8 July 2020

Design Innovation in Plastics: 2020 winner announced

The winner of the 2020 Design Innovation in Plastics (DIP) competition has attempted to tackle one of the most pressing problems of the modern urban age.

Kristen Tapping, a third year product design student from London South Bank University, created a bicycle wheel with pollution filters, that uses movement to actively purify the air. Her Rolloe Roll off Emissions wheel operates in the busiest, most polluted roadways, requiring zero energy to function, except for pedal power from the cyclist. Her concept is targeted at large scale shared bicycle schemes, such as those used in London, rewarding consumers based on distance travelled.

Kristen has beaten an original entry of more than 100 students from all over the UK and Ireland to win the top prize of a trophy and £1,000, a trip to Leverkusen, Germany, to visit Covestro, a placement with sponsor PDD Innovation and an invitation to the Lord Mayor’s Banquet as a guest of the Worshipful Company of Horners.

Organised by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and the Worshipful Company of Horners, and industry headline sponsored by high tech polymer company, Covestro, DIP challenged students to come up with a brand new product on the theme of urban living, which would enhance life in a city environment, for use in flats or whilst commuting.

Chairman of judges, Richard Brown, said, 'The amount of background investigation carried out by Kristen to support the design feasibility of this product was outstanding and enabled this to be a very worthy winner.  She tackled the brief extremely well and to a high level, addressing the points the judges raised at the preliminary judging session.'

In second place, Coventry University’s, Matthew Foord, “met the brief to the letter” with his Transforming Urban Trolley, which can be used as a laptop carrier, a shopping trolley or a suitcase, while in third, Zihao Zhang (Brunel University), used the “utilitarian” plastic bottle to create a low cost piece of fitness equipment which can be used anywhere, if a gymnasium is not available.  Each of the six finalists receives a short industry placement with one of the supporting competition sponsors: Brightworks, Innovate Product Design, PDD and RJG Technologies.

Uniquely, this year’s competition has taken place thanks to the wizardry of modern technology, with preliminary and final judging happening through the medium of video conferencing, and the final award being announced in an ‘as live’ broadcast online.

DIP chairman, Martin Sixsmith, said, 'Our committee has worked really hard to make this competition happen through the period of the coronavirus lockdown, and I must pay tribute to their dedication and creativity. Because of this, the number of designs submitted was pretty much the same as in any ‘normal’ year.

'In retrospect, a lot of positives have emerged from this year’s challenges, not least that we have found new ways of working, many aspects of which are sustainable, and which we will adopt permanently in future.'

The full results are

First -  Kristen Tapping, third year Product Design, London South Bank University

Second - Matthew Foord – third year, Product Design, Coventry University

Third - Zihao Zhang – MSc Product Design, Brunel University

Highly commended

Ellen Dack –  third year Product Design, Technological University Dublin

Hannah Dempsey – third year Product Design, Technological University Dublin

Matthew Shaw – third year Product Design, De Montfort University

For more information about the Design Innovation in Plastics (DIP) competition, visit www.designinnovationplastics.org