The Royal College of Art (RCA) has announced the winners of its annual Helen Hamlyn Awards.
Organised by the college’s Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, the awards recognise the most innovative projects from RCA graduates which look to tackle social issues.
Divided into six main categories, the awards cover areas including product design and healthcare, alongside designing for disabilities and inclusivity.
The Third Thumb
The winners were selected from a shortlist by a panel of experts, who based their decisions on whether a project addresses a real social problem and extensive research including user-testing.
This year’s Helen Hamlyn Design Award for Creativity went to Danielle Clode’s The Third Thumb, an attachable prosthetic digit that is controlled by the feet and can be used by disabled people who have lost limbs and other people to enhance dexterity.
Innovation design engineering graduate Reto Togni was awarded The Snowdon Award for Disability for The Reagiro; a manual everyday wheelchair that is controlled through small upper body movements rather than the braking and pushing arm mechanism typically seen in traditional wheelchairs.
Other winning entries include a watch for children with Type One diabetes that connects to other medical devices and alerts the user when blood sugar is low or high; a rock salt and plant-based filter that helps improve air quality on the London Underground; a modular furniture system that sells different parts in “layers” so that they are more easily replaceable; and a biogas generator that aims to tackle ongoing energy supply problems in Africa.
Each of the six winners will receive £2,000 to help develop their projects further.