The Inaugural RSA Richard Howarth Award: Winners Announced

Posted by Rebecca Ford on

Category: Awards announcement


On 23rd May we announced 18 outstanding winning projects in the 2013-14 RSA Student Design Awards (SDAs), and today we are delighted to make another special announcement: the recipients of the prestigious new Richard Howarth Award of £4,250.

The joint winners are Alec Machin, who is entering his fourth year of Product Design & Manufacture at the University of Nottingham, and Joel August Stein, now entering his third year of Product & Industrial Design at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.

Richard Howarth is an industrial designer at Apple and a past winner of the RSA Student Design Awards, having won a £4250 travel bursary for his entry in the 1993/94 Awards. Speaking at our recent ‘Inspire & Innovate’ event celebrating this year’s winners and 90 years of the SDAs, Richard Howarth said ‘I can’t imagine what direction my life would have taken if I hadn’t won an RSA Student Design Award’. Given the huge impact it had on his own career, as part of his ongoing involvement with the SDAs Richard decided to support the next generation of designers by paying back, or rather ‘paying forward’ his award.

The inaugural Richard Howarth Award will be shared by Alec and Joel, who will receive £2125 each to help them progress their work and their careers in design following graduation from University. Richard personally selected the work based the winners’ outstanding enthusiasm and commitment to the practice and breadth of design.

Alec’s winning entry was Decorate Paints: a new paint container that reduces both paint and packaging waste. The container has a one-way pouring valve that prevents paint drying out and the whole product can be recycled. Alec identified the huge problem around short-life paint containers and 50 million litres of wasted paint in the UK each year, responding with this ingenious, holistic solution.

Having already received considerable interest in and press coverage on Decorate Paints (including in the Huffington Post, and Fast Company), Alec now plans to use some of his prize monies to produce a working prototype and further scope its potential for mass production.

Joel’s winning entry was Hipa: a personal digital health assistant and communication device for staff in hospitals. Scientific studies have shown that hospitals are some of the most stressful working environments; Hipa is a personal digital health assistant and a future communication system for staff in hospitals.

Joel has described the Award as a ‘huge achievement… To get recognition from the RSA and from one of my idols Richard Howarth is something you can only dream of!’  He told us that working on an RSA brief has had a profound impact on him: ‘the RSA has opened me up to a new design perspective, and given me insights and tools that I will use in my work from now on’.

A BIG congratulations to these two well-deserved winners!

Sevra Davis, Manager of the RSA Student Design Awards


For media enquiries relating to either the Richard Howarth Award or to Alec and Joel’s projects, please contact Liam Fay-Fright: 07743139887

  • By Rebecca Ford on in Awards announcement

Updated on August 23, 2016 11:25 AM