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Winners of Hills Young Australian Design Awards

29/05/2014
 
A computer game controller designed specifically for children living with a disability has taken out the top prize at the 2014 Hills Young Australian Design Awards.
 
The Novel Computer Game Controller, designed by South Australian young designer Max Hughes in collaboration with Flinders University and the University of South Australia, can improve the hand and arm function of children with disabilities such as cerebral palsy, as well as their sense of touch.
 
Mr Hughes will receive $10,000 in prize money and support to convert his invention into a commercial venture. 
 
Hills Ltd CEO Ted Pretty said he was delighted the company that pioneered one of Australia's great inventions – the Hills Hoist – is supporting the design stars of tomorrow.
 
“The panel was extremely impressed with the ingenuity of the game controller and the opportunity it gives children with a disability to play video games when they normally wouldn’t be able to do so,” he said.
 
“As well as good aesthetics, the ease of use keeps the child engaged for longer which means there are potential therapeutic benefits too.”
 
As part of the Hills Young Designer of the Year Award, Mr Hughes will be given the opportunity to work alongside commercial and academic experts at Hills Innovation Centres. 
 
“We have established the Lance Hill Design Centre and Hills D-Shop to drive ingenuity in Australia and bring new ideas and products to market. Clever ideas are not enough – young innovators need to be connected to good networking and mentoring opportunities to help them ultimately bring their product to market,” Mr Pretty said.
 
“That’s exactly what the Hills Innovation Centres will do. Our industry experts will be on hand to provide advice to resolve technical issues and help develop an idea into a workable commercial prototype.
 
“At Hills, we want to unearth and nurture the next big Australian invention that will help transform and change lives.”  
 
 
Other award winners include:
 
·       Hills Design Technology Award ($5,000) – Forcite Police Helmet
Designed by Alfred Boyadgis of Earlwood NSW, the Forcite police helmet system provides officers with enhanced communication abilities, active footage streaming and number plate recognition which are all displayed in the head up display of the helmet. This technology will allow motorcycle officers who are often first on the scene in congested CBD areas all over the world to properly respond to emergency situations.
 
·       Hills Design Innovation Award ($5,000) – Kamodo Fishing Kayak
Designed by Andrew Godin of Clayton, Victoria, the Kamodo is a high performance product for the avid kayak fisherman. The kayak uses modern materials to deliver a product which is almost half the weight of existing plastic rotomolded alternatives. A key feature is the octagonal joiner which allows for easy attachment and rotation of the users equipment (fishing pole holders etc). The system is also designed to tap into the DIY fabrication culture of kayak fishing by allowing users to download expirable G-Codes online, 3D print, and even design parts at home to fit to Kamodo.
 
·       Hills Design Sustainability Award ($5,000) - Modular Artificial Reef Structure (MARS)
Designed by Alex Goad of Brighton, Victoria the MARS acts as a modular skeleton, mimicking the height, width and complexity of natural reef environments. MARS can be laid on the seabed to combat coral bleaching, transplant corals, regenerate damaged habitat and to create brand new ecosystems altogether.
 
The winning designs are on exhibition at the Good Design Lounge, 140 George St, The Rocks. The Lounge will be open 23 May – 9 June, 3pm-9pm daily.
 
 
MEDIA CONTACT
 
Virginia Kim, Hills Limited, Product Communication and Innovation Manager
MB: +61 407 415 484   
Email: Virginia.Kim@hills.com.au