Graduate's project wins Design Council competition
A graduate of the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) has won the Design Council's annual challenge for social innovation.
Alex Lampe, who studied BA (Hons) Graphic Design at UCA Epsom, was lead designer on one of the five winning projects set the task of bettering the lives of dementia sufferers and their families in a competition by the Design Council and Department of Health.
His team's winning idea is a web-based service called Trading Times which matches carers with local businesses for flexible paid work allowing them to earn money and stay connected with society.
Alex, who founded brand consultancy A+B Studio, said: "The competition was a great experience. We worked with the team to help give them more of a design-lead ahead of their pitch to the judges -a week later it was announced that our project had been selected, so we were delighted.
"Aside from the financial advantages that our project gives carers, one of the most powerful things that hit me was the sense of isolation that they experience, so being able to participate in employment for a few hours a week connects them back with society and gives them an enormous sense of self-worth.
"One of the carers we spoke to said that working on a Deli counter for a couple of hours was the highlight of their week - these are the opportunities we want to create."
The Department of Health and the Design Council created the 'Living well with Dementia' competition to bring about new ideas and practical solutions for those living with the condition.
Each selected idea won funding and support through early development, and is now showcased on a dedicated website, with promotional films created by influential design agency Why Not Associates.
UCA Epsom Graphic Design lecturer Mike Nicholson - an experienced illustrator/storyboard artist and one of Alex's previous tutors - was brought in to help bring these films to life.
Mike Nicholson, said: "Many people believe that design is only about commercial ideas and making money but initiatives like this show the public that design can help facilitate important social change and help make our lives better in other ways.
"It is always exciting to work on high-profile campaigns, but it was particularly rewarding to work on an ethical project like this.
"The Graphic Design course at UCA Epsom always promotes the social potential of design, so it's fitting to see this on a large scale, and especially with a former student playing such a key role in one of the winning projects."
Clayton Welham, of Why Not Associates, said: "This was a sensitive, socially-important project. Our films needed to reflect the very different work of the teams tackling the complexities of dementia, while also having a definite style as a series.
"We felt that Mike's line illustrations perfectly communicated the human issues involved, within the film sequences created with photographer Julian Germain.
"The Design Council has already received a lot of positive feedback about the project."
Design Council Challenges are national competitions focused on solving real problems, meeting real needs and promoting a role for design beyond what many people commonly imagine.
One in three of us who lives to age 65 will experience some form of dementia before we die. A million people in the UK are expected to be living with the condition by 2021. Acknowledging the scale of the issue, the Design Council and Department of Health made 'Living well with dementia' their national design challenge for 2011.
Find out more about Trading Times and the other winning projects at www.livingwellwithdementia.com.
For more information contact:
David Reilly, Press Officer, UCA
T: 01252 892939