Design something that solves a problem. This problem can be something we face daily in our lives or a global problem, the important thing is that the solution is effective and demonstrates thoughtful design thinking.
This is the direct and no-frills invitation from Sir James Dyson, inventor, entrepreneur and philanthropist, promoter of the James Dyson Award, aimed at students and recent graduates in engineering and design.
Young people from all over the world responded to the call with inventions that could improve lives and help address emergencies on a planetary scale.
An example? ForestGuard 2.0, by the team of Turkish students, a system of sensors connected via satellite that detects fires in real time and alerts the authorities before the flames spread.
Practical and ingenious solutions such as Revr (Rapid Electric Vehicle Retrofit) by the young Australian Alexander Burton, the kit that converts petrol cars into hybrid electric vehicles.
The Swiss watchmaker Hublot is also supporting new talents and intuitions that improve lives with the Hublot Design Prize, a career accelerator created in 2015 under the impetus of Pierre Keller, then director of the Ecal, to promote creatives under 40, with an award worth 100 thousand Swiss francs, the largest prize in the design sector.
This year's winner is Aqui Thami, an activist born in 1987, indigenous to the Himalayas and self-taught artist - because she did not have the opportunity to study -, who founded the Sister Library, the first feminist libraryto give voice to Indian women.
Aqui Thami organizes real guerrilla posters covering the city with the words "girls are the future", organizes meetings, readings of poems and texts written by women, and self-produces free and independent magazines in which being able to talk about taboo topics in India, such as sexual harassment and the menstrual cycle.
“I came to art to find comfort and healing, and in my practice, I am drawn to the ways in which art serves as a process of intercultural mediation,” explains Thami.
design in the hands of young people becomes a tool of empowerment and rebellion to undermine patriarchal culture, a response to concrete problems and emergencies, a hope, to offer everyone, especially to the most fragile people, the possibility of overcoming difficulties and living a dignified life.
An invention changes lives: the finalists of the 2023 James Dyson Award
There are twenty finalist projects for the James Dyson Award 2023, wanted by Sir James Dyson to demonstrate how students and recent graduates in engineering and design can have a positive impact on the world with their fresh insights.
International winners, who will be announced on November 15, will receive b to support the next phases of their project.
Among the inventions: Aisig by the Japanese Ikuya Tanaka Sergio and Narushima Masaaki, a device that allows visually impaired people to safely cross pedestrian crossings thanks to image recognition based on artificial intelligence; Ava by the SpaniardJavier Pascual Paredes, adaptive toothbrushes for personal hygiene designed for spastics, and Lunet by the American David Edquilang, a 3D printable mechanical finger prosthesis for those with amputations, a project that the inventor intends to make completely free and open source to help the greatest number of people.
There are those who started from a personal experience, like And Ian Siew who, inspired by the difficulty with which he recovered after an open heart operation, with the advice of the National University Hospital of Singapore created Auxobrace, an adaptive vest-like brace that facilitates post-operative recovery; Polish students are also inspired by their own experiences - and in particular by the experience of Covid - with Boreas, the mechatronic system to automate and make pulmonary rehabilitation in hospitals more effective, filling the shortage of staff in the departments.
Democratic solutions, designed to be within everyone's reach, like Make-roscope by the Filipino Jeremy DeLeon, a portable keychain that transforms your smartphone or tablet into a microscope, an invention already used by over three thousand Filipino students and teachers; The Golden Capsule by Korean Shin Young Hwan, Chae Yoo Jin, Bai Yuan, Kim Dae Yeon, a non-electric device for injecting drugs in emergency settings, and WhaleSafe by Canadians Collin Bolt, Benjamin Beazley and Jake Chateauneuf, a rope fishing designed not to entangle whales.
Sister Library, the first feminist library in South Asia
Aqui Thami, self-taught multidisciplinary artist and indigenous activist from the Himalayas, in Mumbai you founded Sister Library, the first feminist library in South Asia.
A free and self-managed space in which to give voice to marginalized Indian women through meetings, readings, exhibitions, documentary screenings, performances, workshops in which to create works of art to finance activities and self-produced magazines in which to tell taboo topics in caste society.
Aqui Thami, with her stubborn and incessant activism, risks herself every day. For her social commitment, and for the transversality of her practice, the young won the eighth edition of the Hublot Design Prize, awarded by the jury composed of Marva Griffin, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Alice Rawsthorn and Tawanda Chiweshe.
Trifle studio, the first British studio for designers with disabilities
Among the finalists of the Hublot award there is also Trifle Studio in London, the UK's first multidisciplinary studio for artists and designers with learning difficulties or disabilities.
Founded in 2017 by Intoart, an arts and charity organisation, Trifle Studio focuses on product design, fashion, textiles, illustrations, table accessories and art design interiors, with clients ranging from John Smedley to Lush, via the Victoria&Albert museum, The Guardian and Pinterest.
With their practice, they challenge preconceptions and highlight the lack of representation of people with learning disabilities in the design and creative industries sectors. Who decides who can and cannot be designers?