Six National College of Art and Design (NCAD) students have achieved recognition at the RSA Student Design Awards, which are run each year by the Royal Society for Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce in London.

Previous winners include Sir Jonathan Ive, RDI, the senior vice-president of design at Apple; Richard Clarke, global vice-president of Design at Nike; and Paul Priestman, founder of global travel and transport design consultancy Priestmangoode.

All six Irish student winners are studying product design at NCAD.  In the ‘Tomorrow’s Workplace’ category, sponsored by RBS, James Donnellan and Kevin Glynn won the overall award for ‘Best Design Project’ for ‘The Hatchery’, a methodology manifested through a work environment that gives workers a greater sense of place and autonomy.

Stephen Quinn and Pat D’Arcy were highly commended in the same category.  Their project, ‘Attend’, focuses on how to increase productivity and ideas by enhancing workers’ attention spans.

In the ‘Water, Water Everywhere’ category, NCAD students Paul Moran and Jess Lockhart won the Severn Trent Water Award for their project ‘Water Sculptures in the Home’, a series of sculptures that work in conjunction with home water meters to let household occupants know how much water they are using.

Head of design at NCAD Professor Alex Milton said 2014 was the best year yet for NCAD entries in the RSA Student Design Awards.

“Success in this competition offers a real boost to the future career prospects of emerging designers, as countless industry representatives scout for new talent at the awards each year,” he said.

“The other thing that is really attractive about this competition is the involvement of industry leaders – such as RBS, Unilever and Waitrose – as category sponsors.

“Each sponsor sets the brief for students entering in their category, which gives the companies involved an opportunity to set out an existing problem they encounter and to challenge emerging designers to find a solution.

“The students who enter get valuable exposure to industry leaders and a chance to demonstrate just how widely and effectively creative skills can be applied in industry settings.”