Designer: David Westwood
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Category: Soft Goods/Apparel
Award: Student Runner-Up
If you participate in a water sport where you are in, and sometimes under the water, you don't have a viable life vest option. LINK is a performance life vest designed specifically for in-water activities that aims to increase life vest usage.
As someone with a fair amount of water sports experience I know that life vests are something to be avoided. It is equipment that doesn't improve your performance on the water and likely takes away from the experience. The existing relationship is one where regulations push life vests on users, as apposed to be pulled in by them.
Ten years ago, there was a tectonic shift in the usage of ski and snowboard helmets to the point where you're more likely to see more people with helmets on than not—especially the experts. This same type of shift in perception is what needs to happen with in-water sports and the key is to develop a life vest that is beautiful, high performance, and sought after.
Core77: What's the latest news or development with your project?
I graduated with my degree in Industrial Design from Emily Carr University of Art & Design this May and continue to develop LINK. I am updating the design and plan on conducting a second, more involved round of user testing. If all goes well I will apply for a full patent and look to commercialize the product in 2011.
What is one quick anecdote about your project?
My eureka moment was realizing new things don't have to look or work like things that already exist. Isn't that the point on some level?
Read on for full details on the project and jury comments.