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DIT students win Universal Design Grand Challenge

Posted: 1 June, 2016

DIT students Megan Lee and Greg Butler were among the award winners at the third annual Universal Design Grand Challenge Awards in the Science Gallery, Dublin last week when students from third-level colleges across Ireland presented their design projects.

Barry Sheehan, Head of Design in the School of Creative Arts, with award winners (left) Greg Butler and (right) Megan Lee

The awards are an initiative of the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design at the National Disability Authority, supported by Enterprise Ireland.

Barry Sheehan, Head of Design in the Dublin School of Creative Arts at Grangegorman, said “We are delighted that three of our students were in the final nine shortlisted for this design competition, which is of national importance and attracted a large amount of entries from third level institutions around the island.  We were thrilled that Megan Lee and Greg Butler were announced as category winners, following on from very coherent presentations of their projects to judges and an invited audience. Megan’s Interior Design project is for a student housing development here on the campus in Grangegorman which is additionally satisfying. Greg’s alarm clock project from Product Design was clever and innovative and will be part of the end of year exhibition uncover, which opens in Grangegorman on Thursday June 4th.

The theme of this year’s awards was “Solutions so smart they work for everyone”.  This year’s Universal Design Grand Challenge featured 5 award categories - three specialist categories covering Technology, Built Environment, and Products and Services, and the existing People’s Choice and Enterprise Ireland Awards

The Judges Choice Award for Built Environment went to Megan Lee from Dublin institute of Technology for her design “Universal Student Accommodation”. The design is for student accommodation at the new DIT campus in Grangegorman, Dublin and is based on the 7 principles of universal design.

The Judges Choice Award for Products and Services went to Greg Butler from the Dublin Institute of Technology for his design “Orb Organiser Alarm” which has the standard functions of an alarm clock with the added benefit of remote and time controlled plugs to trigger electrical devices when an alarm goes off. The product is aimed at people with limited mobility and poor organisational skills.

The panel of judges included the President of the Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland, Carole Pollard, the President of the Irish Computer Society, Declan Brady, and Professor Jane Grimson, past president of Engineers Ireland and of the Irish Computer Society.