A DESIGN competition for independent living inventions has secured a partnership with the V&A Dundee, Scotland's design museum.

The Blackwood Design Awards (BDA) invites budding designers, engineers and inventors from all over the world to submit their creations to help people with disabilities or independent living needs to live life to the full.

Joanna Mawdsley, head of learning at V&A Dundee and expert judge on the 2023 awards ceremony panel said: “Competitions like the BDA encourage concepts, designs and products from a cross-section of the community and emphasises that anyone can create the next life-changing design.

The competition is open to experienced professionals and gifted amateurs and welcomes advanced and simpler designs while providing a great opportunity for design students to get their first big break while still at university.

Previous winners include an app that helps make living spaces safer for people with dementia and inventor Grant Douglas’ “spill proof” spoon – the S’up Spoon – which was designed for those affected by conditions which cause them to shake.

The National:

Prizes of £2000 are available for the Best Collaborative Project, sponsored by Hyper Luminal Games, and the Best New Concept, sponsored by Social Telecoms.

Blackwood will endorse the existing product that wins Best New Aids, Equipment or Accessible Technology, sponsored by Kingdom Gas.

Charity expert Marie McQuade, who joined Blackwood with over 25 years’ experience in the sector, said: “Some of the designs previously entered have been revolutionary, and we expect this year’s designs to be no different.

The awards mark Blackwood’s 50th Anniversary, since it was founded by Dr Margaret Blackwood MBE, a campaigner for the rights and independence of disabled people and operates more than 1500 properties across 29 local authorities.

The charity has already built two developments of affordable, accessible and connected tech-smart "Blackwood Homes" in Glasgow and Dundee which use a “CleverCogs” digital system to make life easier for older people and people with disabilities.

The deadline for entries has been extended to Monday November 13 to allow for the anticipated expanding interest with the winners announced in January 2023.

For more information or to enter,  visit www.bespoken.me or e-mail bespoken@blackwoodgroup.org.uk. 

For more information, visit: https://www.blackwoodgroup.org.uk