A competition to tap into the creative design ideas of schoolchildren certainly hit the mark this month, with entries ranging from friendly elephants and robots through to a heart-in-a-box and your very own castle.
All the entries to Duku’s ‘brighten someone’s day’ design competition proved thoughtful, fun and creative – and undoubtedly made the judges smile.
But with a winner to be chosen in each of the three age group categories, and an overall designer to be chosen, it was the ‘puff’ assisted octopus, a novelty gin fizz boat and a ‘make my day’ soap dispenser which really caught the judges’ attention.
“The ideas that came through really made us laugh,” said Duku Director Andrew Aylesbury. “We’re a design company so innovation and creativity are our day-to-day bread and butter, but we wanted to see what local schoolchildren could come up with. With most children being home-schooled at the moment, we hoped it might be a good channel for some of their creative energies!
“We were very vague with our brief – we asked for something to brighten someone’s day, and that would fit into a 32cm x 25cm x 20cm box. Other than that, we left it down to the individual’s imagination.”
Favourite in the 5 and under category was Teddy Blake’s wriggly-legged octopus (aged 5). “The octopus I made is made to make my brother laugh while we are in isolation as I blow through the top it makes the octopus’s legs wiggle,’ explained Teddy, who lives in Pinner, Middlesex.
“We loved this for its originality and fun design,” said Andrew. “Teddy’s design would be easy and low cost to manufacture, and is easy to modify and personalise. A great entry!”
Winner in the 6-10 age group was Charlie Pritchard (aged 9), with his novelty Gin Fizz decoration. “This is for my Aunty Helen as she loves gin,” said Charlie from Kemerton, Gloucestershire.
“We chose this design as it made us laugh! It’s original, quirky and fun, and could be a nice novelty product or something to display on the home bar or drinks cabinet,” said Andrew. “We’re not sure how Aunty Helen will feel about her taste for gin being spotlighted in this way!”
The final winner, this time in the 11-16 category, was the ‘make my day’ soap dispenser, the brainchild of 12 year old Daniel Richardson, from Cheltenham. Daniel’s soap dispenser offers an audio compliment every time the dispenser is used, broadcast through two waterproof speakers.
Said Andrew: “A great deal of thought has gone into the internal design, and including a positive message is a good way to encourage use and personalise the product. And of course, it is very appropriate for the current times in which we find ourselves, with the emphasis on regular hand-washing.”
Each of the age group winners will receive a Lego set worth up to £120 – which Andrew hopes will encourage further creativity, while the overall winner will get to see their design made thanks to the magic of 3D printing.
“Choosing the overall winner was very tricky as each of the age group designs were so well imagined,” said Andrew. “However, we finally plumped for the Octopus as we really thought it fulfilled the brief and will certainly brighten someone’s day. We’re looking forward to seeing what it looks like when its created!’
Teddy Blake will get to see his design printed at a date to be confirmed, although it may take slightly longer to get the final design to him as the team has also got involved with Balcarras School’s 3D printer face shield initiative.
The school asked for help with its initiative and Duku has now put their 3d printers into production to create much needed face masks for health workers.