While we’re all looking forward to unwrapping exciting and thoughtful gifts this Sunday, 9 lucky (and highly talented) people have received an early present courtesy of Blackwood.


The race first kicked off in August this year and now we are delighted to present you with the shortlist of entries going through to the final of the Blackwood Design Awards 2016!

This was the biggest year yet with our highest number of entries yet and the levels if ingenuity and creativity have done nothing but soar year on year. Blackwood was especially delighted that the 2016 competition was extremely international with entries coming from countries including; Canada, the UK, Peru, Greece, the USA, Japan, Hungary, New Zealand, Switzerland, Germany and China.


Who will be the winner…? Check out the finalists in both categories below and tell us which ones you would like to see triumph…


Best New Product


Click on anyone of the photos to watch a short video about the design...


C-Brace – In short is a brace for people who have either a weakness in the knee or an injury that impairs their ability to stand/walk independently. This entry made the shortlist because it is a much improved version on an existing product (older versions were very rigid and caused the user to walk in a very wooden, puppet like manner that wasn’t terribly dignified). This product is relatively discreet and could make the difference between a person being confined to a wheelchair/mobility scooter and being able to remain upright and walking.


FRIEASEL – This is a manoeuvrable canvas that can be adjusted so someone with severe disabilities can paint independently. The therapeutic benefits to someone who struggles to communicate and/or express themselves could be enormous.


Drink Universal Holder – A simple concept but it’s practical use is undeniable. It is fixed to a person’s wheelchair and can fit near enough any kind of glass. This enables the wheelchair user to manoeuvre their wheelchair at parties without have to ask someone to hold their glass, or vice versa they don’t have to ask for someone to push their chair just so they can hold their drink.


Glassouse – Is a set of light-weight glasses that are suitable for computer users who do not have the use of their arms. Using Bluetooth, it remotely links to the computer and detects where the user wants to go through head movements. The mouth piece serves as a mouse and biting down on it acts as a click.

Best New Concept


Argonault – This is a versatile concept wheelchair that can go up and down steps and pavement edges as well as go up to cupboards. The concept is brilliant and working preliminary prototypes have already been made.


MeBot – Similar in some respects to the Argonault in that it can go up and down steps. The thing that we liked about this was that the video they sent has test users who are disabled themselves and clearly impressed. The working prototype proves the concept too.


RT-Movers – A really smart wheelchair that can go up and down steps. Where it differs from the others is that it has great stability and suspension assisted by a low centre of gravity. The mechanism of the wheels make it really good for going over uneven or bumpy terrain.


Wheelair – This is the temperature regulating cushion that actually feature on bespoken only a few short months ago. For people whose body doesn’t communicate well with their brain and causes difficulty getting their body temperature right. It has a fan that can help cool them on hot days.


Eye-wink – a system to control your phone without hands and just using winks to go back and forth in the options. Potentially very useful for anyone who has limited hand movement or poor dexterity in their fingers.

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