PC design branches out

A DUBLIN graduate scooped a national design award yesterday for creating a computer shaped like a tree.

Laura Cauldwell, 22, from Knocklyon, won first prize of €2,000 in the Dyson Student Design Award for her creation entitled Cultivate — the Sustainable Living Computer.

The branches on the tree hold the mouse, speakers, the memory bank, the central processor, the battery and an ambient light.

The Cultivate computer also has silver aluminum “leaves” which help to cool each unit.

The NCAD graduate, who works for a design company in Rathmines, will represent Ireland at the International James Dyson Awards next year.

She said: “To me, this design promotes and enhances sustainable living. I want to encourage people to think about the environmental impact of the products they use and about their lifestyle in general.”

The design award was presented in conjunction with Design Ireland as part of Design Week. The competition recognises young designers and engineers who demonstrate Dyson’s design philosophy — the ability to think differently and create functional, innovative products that improve the way we live.

Design Ireland spokesman Barry Sheehan said: “Laura’s project successfully demonstrates that Ireland can be at the forefront of design innovation.”

University of Limerick graduate students Marion Barry and Kate Corish took second and third place respectively.

Ms Barry created Swival, an indoor children’s exercise toy aimed at combating child obesity, while Ms Corish designed Solalift, a manual handling device for sheet construction materials.

Dyson founder James Dyson said of the competition: “Each generation a new group of designers extend our expectations of technology, our appreciation of design and our hopes for products and engineering of the future.”

Dyson Ireland managing director Simon Maddock said: “The Dyson Student Design Award is now in its fourth year in Ireland. Each year the entries become stronger, this year being the strongest yet.”

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