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Men’s clothing that lights up according to the wearer's mood, a device that calms autistic toddlers and a virtual exercise coach, all created by UNSW graduates, have dominated the 2017 Young Designer of the Year Awards.

The Good Design Awards is Australia’s longest-standing national design award and one of the few forums for professional designers to showcase their design expertise to national and international audiences.

Lilian Hambling, a UNSW Art & Design graduate, won the coveted Young Designer of the Year Award for E-motion, a clothing range that allows men to communicate non-verbally. Sensors in the garments respond to the wearer's pulse, muscle tension and proximity, converting the physical information into coloured light animations that emulate different emotions like a pounding heart, rush of adrenaline and the feeling of ‘butterflies’.


Hambling explains that by enabling “men to be more openly expressive, the stereotypical expectations of masculinity can change; instead of hiding them away, feelings – such as love, anger, fear, and sadness – can be displayed as interactive gestures”. 

UNSW Industrial Design graduate Era Camilet won the Design Innovation Award for HUG, a self-regulation and early-warning system that lets parents of autistic children know when their child is about to have an aggressive outburst.

“HUG helps minimise injury and provides parents with a convenient, calming and socially acceptable way of tracking and managing their child’s behaviours,” says Camilet.

Jessi Wilkinson, also an Industrial Design graduate, won the Design Technology Award for Stride: Running Coach, a wearable virtual trainer for beginner to intermediate runners. Stride uses sensor technologies including heart-rate monitoring earbuds, a wearable sensor pod, and muscle-tech running tights to provide real-time audio feedback on running style.


“Stride is so much more than activity trackers available today. It looks to the future of fitness wearables and strives to help you train better, smarter and harder to meet your health and fitness goals,” says Wilkinson.

Industrial Design Director Stephen Ward says the award winners illustrate the high calibre of UNSW graduates.

“The winners of the Young Australian Design Awards are to be congratulated on their creative explorations and then giving form to an idea," he said. "The success of our graduates in national awards like these is also an indicator of the quality of the learning and teaching experience graduates have had with us as students. We are delighted to see that five of the twelve finalists, and three of the four winners, in the Awards this year are graduates of UNSW.”  

Bachelor of Industrial Design (Honours) students Greta Saggus and Colan Luo made the finalists list in the Young Designer of the Year Awards. Saggus for Scrap Snacks, a recycling system that transforms household kitchen scraps into pet snacks, and Luo for Caradon-Powerlife, an electricity-powered bike trailer.