Canadian Plastics

Housewares Market

Student design awardsOne of the highlights of the Housewares Show is the student design competition and awards. These awards were established by the International Housewares Association to recognize t...

March 1, 2002   Canadian Plastics

Student design awards

One of the highlights of the Housewares Show is the student design competition and awards. These awards were established by the International Housewares Association to recognize talented industrial design students and to build awareness of the housewares consumer products market. The competition is endorsed by the Industrial Designers Society of America. This year ten professional designers judged over 200 submissions from students attending 24 U.S. colleges accredited by the IDSA. Nearly $10,000 was awarded to six students judged to have submitted the best designs; as well another 11 students received honorable mention recognition.

The top six award-winning designs are described below.

Aqua Hand Washing Station

Mathew Bentley, San Jose State University, e-mail:

Description: The Aqua Hand Washing Station screws onto an outdoor water spigot. Designed for both right and left-handed users, it features two water routes — one for the hose and one for washing hands. A pump-action soap dispenser contains a knob that turns to release aerated water from a spout. Its articulating joints allow mounting on all types of spigots.

Matt says he thinks polyethylene containing additives for UV protection would be the ideal material for a commercialized version of the product.

Judges’ comments: Great idea for children in the backyard and outdoor workers.

Universal Bedpan

Erik Petersen, San Jose State University, e-mail:

Description: The Universal Bedpan helps bedridden people and their caregivers at home. An improvement on existing plastic or metal products, this two-part bedpan is more comfortable and easier to clean. Its soft shape allows a caregiver to move onto the pan more smoothly and it is more stable in use.

Erik says he designed this with input from his brother, a nurse in the U.S. navy. He made the seating rim wider and longer, from a self-sealing polyurethane, for a soft, warm feel. The bottom portion is made from a rounded , blow-molded polyethylene and allows the caregiver to roll the patient onto the bedpan. Erik would like to commercialize his idea.

Judges’ comments: Design brings dignity to a difficult situation. Innovative use of materials.

Impulse Spot Remover

Lisa Ann Heim, Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, e-mail:

Description: The Impulse Spot Remover is a hand-held garment cleaner. The trigger-operated electrical appliance ejects cleaning solution and vacuums up dirt and dampness. The soil reservoir empties easily and the filter can be washed with water.

Lisa says she conceived the product as a portable substitute for dry cleaning, or pre-treating stains prior to washing. The housing of the prototype displayed at the show was made out of foamed polyurethane and thermoformed acrylic.

Judges’ comments: Clear market need for such a product. Form studies well done.

Stand By Travel Toothbrush Case

T.C. Chang, San Jose State University,

Description: The Stand By is a toothbrush case that becomes a standing toothbrush holder when unpacked. The suction cup base holds the inverted case so that the toothbrush stands accessible and off bathroom counter surfaces.

T.C. says the idea for this design came to him while watching his girlfriend always looking for a place to put her toothbrush after brushing. He envisions using a flexible material such as polyurethane or TPE in the commercialized product and is looking for partners.

Judges’ comments: Good solution to concerns about bathroom hygiene. Excellent materials and processes examination.

Cool Wheels Lunch Kit

James Corbin, Columbus College of Art and Design, e-mail:

Description: Cool Wheels is a lunch kit for children aged three to six who attend a childcare facility. Shaped like a toy car, the kit has two storage compartments — one is insulated to keep food cool and the other protects fruits and snacks.

In a market survey, James found that there was a lot of consumer dissatisfaction with current lunch kits and bags for smaller children. A commercial version would most likely be made of a combination of plastics, such as PU and PP.

Judges’ comments: Excellent research identified mothers’ needs and children’s preferences.

Isis Indoor Composting System

Phillip Madden, University of Cincinnati, e-mail:

Description: This product is designed to accommodate a new view of green waste recycling. Organic food waste quickly decomposes in an enzyme-lined bag. The composting unit could be mounted into counter tops or on wheels.

Phillip says the system creates useable compost in as little as one week, as opposed to two months for outdoor systems. A molded ring and translucent polycarbonate inserts holds the bag in place.

Judges’ comments: 360 degree thinking on entire system. Forward concept for a growing need.

Print this page

Related Stories

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *