Snowboard scoops £50 000 Fiat prize

Independent designer Nick Rawcliffe has won Fiat’s Smiles per Hour competition, claiming a £50 000 prize for his Snowbone prototype.

Under the competition brief, designers were asked to create a ‘transporter’ to make travelling more enjoyable.

Rawcliffe’s design, chosen from five finalists, combines the base of a snowboard and the handlebars of a BMX. He had designed it before the competition and felt that it addressed the brief well.

He describes the handlebar mechanism as an ‘add-on that will fit any snowboard in the world’. Weight is distributed through the handlebars to determine direction, without the need to ‘strap in your feet’.

Rawcliffe, who is from an engineering background, says he will be investing the money back into the product. ‘The manufacturing is lined up and now the funds are there it’s ready to go,’ he reveals.

The five shortlisted designs have been on display in the Fiat showroom on Wigmore Street, London W1, where the public was invited to test the prototypes and pick its favourite.

A panel of judges, comprising presenter of The Gadget Show Suzi Perry, inventor and designer Tom Lawton, special products editor at The Engineer Magazine Stuart Nathan and Arc creative director Garry Munns, took public opinion into account when choosing the winner based on a Dragon’s Den-style pitch.

Although Fiat doesn’t intend to produce any of the prototypes itself, it is offering business advice to all the finalists and will help them ‘meet the right people’.

The Smiles per Hour winner has been revealed ahead of forthcoming announcements for London Mayor Boris Johnson’s A New Bus For London competition, the winner of which will be revealed next month (DW 17 July).

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