Student’s sustainable washing machine wins major prize

Published 4th June 2013 at 12:16pm

A product design student from Sheffield Hallam University has won a major national award for his innovative and sustainable washing machine designs.

Chris Redford was shortlisted for the Royal Society of Art’s (RSA) Student Design Awards 2013 along with fellow students Elliot Morgan and Peter Larkam, all final year students on Sheffield Hallam’s MDes Product Design course.

The winning design was chosen by a panel of industry judges this week. Chris, 22, from Manchester, was given the top prize for his radical new domestic washing machine that is designed to be repaired by the consumer without the need for a technician.

Chris said: “I got the inspiration for my repairable washing machine from thinking about the number of times we dispose of entire products – especially large consumer appliances – when there might only be a single failed component. My design exposes the user to all the components so they can learn about its function and hopefully feel more confident about attempting to fix it.

“I was surprised just to be shortlisted and I’m really pleased that something as common as a washing machine can spark the interest of the RSA.”

Elliot, 21, from Sheffield, has designed a wall-mounted fridge with many features that help prevent fresh food from being wasted in the home. It has features that make it easy for owners to see what food items they have in the fridge and has other energy-saving aspects.

Elliot said: “Buying food for the evening meal on the way home from work is an increasingly common habit and many people don’t really need to store as much food at home.

“My design is a shallow fridge which doesn’t allow food to be out of sight and can be used for the essentials of refrigerated food and drink in the home.”

Peter, 22, from Ipswich, has designed a smartphone with modular electronic components that allow the phone to be upgraded as technology develops, without the need to replace the whole phone.

Peter said: “My repairable and upgradable mobile phone concept allows each of the internal components to be replaced by the user if one of them breaks or if a newer version is released.

“For example, if the screen smashes, it can be taken out and replaced, or if a better camera is available, the existing camera module can be removed and replaced with the upgraded version.

“Being able to repair and upgrade your mobile phone will increase its overall life and reduce the amount of electronic waste that is exported from our country.”

All three designs will be on show at the University’s Creative Spark exhibition, which is open to the public from Saturday 8 June to Friday 21 June. Visit www.shu.ac.uk/creativespark for more information.