The Aluminium Federation (ALFED) presented the winners of the Power of Aluminium Awards at a ceremony in the House of Parliament in London, U.K. Winners of the national design competition include a scooter that folds into a square the size of a piece of A4 paper and a guitar stand that incorporates an amplifier. Both products exploit the use aluminum extrusions.
“This year’s awards have really demonstrated the immense talent that exists out there amongst our young people, who in many cases are working close to professional design standards—the creativity is outstanding,” said Simon MacVicker, president of ALFED. “To see this level of quality and interest in the aluminum sector amongst the next generation makes me confident that the industry has a great future ahead of it. At ALFED, we’re keen to engage young people and educational establishments to develop an interest in engineering with this versatile material that provides so many engineering and sustainability solutions for the modern world.”
George Mabey, who is studying Engineering Product Design at London South Bank University, clinched first prize and £1,000 for his A4 fold-up scooter. The scooter works by linking extruded parts of aluminum with a tensioning cable which, when tightened, pulls the sections together in a rigid structure that can support the weight of an adult.
Mabey said: “I was amazed at winning such a brilliant competition, which I was proud to take part in as part of my final project here at London South Bank University. Having my work acknowledged at the awards ceremony and recognized by the industry is the icing on the cake and a great way to finish my time at University.”
“We are delighted that our students have won such prestigious awards in this national aluminum extrusion design competition,” said Robin Jones, principal lecturer in the Department of Engineering and Design at London South Bank University. “George is a fourth year BSc EPD student who spent last year on industrial placement. His folding A4 scooter design has now been patented and he is working on a fully-functioning prototype for exhibition in June.”
Ben Hunt, a first-year Project Design student from London South Bank University, turned his love of the guitar into a university project. His innovative “busking stand” guitar amp came in as a runner up in the awards. The guitar stand works on ergonomic design principles, providing guitarists with an amplifier that is “ideal for both hobbyists and professionals.” It can be carried by hand and offers users an opportunity to perform to small audiences or play with high sound quality outside of the studio setting.
Hunt said, “I’m overwhelmed at my win and having my design acknowledged by ALFED. I’ve never won a competition like that and the really great feedback I’ve received confirms that product design is the right career choice for me. It was great getting to meet so many people in the industry at the awards ceremony, getting my name known and ultimately a brilliant way to top off my first year at University.”
Highly Commended Designs
Three designs from the School of Architecture at Nottingham Trent University students were highly commended. Laura Clement Olmeda designed a visually stunning range of leisure furniture based on aluminum extruded panels with integral hinging. The design allows pieces to link to make a variety of chair, lounger and table formats, and to fold down for storage.
Hugo Cordeiro came up with Desk Concepts, a simple yet elegant and eye-catching design for a range of office desks. The concept uses aluminum extrusion to join sheet materials, giving a broad range to the appearance of the finished desks to suit their environment. Style variants include the wDesk, which joins wood with aluminum extrusions, and the gDesk with glass panels joined by extrusions.
Ariadna Roca Pujadas developed an Urban Accessibility Ramp. This design addresses accessibility issues for disabled persons by providing a ramp that will retract when not in use. The ramp uses extruded sections that hinge together and thus can be rolled away into a concealed space under the top step. Additional, extruded sections provide the runners and handrail system.