Industrial Design alumnus Dean Lopriore has been awarded the Hills Design Sustainability Award for his innovative children’s wheelchair design.
Lopriore, a 2014 graduate from the Bachelor of Industrial Design (Honours), received the accolade for his Spin Free wheelchair concept, designed to adapt to a child’s growth.
Lopriore was selected from 15 finalists for his sustainable wheelchair design, which he created as part of his final year honours project at RMIT.
Spin Free adapts to grow with the child physically and emotionally, eliminating the replacement of wheelchairs.
Once the child outgrows a certain area on the wheelchair, adjustments can be made throughout to suit their growth.
After a conversation with a friend whose son uses a wheelchair, Lopriore was determined to create a chair that addressed the desires and needs of children.
“My design process includes approaching a design, finding an area for improvement and sketching as many ideas as I can to solve that problem until I find a solution that’s good enough for production,” Lopriore said.
He said his time studying in RMIT’s School of Architecture and Design was both interesting and challenging, furthering his technical knowledge and thirst for design.
“It was because of Industrial Design at RMIT that my passion for design developed, enabling me to create a project that was capable of winning a design award,” he said.
“All the finalists for the Hills Design Sustainability Award were deserving of the prize, so it was a great honour to be chosen.”
Bachelor of Design (Honours) Program Manager, Liam Fennessy, said Lopriore’s achievement is testament to the high standard of work emerging from the Industrial Design program at RMIT.
“The Spin Free design showcases an outstanding level of the sensitivity to users that good design ought to,” Fennessy said.
“Dean has successfully immersed himself in the social, technical and environmental aspects of the design challenge he defined through his project, culminating in an outcome that is well deserving of industry recognition.”
Loproire is currently working as a Junior Product Designer at Colorific, designing toys.