5 Amazing Design Projects for Good that have just Won at the RSA Design Awards

Video: Patrick Horan’s A Brighter Future entry.

This year’s RSA Design Awards’ winners include 5 brilliant projects that want to make life easier and better for people in the UK and overseas.

This year’s RSA Design Awards’ entries include a campaign to reduce food waste to an app to make budgeting easier for young people.

The Royal Society of Arts (RSA) Design Awards is the world’s longest-running student competition – with that, as you might imagine, comes high standards and bucket loads of prestige. Plus, 906 entries to sort through. 

Challenging emerging student designers to tackle real-world social, environmental and economic issues through design thinking and skills is bound to throw up fascinating, new ideas. But we weren’t prepared for quite how cool, playful and clever this crop of innovations are.

Here, we’ve rounded up our favourite winners, which responded to 12 different (very tricky) briefs that cover the whole range of current problems that have primarily stumped the rest of the world, from overpopulation to a lack of resources. 

RSA Design Award winners: A Brighter Future

Shown above, graphic designer Patrick Horan’s response to the Moving Pictures category brief to create an animation to accompany one of the two selected audio files (explaining why Patrick sounds surprisingly womanly on the video; it’s not him, but education campaigner Debra Kidd). 

Using various styles of animation – from hand-drawn animation to stop-motion – Patrick’ uses a naïve, childlike style for emotional impact and to underline that feeling of hope.

RSA Design Award winners: Makers Blocks

The Making it Inclusive brief is simple: design a way to enable more people to enjoy the benefits of making. Industrial Design Technology student Sam Hemming’s innovative, challenging play experience for children transports physical toy creations into the virtual world – allowing parents to interact with their children through making

RSA Design Award winners: Medical Symbols Kit  

Africapack’s brief asks students to improve the way medicines are protected, dispensed, distributed and/or taken in to Sub-Saharan Africa. Johnathan Stannard’s medical symbol languages kit includes poster, stickers and instruction sheets to help people in areas with low-literacy to understand when, how and how much medicine to take. It is wonderfully simple.

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RSA Design Award winners: M  

To improve the way for young people to improve their financial capability and manage their money better for the Mind Your Money brief, Jan Rosicky created M, a wearable gadget and app that tracks expenses and sorts them into spending categories – remarkably, without the user having to input the data.

RSA Design Award winners: It’s great to hydrate

Waste Not, Want not has never been something humans are particularly good at; we need some encouragement to reduce food waste. Thankfully, Poppy Crow has created It’s great to hydrate, a three-step behavious change campaign and practice aiming to inform the public about how hydrating vegetables can help them keep for longer and will encourage waste reduction in the process.