Industrial Design students are working to remove barriers and make it easier for people with a physical disability to go kayaking in south-east Queensland’s lakes and dams as part of a new competition project initiated by Spinal Life Australia.
The project, which is supported by Seqwater and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), saw thirteen teams of QUT Bachelor of Design (Honours) students submit their designs for an accessible kayak launch and recovery system.
The winning team, comprised of students Ben Cornelissen, Roozbeh Fakhr, David Quick, Kim Thomas and Mia Yeh, received the approval of Spinal Life and Seqwater judges for their simple but effective “Adaptic Land Launcher” design (pictured).
The winning design uses a launching slide with railings in combination with a transfer bench and adjustable hand grips to allow kayakers with a disability to transfer to and from their watercraft.
For their efforts, the team won a $2,000 prize from Seqwater and further consideration to make their design into reality.
Executive Manager – Member Services Ross Duncan said he was very impressed with the entries, especially as social distancing restrictions meant the teams could only collaborate online.
“A key goal of this competition was to get design students to consider accessibility in their designs and they’ve come up with some real innovative ideas,” Ross said.
“We involved Spinal Life members in the judging process, as they’re the ones who would benefit most from these projects, and they were very impressed with how well disability was considered.
“As these talented students move towards professional careers, we hope they continue to innovate and be inclusive as they help shape the future of design and infrastructure in our communities.”
QUT Creative Industries Facility senior lecturer Andrew Scott said the winning design will be further refined for potential development and testing and he hoped to eventually see the final product in waterways around Queensland.
“All the students involved definitely rose to the challenge,” Andrew said.