Sir James Dyson is launching his 2009 design awards in London today.
Having been forced last month to abandon plans for a £30m design school in Bath, the James Dyson Foundation is basing the launch event around a student workshop in an effort to spotlight its educational work.
Next September, student and graduate designers from 21 countries will battle to win the £20 000 prize. For its fifth outing, the organisers have scrapped the country-winners stage to allow all international entrants to compete against each other.
A new ‘people’s choice’ award will give the British public the chance to vote for its favourite invention.
A spokeswoman for Dyson says, ‘We are publicising the award with a workshop, to give a flavour of what we are doing in schools, and we have changed the format to create a truly global award.
‘The school isn’t happening, but we have other plans to reveal in due course. Nothing will be decided for a while yet, but rest assured that this isn’t the end of our education efforts,’ she adds.
Middlesex University student Michael Chen won last year, with his Reactiv cycling jacket that uses motion-sensing lights to show when the cyclist is breaking or turning.
The winner of the 2009 James Dyson Award will be announced on 7 September next year.