Winner of RSA Student Design Awards, Emma Sutcliffe

Winning design, 'Travel-ease', by Emma Sutcliffe

Student success at the RSA Student Design Awards

The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) called for students and recent graduates to submit designs that solved specific social challenges set by the organisation.

Elliot Butler's winning design

Winning design, 'Cove', by Elliot Butler

Seven Loughborough students reached the final stage and two of these students, Emma Sutcliffe and Elliot Butler, won their categories. Hannah Rayner was highly commended in her category and Jack Strachan was also commended.

Elliot won the ‘Alone Together’ category that asked for a design that would reduce the impact of loneliness.  Eliot designed Cove, a safe digital environment for young carers to meet, share experiences and advice. It is paired with a haptic vibration wearable that enables young carers to keep in touch with their relative, giving them the confidence to expand their social circles.  

The Chartered Institute of Marketing supported this award and as a result Elliot won a cash prize of £1000. He said: “I feel very honoured to have been selected as the winner and I have very much enjoyed developing Cove to its current stage.”

Elliot also won “Young Innovator of the Year” at the Leicestershire Live Innovation Awards earlier this year based on other Loughborough Design School project work. 

The ‘Hidden Figures’ category was won by Emma Sutcliffe. Sponsored by the Office for Disability Issues (ODI) and Kinneir Dufort, Emma was the joint winner of the ODI award of £500 and the winner of the Kinneir Dufort placement award.

The task set for her category was for a product that would break down the barriers faced by those with hidden disabilities. Her project, Travel-ease, created a system that made public transport accessible to young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders. It provided short instructions for the user and a wearable provided discreet feedback for the carer or parent.

On winning, Emma said: “I am delighted to be a winner of such a prestigious competition. I feel very grateful to be able to share my project with highly regarded industry professionals.

“I believe raising awareness for designing for good and enabling equal opportunities in society for all is vital. I wish to thank the staff at the Loughborough Design School and everyone who supported me through the facilitation of the project.”

More information on the winners can be found here.