The Royal College of Art has announced the three winning projects of the RCA Grand Challenge 2020/21: Design for Safety (supported by Logitech). The three projects are The Yellow Box, MOWO and Inaya. The Yellow Box equips the next generation with better tools for mental health and wellbeing, MOWO proposes a solution that enables women in Lima to commute safely on buses and Inaya are designing ‘celebration’ as part of the healthcare journey.
In November 2020, 388 designers across RCA’s School of Design were given just over four weeks to develop design responses that explore, challenge or improve the practice of Design for Safety. Globally dispersed in 50 countries, students worked in teams under the sub-themes of Leadership, Care, Next Generation Interaction, Futures, Truth, Health and Resilience.
A shortlist of finalists developed and presented their design solutions to a panel of judges, which was chaired by Professor Paul Anderson, Dean of the School of Design. They were joined by special guests Dame Ellen MacArthur Founder & Chair of Trustees, Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Dr Paul Thompson, Vice-Chancellor, RCA.
The panel included Alastair Curtis (Chief Design Officer, Logitech), Peter Russell-Clarke (Industrial Designer, Apple), Deborah Dawton (Chief Executive, Design Business Association), Louise Kiesling (Creative Director and Owner, Backhausen) and Joe Iles (Circular Design Programme Lead, Ellen MacArthur Foundation).
The Yellow Box is a universal framework for individuals to learn, remember and act on mental health challenges. It provides a set of tools that can be learnt as a child and put to use throughout life. The Yellow Box team are Alicia (Lissy) Hatfield (MA Textiles), Louise Skajem (MA/MSc Global Innovation Design), Cheng Chang (MA Design Products), Joe Pacal (MA/MSc Global Innovation Design) and Swathi Muralidharan (MA Service Design).
MOWO was developed on the principle of ensuring safe mobility for all. By combining an app, female drivers and ticketing regulation, MOWO aims to make buses a safer environment for women travelling to and from their jobs in Lima, Peru, where a high proportion of women experience sexual assault on public transport. MOWO are Zhuyin Xu (MA Textiles), Kelly Holder (MA Intelligent Mobility), Georgia Mackenzie (MA/MSc Innovation Design Engineering), Ilayda Kal (MA/MSc Global Innovation Design) and Kaelan O’Neill (MA Fashion).
Inaya was founded on the knowledge that celebration is the fourth and final essential element to a successful care process. Through a not for profit or charity model, the multi-layered design solution incorporates celebration into the medical journey of the patient through a range of products and services. Inaya are Suzanna James (MA Textiles), Célia Marchessaux (MA Design Products), Emre Kayganacı (MA/MSc Innovation Design Engineering), Shruti Agerwala (MA Service Design) and Justin Tsang (MA Intelligent Mobility).
Regarding the RCA Grand Challenge, Professor Paul Anderson, Dean of the School of Design, says: “The students had just four weeks to come together remotely, get to know one another for the first time, and creatively come up with ways to exchange ideas. As a creative process it’s logistically challenging right from day one, which makes what they achieved extremely impressive. Going into the future, a lot of the teams will want to continue working together across disciplines. In the School of design students developing these types of networks, skill-sets and experience are all vital attributes to becoming a truly innovative designer in a global context.”