Award-winners are next generation of socially responsible designers

The Royal Society of Arts announces the winners of its prestigious Student Design Award.

4SANITATION by Oliver Brunt

The Royal Society of Arts (RSA) first introduced the Student Design Awards (SDA) in London, 90 years ago. Since 1924, these awards have challenged emerging artists to use design thinking, craft and ingenuity to drive innovation. And this year is no exception.

Last September, the RSA launched eight SDA briefs, which included applying design to a range of social, economic and environmental issues. Over 600 students took part and, after an intensive judging process, the RSA have now announced the 18 winning projects and the designers behind them.

Top proposals

This year’s winners include proposals for new packaging made from beeswax by Riikka Suominen and Thea Engerdahl of Kingston University, a hygiene pack for use in refugee camps by Oliver Brunt of Northumbria University and an alarm clock app to improve well-being amongst 18-25 year olds by Lizzie Reid and Olivia Charlesworth.

This year's winning projects included new packaging made from beeswax

Commenting on the winners, the RSA’s co-director of design Nat Hunter said: "We want people to know that design isn't about prettification: design is the cornerstone of society's fight for positive social and environmental change. The RSA Student Design Awards exist to shine a light on some of our most difficult business challenges and create innovations to address them."

Notable past SDA recipients include Apple Inc.'s senior vice president of design Jonathan Ive and Richard Clarke, global vice president of design at Nike.

For a full list of this year's SDA winners, visit the RSA website.


Kerrie Hughes is associate editor at Creative Bloq. Her employment at Future Publishing began in January 2010 as staff writer for 3D World magazine. Since then, she's written regularly for other publications, including ImagineFX and Computer Arts magazines.