A prototype toy buggy literally dreamed up by a Northampton student, has landed the 22-year-old with a prestigious design award.
Christopher Doyle, of Queen’s Crescent, Kingsthorpe, beat off 800 entries to scoop a Royal Society of Arts’ (RSA) Student Design Award for his educational toy ‘Morty’.
He took top spot in the ‘Fair play’ category, which asked entrants to design a toy which encourages recycling.
Christopher,a product design student at the University of Northampton, said his inspiration for Morty - a ride-on buggy which can be made into a number of different objects with the help of household waste – was one of his favourite childhood playthings, a cardboard box.
He said: “One night I was doing some research into other toys which recycle waste and I was looking into ways I could use bits of household waste in my design.
“But when I fell asleep I had this dream where I was playing with a cardboard box and I just thought, that has to be the best toy because it can be anything a child wants.
“It is only limited by the child’s creativity.”
Morty, which has already been made into a prototype, would come with instructions of how to turn the buggy into either a lion, a bison, or a Spitfire plane, but Christopher said owners would be able to download instructions to turn the toy into a range of other things using a series of ‘hooks’ and household materials otherwise destined for the bin.
As part of his prize he will receive a £1,000 grant, which will enable him to fund the production of working prototype.
“I have already had several people get in touch with me to ask how they could get hold of one of the toys,” Christopher said. “So who knows, maybe this is a product that could go to market, I know how to manufacture it and it would be made from biodegradeable products.”
Christopher will receive his award at the RSA headquarters in London on June 11, and his work has gone on display, along with other winners, in an online showcase.
Commenting on the project, one of Christopher’s tutors Friedemann Schaber, a senior lecturer in product design, said: “Chris integrated packaging in his solution, addressing sustainability and behaviour change.
“This resulted in a play experience, which evolves through several increasing creative levels. The RSA commended him for his thought process.”
For more information regarding the University of Northampton’s Product Design degree, visit: www.northampton.ac.uk/study/courses/courses-by-subject/design/product-design-bsc-hons