Loughborough Alumni

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21 Sep 2020

Design graduates celebrated as they win awards at New Designers 2020

Two Industrial Design and Technology graduates from Loughborough’s School of Design and Creative Arts have been crowned award winners as part of this year’s New Designers.

Tara Janes was awarded the Mojo Nation prize for the Toy Design Award. Their brief invited designers to create the next smash-hit surprise/reveal collectible range for the toy industry.

Tara's product Collectimals is a blind-box surprise reveal that teaches children about endangered animals in a light-hearted way. There are multiple unboxing stages relevant to each of the three habitats: sea, snow and rainforest, and the more endangered an animal, the rarer the toy is. ‌‌‌

The judges commented: "Collectimals is a smart idea, boasting serious parent-pester potential and featuring three different fun unboxing processes and a timely, on-trend theme."

As a result of winning the award, Tara was presented with free tickets to Mojo Pitch - a virtual event that allows you to pitch your concept directly to product acquisition executives from over 30 of the world’s biggest toy and game companies, each looking to license great new ideas.

As the overall winning student, Tara will also get 12 one-on-one mentorship sessions with some of the indutry’s top designers.

Speaking of her award, Tara said: "It was amazing to have Collectimals selected as the winning project. Lockdown was tough and I felt demotivated at first, but the brief Mojo Nation set inspired me and I'm proud that I managed to create something of value in such a crazy time.

“It feels great to get recognition for one of the first projects I worked on after graduating from university, as was getting a chance to apply the skills I learnt while on placement at Lego. Career-wise this experience will help me greatly - I have the opportunity to pitch my concept to toy companies and maybe see it on the shelves! Part of my prize is mentoring sessions with top toy inventors; this opportunity to pick their brains and network with them will be invaluable to my career progression as a new graduate."

Fellow alumnus Joe Slatter was awarded the Cambridge Consultants Breakthrough Design Award. Their brief offered an open call to all Product, Industrial and Spatial Design students.

Joe's product Oto is an ear examination medical device with an AI camera attachment, allowing healthcare professionals to record and upload media onto electronic health records.

Oto’s attachment has AI diagnostic support should the user need assistance in determining the results. In addition, the AI camera attachment encourages patient interaction as well as providing an accurate recording function, sharing capabilities and diagnostic support, all whilst keeping a social distance from the patient.

The judges commented that Oto was: "An accomplished project in which the problem, space and stakeholders involved were well understood, the design process was clearly articulated, and the presentation and product styling was refined to a very high standard."

Joe has been presented with an invitation to visit Cambridge Consultants and spend a day with their design teams in both the Medical Technology division and the Industrial, Consumer and Energy (ICE) division. In addition, he has also received a £500 cash prize to support the development of his design career.

When asked how it felt to win the award, Joe commented: "I am delighted to have won the Cambridge Consultants Breakthrough Design Award. With the New Designers exhibition not taking place this year, it was a great opportunity to still be able to enter the awards and be recognised by Cambridge Consultants, which has meant the hard work has paid off."

The virtual award ceremony took place via Facebook Live and was hosted by Sally Bent, New Designers Event Director, who was also joined by Luke Pearson from Pearson Lloyd who delivered a keynote speech.

More information about New Designers can be found here.

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