University of Dundee students scoop top design prizes – Scottish News

Affinity project
Naomi Cairns’ ‘Affinity’ (Image supplied)

Design graduates from the University of Dundee have scooped top prizes during the early stages of the 2020 New Designers Awards.

Naomi Cairns and Naomi McIntosh, from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design were two of 3000 artists whose work was shown in the contest.

Product Design graduate, Naomi Cairns was awarded the Colour in Design Award for her project ‘Affinity’, which uses colour to combat loneliness.

While Interior Environmental Design graduate, Naomi McIntosh, has won the Creative Conscience and the Business Design Centre for Social Impact Design Award.

The prestigious event, which is normally held in London over two weeks, went digital this year to celebrate the Class of 2020.

Naomi Cairns hopes to combat loneliness with her entry. (Image supplied)

In a world where we are more isolated from each other than ever, Naomi created a small but significant solution to missing contact with the ones we love.   

Naomi Cairns said: “I am deeply interested in designing products and services to help improve mental health, feelings of loneliness and connection.

“My project ‘Affinity’ uses coloured light to let people connect without the need for words. I began developing this idea before Covid-19, so it was important to me how I could adapt my project to help people connect when we are more isolated than we were before. 

“I’m looking forward to getting mentored by industry experts to help my development get advice for future career opportunities. Winning has given me more confidence to step out my comfort zone and seek more design opportunities.”

Naomi McIntosh was this year’s recipient of the Social Impact Award for her project, ‘The Lade’.

Naomi McIntosh
Mum Naomi McIntosh took inspiration from her experiences. (Image supplied)

Naomi created a family-centred community hub designed to help tackle the issue of child poverty.

Naomi McIntosh said: “Being a mother and the personal challenges I have faced inspired me to design something that would help families.

“I had researched Dundee’s child poverty crisis for my dissertation the previous semester which involved speaking with families and third sector organisations in the city. 

“A few themes arose during my study including extortionate childcare rates locking parents out of employment, children growing up without life skills and access to outdoor play, and families living in isolation without a support network.

“This motivated me to design a community hub that would address these issues for my thesis project.”