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Young blood: Our picks from the 2018 Best Awards student product design finalists

The Pou Moko

While the Best Awards are rife with talented designers, it’s always exciting to see the categories that are showcasing the promising up-and-comers. Here are some of our favourite picks from the Student Product category.  

  1. Sixth Sense T1 Diabetic Management


Student: Haydn Jack
Lecturer: Oliver Neuland

Measuring blood sugar levels at night for Type One Diabetics is known to be a notoriously difficult task, and complications can be fatal for those with the condition. Enter Sixth Sense – a tech solution that sits on the bedside table by insulin-dependent diabetics and monitors and analyses the person’s breath and scent emitted from their skin, like that of a diabetic assistive dog.

VOC gas sensors on the Sixth Sense device detect dangerously high or low blood sugar, which feeds back into the app that partners with it. Caregivers can then view a live feed of the individual’s blood sugar status on the app and receive prompts that can be pre-set and customised by the user to the caregiver about intervention when their blood sugar levels aren’t correct.

  1. Pou Moko



Student: Clinton Blackley​
Contributors: Reweti Arapere, Erena Arapere​
Lecturer: Lyn Garrett
School: College of Creative Arts, Massey University

Pou Moko is an artificially intelligent product designed to bring the value of Māori culture and its language back into every day environments, such as work, school and home. It assists the user in learning te reo Māori, and it has also been nicknamed a ‘Māori Siri’ seeing as it can be asked a question on any device and respond in the translation, identification of Māori objects, as well as directions to or descriptions of Māori sites of significance. The aim of the product? To ultimately become a persons or a whanau's personal assistant to the Māori world and tutor to the language.

  1. Carrie





Students: Hannah Jensen, Jodi Melody, Sam Ross
Lecturers: Olly Townend, Tristam Sparks
School: Massey University College of Creative Arts

On a mission to re-imagine one very common form of plastic waste, three Massey University students developed Carrie – a multi-use courier bag. Seeing as more than two million New Zealanders shop online every year, they saw an opportunity in wasted courier bags: why not reinvent them so they encourage a multi-use culture, while extending the brand experience? To reduce single use plastic, they created Carrie, a durable, reusable postage bag that turns online shopping into a more sustainable experience. Customers can open the bag, retrieve their shopping and then flip it inside out, turning it into a reusable tote for everyday use.

  1. Foldaway dining suite


Student: Mike Hindmarsh
School: Massey University College of Creative Arts

Every apartment owner has encountered an issue with finding room in their small abode for furniture, but the Foldaway dining suite aims to change this with simplistic yet space-saving design. It can be stored away when not in use, and comfortably accommodates up to four people for dining or as a workspace. Meanwhile, the cabinet’s depth of 100mm allows it to be fitted into a plaster board width-wall cavity, while its handle-free design doesn’t intrude on the apartment space when folded up. The stools also fold up into the cabinet when not in use.

  1. Pokai


Student: Alice Thompson
Lecturers: Anke Nienhuis, Shane Inder​
Client: MacPac​
School: AUT Industrial Design

Tramping cookware options such as heavy gas cookers and cookers with open flames can be a little bit intimidating to those with little experience, but they have no choice but to front up to them when eating dehydrated meals that require boiling or hot water. As an alternative, AUT student Alice Thompson has come up with Pokai, a drink bottle that uses battery energy to heat water and improve the safety and approachability of camping cookware. By opening the mouth piece and exposing the pressure hole with the battery turned on, it can boil two cups of water in six minutes and is vacuum insulated so that’s its easy to handle and transfer liquids when contents are hot.

  1. Aerie hammock and tent

Student: Anton Elliot
Lecturers: Shane Inder, Anke Nienhuis​
Client: MacPac​
School: AUT Industrial Design

It’s no secret that New Zealanders love getting off the beaten track and into the outdoors, but why should their only option for sleeping be a flat camping site? The Aerie hammock and tent aims to open up the opportunities for urban dwellers heading into the wilderness with no real plan, allowing them to sleep in uneven, rugged terrains and giving them more freedom. But if they do want a tent, the option is there too. As a bonus, the hammock option doesn’t require the user needs a sleeping mat.

  1. Revive


Students: James Skeggs, Franziska Hueck​
Lecturers: Thomas Degn, Bilgi Karan, Oscar Bjork
Client: ABB Group
School: Umea Institute of Design

Electronic waste is a big problem in modern-day society, and while there are many initiatives in place to tackle it, there aren’t that many products out there catering to it. Enter Revive, a collaborative robotic system that repurposes electronic waste. It works alongside a human user to extract reusable material that wasn’t previously accessible, and extending human capabilities in this area.

  1. Sowsense


Student: Georgia Fulton
Lecturers: Lyn Garrett, Rodney Adank​
School: Massey University College of Creative Arts

Sowsense is a four-part system that helps prevent the risk of piglets being crushed or suffocated by their mothers during the first 72 hours of their life. Mother pigs often flop onto their side when feeding their young, which often leads to newborn piglets being trapped. With the only solution at present being farrowing crates used on commercial indoor pig farms, Sowsense is a welfare-focused alternative that encourages maternal behaviour in the sow and helps farmers shift away from crates and indoor set-ups to free-range or outdoor pig farming systems. The device uses sensory detection and alerts to get the sow to get off a trapped piglet and helps train it to prevent further crushings as she learns to be aware of her babies. An accompanying app also helps track, record and predict aspects of the pig herd.

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