By Chanelle Seguin
Humber Industrial Design graduate, Tanya Nazywalskyj, just came short of making the final round of the James Dyson award for her wheelchair accessible playground design.
Nazywalskyj finished in the top 50 worldwide in the international design competition.
Her design created a playground that allows disabled children to also interact with able-bodied children, not just one another.
Paraplegic children “are always requiring assistance,” said Nazywalskyj. “If they were able to do it themselves, go down the slide themselves, go on the swing themselves, without the help of their peers it would improve their self esteem.”
Nazywalskyj submitted her wheelchair accessible playground to the James Dyson foundation in hopes of receiving the prestigious award.
It is presented on behalf of the James Dyson Foundation, a British based charity and educational organization that supports international educational design.
The design was Nazywalskyj’s final thesis project for her program.
Nazywalskyj said the idea came from her love of playgrounds.
Patrick Burke, Industrial Design program co-ordinator at Humber, said it was Nazywalskyj’s preparation that made her project successful.
“She put a lot of research and thought into the design, and observed disabled children in a playground setting before hand,” said Burke.
Nazywalskyj is proud of her playground, even though she is not a contender for the final prize.
Nearly 5,000 entries from 18 countries submitted their designs into the competition.
She admits many improvements could have been made to her model.
Her project was one of the larger scale entries into the competition, which hindered her end product due to the time constraint.
“I wasn’t able to fully develop the swing system. The mechanical aspect was fine, but I couldn’t finish the design to its full potential,” said Nazywalskyj.
Fiona Spencer, an executive for the James Dyson Foundation, told Humber News that the judges are looking for something game-changing that could have a real impact on the field in which their product fits.
“This award is to encourage the next generation,” said Spencer. “We want our participants to be thinking about how they can have a positive effect on the world around them.”
With the competition now complete for Nazywalskyj, she is looking to explore her passion for children’s toys.
“My passion is to design kids toys,” said Nazywalskyj. “Whether they are play toys or educational toys, I really enjoy designing things that assist with the growth of children.”
The winner of the James Dyson Award will be announced on Nov. 8.
Photos Courtesy of Tanya Nazywalskyj