The world is safe in their hands – winners of the RSA Student Design Awards announced

It was an honour and an inspiration to be involved in the judging of one of this year’s RSA Student Design Awards – the AfricaPack – designs to improve the way medicines are protected, dispensed, distributed and/or taken in Sub-Saharan Africa sponsored by GSK. There were more than 50 entries and from these six made it to the final and the finalists were interviewed on 24-May-16. The three finalists that took the top credits were:

Paid GSK Internship Award
Megan Sands & Sarah Twaddell, National College of Art & Design (Dublin), Industrial Design
Positive Future: a packaging design, awareness campaign and mobile network support system for patients taking Triumeq anti-retroviral medicine in Sub-Saharan Africa.

RSA Fellows’ Award
Jonathan Stannard, Blackpool & the Flyde College, Graphic Design
Medical Symbol Language Kit: a kit for pharmacies and/or individuals that includes posters, stickers, and instruction sheets to help people in areas with low-literacy to understand when, how and how much medicine to take.

Highly Commended
Daisy Handley + Beth Dobson, BA Graphic Design, Kingston University
Edu-kanga: a kanga (a colourful wrapped garment worn by women and occasionally by men throughout the African Great Lakes region) that carries life-saving pictorial information about medicines, dosage and avoiding illness.

Overall, the entries were of a very high standard but when it came to the interviews, the one thing that stood out for me with these three winners was the way they used models in their presentations.

RSA Student Design Awards RSA Student Design Awards
Jonathan Stannard’s way of demonstrating the need for his Medical Symbol Language Kit (winner of the RSA Fellows’ Award) | Daisy Handley and Beth Dobson present Edu-Kanga (Highly commended)

Jonathan Stannard's Medical Symbol Language Kit
Jonathan Stannard’s Medical Symbol Language Kit (winner of the RSA Fellows’ Award)

The stand-out winner was Megan Sands’ & Sarah Twaddell’s Positive Future project. This was 2 or 3 design ideas in one entry. They started with an innovative packaging idea which led to an awareness campaign and mobile network support system for patients taking Triumeq antiretroviral medicine. Although they chose a GSK product, Triumeq, to demonstrate the principle (clever), this was not a factor in the decision as the approach could be generally applied. The foundation of the idea was to add some comfort to the process of being diagnosed as HIV positive and receiving your first course of medicine and a way of making the medicine packaging more discrete once it was in the hands of the patient. A very deserved overall winner.

Positive Future Packaging

What made things easy at the end of the interviews was that the judges were unanimous in their choice of the top three and their ranking.

Anyway, I came away from this whole process of assessing all the entries and interviewing the finalists with the feeling that I needn’t worry, the world is safe in these young people’s hands!

Congratulations to all those who took part.