Kate Perrior has taken out the UNSW Build Environment Award for Sustainability in Design at the Design TECH awards at the Powerhouse Museum this morning.

DesignTECH is the NSW Board of Studies' annual exhibition that showcases outstanding major design projects of Higher School Certificate (HSC) students who studied Design and Technology.

Perrior’s product, Garden Aid is designed to assist people who have difficultly when getting up and down from the ground when gardening and she says it was inspired by her own grandparents.

“It was after listening to them express the enormous amount of difficulty they have when gardening and how what was once an enjoyable activity, became a burden in their life.”

Garden Aid allows the user to kneel on comfortable knee pads while they garden, and control the function of the jack by pressing either the ‘up’ or ‘down’ buttons. The product is powered by a simple rechargeable battery pack. The design also uses contemporary colours that fit in and blend to its garden environment.

Stephen Ward, Program Director of Industrial Design at UNSW Built Environment presented the award.

“Kate’s project best identifies the need for sustainability in design, and incorporates key elements throughout the design process.

“There were clearly technical problems to be solved in order to bring the design to reality and there is abundant evidence of learning of new skills both in Kate’s description and embodied in the device on display,” said Ward.

Perrior says she learned a number of skills throughout the design process.

“I learned a lot about how to properly identify problems and how to overcome them. I learnt about 3D computer drawing, silicone moulding, aluminium bending and aluminium welding.

“My most enjoyed and valued experience was (witnessing) its final use.”