Rhonda Parker

Rhonda Parker


    Winners of Australia's first Universal Design competition announced

    26/07/1999 10:25 AM

      An easy pour jug with rubber feet, a revitalisation of Gosnells’ Town Centre, a public transport navigator and a clip-on for reading glasses are some of the winning designs announced today in Australia’s first Universal Design Competition.

      The competition is one of the main events in this year’s International Year of Older Persons and aims to promote the State theme of the year, ‘A Western Australia for all ages’.

      Seniors Minister Rhonda Parker said the imaginative entries could make life better for everyone in the community including those who were not physically able or those who didn’t have perfect hearing, sight and comprehension.

      “About half the 262 entries came from the general public with participants ranging from nine-year-old school children to seniors as well as design students and professional designers,” Mrs Parker said.

      “The competition will help break down the barriers between the generations and increase the public’s awareness of universal design.”

      The winners of the main themes were:
        • DOMESTIC: David Smith, of Crawley, for an easy pour jug allowing liquid to be poured without lifting the jug from the table;
        • HABITAT: A six-person strategic planning team that designed a revitalisation of Gosnells’ Town Centre. The design will improve the quality of life by making the area more interactive and accessible;
        • TRANSPORT: Lisa Fletcher, of Fremantle, and Jason Low, of Bentley, for the Transassist public transport navigator. The device uses a Global Positioning System and a textual map to guide commuters to their destination. It also has a panic and taxi call button and tells passengers when to get off the bus or train; and -
        • TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS: Two entries shared the prize. Martin Hogan from Victoria won with a clip-on attachment to an existing pair of reading glasses to extend their useful life.

      The winner of each theme received a $7,000 prize.

      Also, the winners of each of four categories received a $1,000 prize.

      Cardsafe - a device for keeping credit cards safe, won the Industry category, an improvement to the Webster Handy Pack to store medicine won the Tertiary category and a scooter lift and a colour coded touch telephone the community category.

      In the schools category, the winners were a horizontal fridge/freezer, a velcro mitten with an easy-to-use EFPTOS machine and a big-button video recorder sharing a prize.

      The winning designs will be displayed around the State before being exhibited at the Sydney Design 99 conference at the end of September.

      Mrs Parker said Universal Design would become increasingly important as the population aged.

      “Currently 14 per cent of the State’s population is aged 60 or more. That will increase to 22 per cent by 2021 and we need to bring in new products, services and redesign public spaces if we are to deal with this huge demographic change,” the Minister said.

      With the help of email the competition was judged by experts in England, the United States and Japan along with two local judges, Caroline Webster, World President of the Occupational therapists Association and Alun Price, head of design at Curtin University.

      The competition was sponsored by Curtin University, Hollywood Private Hospital, the Commonwealth Government, Transport and the Office of Seniors Interests.

      Media contact: Owen Cole 9481 7810