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Competition sees students designing tools for the elderly and disabled

on Monday,December 14,2009 22:12

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Student design competitions typically revolve around fanciful and elaborate designs on a grand scale. Yet a recent challenge to British engineering and design students tasked students with creating tools, programs and gadgets to assist the elderly people and the disabled with the everyday tasks of buying, preparing and eating food.

Co-sponsored by the Disabled Living Foundation and the Mechanical Engineering Department at Imperial College, the 2009 Student Innovation competition saw teams of student designers developing their products over the course of 10 weeks, before pitching their ideas to a panel of industry professionals. Students are paired with professional designers who serve as mentors to the teams, providing insight and guidance wherever they can.

"This course has taken our students out of their comfort zone to work with industry partners and clients," says Design, Art and Creativity course leader Annick Collins in a statement to the Imperial homepage. "The insight they have gained into their own learning and practice has been worth all the incredible hard work that everyone has brought to the challenge."

This is the third year that Imperial has sponsored the competition, which was established as a means of teaching students to apply their creativity and skills towards more practical considerations.
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