2nd Year Product Design student Zara King has claimed top prize in the 2022 Design Innovation in Plastics (DIP) competition, with a re-usable bedpan.
DIP, supported by The Worshipful Company of Horners, the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) and headline sponsored by Covestro, is the longest running plastics design competition of its kind for university undergraduates in the UK and Ireland.
Students were asked to design a product made primarily of plastics, for the healthcare sector, which can be used in demanding applications, but which also exploits the longevity of plastics.
Zara designed EasyMode, a re-usable bedpan for a pulp liner to fit inside, providing a safe and comfortable base for people to use in any healthcare setting. The bedpan is moulded with a wide base so that it sits comfortably into the bed and presses down into the mattress, and when the patient is rolled off, it doesn’t tip.
Zara designed the product after hearing first hand from a nurse about the awkwardness of using existing bedpans, and the distress it often causes.
“She impressed the judges with her methodical approach to solving a major problem in the NHS,” he said. “Her holistic approach incorporated both user and patient issues, to come up with a solution which met both needs. She gave due consideration to sustainability, manufacturing and the materials used and has registered this product as her intellectual property, so that it is market ready, should she want to take it forward.”
Zara said: “Since entering this competition, I have enjoyed every moment, especially the thought of helping people with a product I’ve designed. Healthcare is definitely a field I’d like to stay involved in. This is one of the proudest moments of my life.”
Zara received a £1,000 cash prize, a placement with a DIP sponsor an invitation to the Lord Mayor’s Banquet as a guest of the Worshipful Company of Horners. Zara will also be given a year’s membership to the Institute of Materials, Minerals, and Mining (IOM3).