International Maynooth University students win prestigious RSA Student Design Award

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 - 08:45

Three international students from the Maynooth University Department of Design have been named as joint winners of the Hygienic Home category in the highly prestigious RSA Student Design Awards.

Jon Schwarzmann and Tino Duralija, from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, along with Franziska Schranz from FH Oberösterreich in Austria, entered the awards while taking part in an Erasmus programme at the Department of Design Innovation at Maynooth University.

The student team won the top award in the Hygienic Home category, sponsored by floor care brand Eureka. The brief for this category challenged students to design or re-design a product to make cleaning floors easier and more effective for older people, helping them to maintain their independence. 

With their design ‘The Smartbot’ robot vacuum cleaner—a laser-directed robot vacuum cleaner, which eliminates bending and muscle load—Jon, Tino and Franziska were named joint winners of the Eureka Award of £3,000 (approximately €3,400).

Anthony Cleary, the Design Studio Manager at Maynooth University who lectured the trio for their Universal Design module, commented, “I am delighted to hear that Jon, Franziska and Tino are joint winners of an RSA design award 2018.”

“We had a number of very innovative solutions for the project which we focussed on in our Universal Design module, but the way this team came together with such an incredible work ethic and attention to detail was what led to this clearly impressive result. They thoroughly deserved to win.”

The RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) was founded in Britain with the aim on enriching society through design and innovation.

The RSA Student Design Awards is a global curriculum and annual competition for higher education students and recent graduates run by the RSA. Each year the Awardss challenge emerging designers to tackle a range of design briefs focused on pressing social, environmental and economic issues. The competition has helped identify solutions and talent that have had a huge impact in the world.