Stress buster is Fearsome FutureMaker
The Glasgow School of Art is celebrated as a centre of creativity with graduates from its Product Design Engineering programme behind many cutting-edge innovations that have shaped the world in which we live.
The current cohort of graduating students was described as “producing one of the highest standards of work to date” by fearsome's own and head judge for the 2017 Fearsome Future Making Award, Alan Suttie . The prestigious award this year went to 24-year old Georgina Seviour from North Queensferry for rebeat: an innovation which aims to minimise the sensations of stress and anxiety.
“Stress and anxiety is an increasingly prevalent problem within modern day society,” says Georgina “It not only costs the economy billions of pounds due to lost working days, but it can also debilitate the individual in their daily life.”
“A growing awareness of mental health has led to a number of new products on the market such as mindfulness apps. However, these products require time, space and normally a routine. Yet, stress and anxiety can be unpredictable causing among other things a racing heart sensation,”
Rebeat is designed to help people to go about their day in a calmer state through using technology that synchronises the individual's heartbeat to a relaxed pace.
Announcing the Award Alan said: “We were hugely impressed with not only the design, but the level of research and trialling that Georgina has undertaken. She has proposed a novel solution that could make a massive difference for so many people.”
A very close runner up was Katherine Moriarty, who has developed a simple answer to an issue thatmany have tried to address with complicated solutions. Her “Habit Reversal Therapy” is designed to help Trichotillomania - a compulsive hair pulling condition that affects an estimated 380,000 people in the UK.
The most successful treatment for the condition is habit reversal therapy, where sufferers train themselves to displace their behaviour onto another object,” explains Katherine. “Fidget toys are currently used to do this, but they are often brightly coloured and obvious, so cannot be used subtly in public. They are also not designed specifically for the condition, so do not offer the correct ‘tension and release’ sensation that people with trichotillomania are looking for.”
“My product replicates this sensation, while also providing a tangible result in the form of a counter which counts the number of pulls. This keeps the product in the hands of the user for as long as possible, allowing them to set goals, and also acting as a positive reinforcement - seeing the amount of hairs they haven’t pulled out. The product can then be worn on the wrist disguised as a watch, so is easily accessible.”
Notable mentions were also given to Peter Parlour for adaptable furniture and a gadget to help grip and lift heavy boxes created by Laura Jimenez Somosa - both of which were considered to have huge commercial potential, and to Gergana Tatarova for a “vending machine” that grows, harvests, cooks and dispenses insects as part of a sustainable food project.
“The judges were looking for five key qualities in the designs,” says Alan Suttie “Impact, bravery, passion, surprise and power.”
The judges for this year’s Fearsome Future Makers award represented a suite of innovative Scottish companies: