Midlands Design Awards Winners

Midlands innovation celebrated with design awards

The region’s most exciting designers, pioneering innovators and trend-setting brands have been recognised in the Birmingham Made Me design awards.

The accolades are part of the annual Birmingham Made Me Design design expo which aims to celebrate the very best in design and innovation in the Midlands.

Some of the world’s most innovative products and services – and the people who inspired them – were lined up for the public vote.  Winners and runners-up from the online poll are:

Best Midlands Collaborative (Education-Business) Design
Birmingham Made Me Retail Collective, which features enterprise shops based in The Mailbox where student and graduate entrepreneurs have been selling their products direct to the public. The designer-makers offer a range of creative products and accessories from the arts, lifestyle, fashion and homeware sectors – and includes everything from kitsch handbags to vintage trinkets.

Professor Stuart Brand
, who heads the Birmingham City University’s own learning lab – the Centre for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching – has helped shape the University’s pioneering engagement with its student community.

Virtuar Moving and Handling, is a web-based moving and handling e-learning package which teaches the theoretical aspects of safe moving and handling in a healthcare environment. Featuring state-of-the-art computer graphics, the software is used successfully in the University’s Faculty of Health.

Best Midlands Design

Pashley Cycles, is the country’s longest established bicycle manufacturer. Founded in 1926 and based in Stratford-upon-Avon, the company’s dedicated team design hand-builds a unique range of specialist bicycles and tricycles.

Best Midlands Emerging Designer
An Endless Supply, is a design studio and independent publisher led by Harry Blackett and Robin Kirkham. Working in many roles – as designers, printers, programmers, commissioners – a primary objective of the studio is to support the production of new art and writing

Birmingham City University graduate entrepreneur Jack Row has created one of the world’s most expensive pens, worth £27,500. He launched his début collection of luxurious precious metal fountain pens at Harrods, helping to create international headlines and make an impact in the high-end retail sector.

Tusheeta David is an award-winning jewellery designer who grew up in India. After a successful career in India as a fine jewellery designer for a leading Asian company she moved to UK where she set up her own label and completed her Masters at Birmingham City University’s School of Jewellery.

Best Midlands Radical Innovation & Design
Aga Rangermaster (Original Range Cookers).
The range cooker, which was invented in the Midlands has changed the way we live and remains a great feature of the modern Midlands industrial landscape, where AGA Rangemaster has factories in Leamington Spa and Coalbrookdale.

Droplet is a mobile payments app that lets you load money onto your phone and send payments to anyone for free. The whole idea was born in a Birmingham coffee shop when its founders decided that there must be a way to use the power of mobile technology to make sending payments easier.

Rover ‘Safety’ Bicycle dates back the 1870s and revolutionised the bicycle industry by offering safe and reliable alternative to the prevailing penny farthing.

Lifetime Achievement
Awarded to Graham Vick who is established as one of the world’s leading opera directors. He is Artistic Director of the Birmingham Opera Company and has received an honorary doctoral degree in 2012 from Birmingham City University in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the arts in the city. He works in many of the world’s most prominent opera houses in collaboration with many leading conductors, including La Scala with Muti, The Met with James Levine, the Royal Opera House with Bernard Haitink, Munich with Mehta, Paris with Conlon and Chicago with Andrew Davis.

Beverley Nielsen, organiser of the Birmingham Made Me design expo, said: “A big thanks goes to everyone who voted online for their chosen person or project – it was such a strong shortlist it must have been a real tough choice in selecting a favourite.

“These awards really highlight the quality of what is happening here in the Midlands – and is creating a real buzz in the creative and design sectors worldwide.”

Student Business Design Programme – Think Differently
Also part of the Birmingham Made Me event was the ‘Think Differently’ student-business collaborative programme with the Birmingham City University students working with AGA Rangemaster recognised as the most professional team and runners-up from the student teams working with the Morgan Motor Company and Brooks England recognised for their creative approaches.  Seven teams of students collaborated in total working with Vax, Westfield Sports Cars, Pashley Cycles, Acme Whistles alongside Morgan, Brooks England and AGA Rangemaster, visiting seven factories over an intensive two week period. Students portfolios can be accessed online at http://birmingham-made-me.org/BMM2013/schools-students/student-portfolios/

Schools Design Competition
The schools design competition was topped by students from King Charles I School, Kidderminster, for their Roots Interactive Timeline, with runners up from George Dixon Academy for their Aston Martin inspired Coffee Machine alongside Adam Bentley, student Pool Hayes Arts & Community School who was recognised for his JCB-inspired electric guitar and amp.

The ten finalists selected for the schools design competition included –

Arden Academy – – Lifestand – Miranda Yates
Bourneville College – Monster Truck – Sarah Mason
George Dixon Academy –  Aston Martin Coffee Machine – Hussain Ali Kachry, Kenny Phung, Sultaan Hamid, Moin Arshad
King Charles I Kidderminster – Roots Interactive Timeline – Joel Workman, Alice Edwards, Daniel Eggo, Owen Corkin, Ben Onslow
Perry Beeches Academy (2 entries) – Aston Martin Grill  - Brandon Cockbill, Oliver Cadman, Sam King, Ilyaas Parkar; and Birmingham inspired jewellery – Denikah Gardiner-Dixon
Pool Hayes Arts & Community School (3 entries) – Emma Bridgewater jewellery – Amy Raybould; JCB headphones-guitar-amp Adam Bentley; JCB transfer cable – Josh Allsop
Sandwell Academy – Emma Bridgewater inspired clothing – TEAM

As part of the schools design competition schools factory visits have been arranged to Acme Whistles, Brooks England, Emma Bridgewater, Pashley Cycles Westfield Sportscars, WB the Creative Jewellery Group.

Winners of the Birmingham Made Me social media competition and raffle have also been named:

  • John Rider, immediate past Chairman, Institute of Directors West Midlands, won the half day Westfield Drift Car Experience
  • Simon Hague of ThinkShareCreate won the Laney Electric Guitar and Amplifier
  • Laura Bielinski of Birmingham Post won the Vax Air3 vacuum cleaner

We would like to thank our sponsors for the fabulous prizes so generously donated for our social media competition and raffle as well as everyone who participated in this year’s design awards.