Baldwin, T: 01509 222239.

  2. More information about the Design Directions awards is available at www.rsa-design.net/directions/index.htm

  3. Loughborough has an established reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement. Assessments of teaching quality by the Quality Assurance Agency place Loughborough in the top flight of UK universities, and industry highlights Loughborough in its top five for graduate recruitment. Around 45% of the University’s income is for research. The University has been awarded four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes: for its collaboration with aerospace and automotive companies such as BAE Systems, Ford and Rolls Royce; for its work in developing countries; for pioneering research in optical engineering; and for its world-leading role in sports research, education and development.

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