Elizabeth White, a design student at Brunel University, has won the New Designers Mars Award at the New Designers 2014 exhibition, which celebrates emerging and fresh thinking design.
The judges were particularly impressed with her project ‘Grow’, a highly innovative plastic sandal design where the sandal grows and adjusts in length and width with the child wearing it, using a loop system and detachable straps.
The design answers a clear issue of children outgrowing their clothes and shoes too quickly, leaving parents to purchase new ones on a regular basis. It is also a clear reflection of the Brunel product design programme, where students are inspired to create design products that not only look good, but also work well or solve problems.
Her prize is £1,000 and a two week placement in the Mars Design Studio.
Elizabeth said: “It was a real pleasure to meet and introduce my work to the judges and to see their enthusiasm for the sandal. To go in and win this award is a real honour – it has made my day.”
The judges commented: “This design solves a genuine problem through a clear demonstration of design thinking and deeper exploration of potential solutions. There is great potential for this design to go into production, as well as mass customisation.”
The New Designers show takes place over two weeks in the summer, with each part focusing on a different set of design disciplines and featuring its own Awards Programme. It sees over 3,000 graduated designers from the UK's leading universities come together to exhibit in the Business Design Centre, London.