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DESIGNS ON THE FUTURE; Exhibition shows innovative problem solvers.

Byline: NEIL ATKINSON

IT IS an exhibition full of the bizarre and the unusual.

But the items on show at the University of Huddersfield could well prove to be practical solutions to problems of the future.

The university is the first and only UK stop-off point for a world-renowned travelling exhibition that displays ultra-innovative designs which aim to solve a host of global problems.

INDEX: Design to Improve Life is a Danish organisation which aims to inspire, educate and engage people so that they use design skills to develop sustainable solutions to global and local challenges.

A show featuring the 2011 event's winners and finalists has been touring since November, visiting Singapore and venues such as Bauhaus in Germany and Luxembourg's Mudam Museum and is scheduled to visit Hong Kong.

Now it is in Huddersfield and opened yesterday in a series of dramatic pods erected in the plaza outside the Creative Arts Building, home to the School of Art, Design and Architecture.

It remains in Huddersfield until September 29 and the public are invited, free of charge, to examine the pods, all of which contain boxes displaying a huge and diverse number of inventions.

They include the Swedish-designed H|vding, described as the world's first airbag for cyclists, which claimed first prize in the "play" category.

The airbag explodes from a custom-made collar whose in-built sensors constantly monitor movement for the telltale signs that an accident is about to happen.

Also on display is a glow-in-the-dark chador - the dress worn by Iranian women - designed to save unseen female pedestrians in Iran from being hit by cars at night.

One designer whose work is on display is University of Huddersfield lecturer Dr David Swann.

He designed a nursing bag for the 21st century after discovering the iconic design that has prevailed for around 150 years could endanger patients' lives, as it was never cleaned.

His radical update is made of non-permeable white plastic and is free from the pockets and folds that previously allowed harmful bacteria to accumulate.

Emma Hunt, who is Dean of the School of Art, Design and Architecture at the University of Huddersfield, said: "Our belief is that creativity is the currency of our time and that it has no boundaries.

"It's about promoting a different way of looking at social problems. As we've shown, different design disciplines working together can spawn new ideas and new solutions."

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* FUTURE DESIGN: Part of the INDEX exhibition is put in place at the University of Huddersfield and, right, Dr David Swann (
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Sep 1, 2012
Words:422
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