A young innovator is being recognised nationally for his success in turning an old bike into repurposed sensory playground equipment for children.
Matthew Flinders Anglican College Year 10 design student Nick Reed has won the inaugural Monash Design Prize, receiving $1000 in cash and a two-week internship at its Melbourne university.
Nick created the prototype as part of a hands-on Flinders design challenge where students from Years seven to 12 engaged in design using problem solving, critical thinking, collaborating, communicating, evaluating and refining. His teachers then encouraged him to submit his design for the prize.
Monash University’s Department of Design head, Associate Professor Gene Bawden, says the judges were impressed with Nick’s design as it “responded to both environmental and social concerns and addressed our ‘design for good’ philosophy.
“[Nick] resolved these issues through a cohesive and productive design solution that would both reduce waste in landfill and increase the wellbeing of children in disadvantaged communities.”
Nick hopes to complete his internship during the September holidays, and can choose to work in the Monash Design Health Collab or the Mobility Design Lab.
The Monash Design Health Collab uses people-centred design to create significant healthcare services and products. The Mobility Design Lab involves design researchers at the forefront of design-driven, industry-relevant solutions to improve the physical, environmental and experiential aspects of mobility.
“I’m interested in the process a product goes through from concept to completion and this internship will give me an opportunity to explore the product journey more closely,” Nick says.
“I’m most looking forward to delving further into the design thinking process, identifying problems and developing creative solutions.”
But Nick isn’t the only innovative Flinders student – Year nine students Tyler Cuttill, Amy Morrison and Bethany Slocombe recently won the gen[in] Student Innovation Challenge at the University of Queensland.
The team’s design prototype, The Orbital Caddy, is a rotating shelf system inspired by the Ferris wheel and partly constructed with recycled plastics to tackle environmental waste. Their design aims to solve a problem for people who have trouble easily and safely accessing shelving.
Forming the idea during the co-curricular Flinders Innovation Club, the team noticed a gap in safety when accessing hard-to-reach shelving.
“Our design prototype for The Orbital Caddy allows the elderly, people in wheelchairs, visually impaired people and anyone who generally struggles to access items that are being stored to do so without the risk of injury,” Tyler says. “Even children will benefit from our idea.”