GBDA students win Royal Society of Arts Design Award
International competition challenges emerging designers to tackle complex issues facing business and society.
International competition challenges emerging designers to tackle complex issues facing business and society.By Annaka Willemsen Stratford Campus
Over 700 students from across the globe participated in this year’s Royal Society of Arts (RSA) Student Design Awards, the world’s longest running student design competition. Now in its 94th year, the awards encourage students to respond to complex design challenges in the name of social good.
Proposals were judged by leading designers and industry experts in a rigorous process that included anonymous offline shortlisting, followed by face-to-face interviews. The attentive nature of this competition is exactly why Global Business and Digital Arts (GBDA) students Alex Mills, Casey Hargreaves, Liz Mirchan-Breckenridge, Katrina Schouten and Stephanie Donovan were proud to take home top prize for the Best Business Case in the category of wellbeing in the workplace. Their project goes by the name “Hungryr.”
Hungryr is a grocery delivery platform for long haul truck drivers, answering their lack of access to healthy meal options, despite the crucial need to maintain a nutritious and balanced diet. The mobile app connects local car owners with truck drivers who are unable to access grocery stores on their route. On the app, truck drivers can browse a plethora of nutritionist-approved recipes and select the meals they would like to prepare in the upcoming days. A corresponding list of recipe ingredients is then translated into a customizable grocery list. Upon checkout, a local Hungryr driver is notified of the order and proceeds to shop the groceries and deliver them to the truck driver at the designated truck stop.
The team dedicated months to researching the wellbeing of North American truck drivers, uncovering occupational hurdles and exploring imaginative, yet practical, solutions.
“Really getting to know our users and empathizing with their struggles allowed us to develop a solution that would have a true benefit in their lives,” said Hungryr team member Alex Mills. “As we take on new projects, we are each inspired to develop the same level of empathy for our users, the problems that they face and the intricacies of their specific environment.”
GBDA students Portia Jones and Laura Wells also received RSA attention in the same category. Their project “Schift” was highly commended for Best Business Case – a smart watch designed for shift workers, assisting with sleep adjustment between day and night shift rotation.
Previous winners of RSA competitions include big names like Chief Executive of the Design Business Association Deborah Dawton, Apple Design Chief Sir Jonathan Ive, and Founder/CEO of renewable energy company Pavegen Laurence Kemball-Cook.
“With previous RSA Student Design Award winners including Apple’s Jonathan Ive, we can predict that today’s winnners will be tomorrow’s designers of the future,” said Rebecca Ford, Manager of the RSA Student Design Awards.
Team Hungryr will head to the Royal Society of Arts headquarters in London, England on June 27 to accept their NatWest Award of £1000.
The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is centralized within our Indigenous Initiatives Office.