Universal Design Grand Challenge 2014: DIT student sweeps the boards

DIT Product Design student, Christopher Wallace was the clear winner of the Centre of Excellence Universal Design Grand Challenge 2014, winning both the Judges’ and the People’s Choice awards for his tactile watch design: 20:20.

Christopher developed his concept of a tactile watch from discussions he had with an expert AT user who is vision impaired. Her reservations about the use of speaking watches  led to him developing the concept of a watch with tactile markers which could indicate the time and may be attractive not just to someone with a vision impairment but also to users who simply want to check the time surreptitiously (!). The judges noted that one of the key strengths of the 20:20 design concept was that Christopher had consulted in depth with a user, and understood the user’s needs.


See here for further details of both Christopher’s winning product concept, and of the runners up:http://www.universaldesign.ie/


  1. Bernard Timmins

    In 2014 Community Design Challenge has gone from strength to strength, with a number of firsts;
    • For the first time Trinity College nursing students participated in the Community Design Challenge, their active role within the teams helped students understand practical challenges their designs may encounter.
    • International collaboration with Purdue University. Staff and 16 students ranging from Postgraduate & Undergraduate Students from Purdue school of Biomedical Engineering participated in the Community Design Challenge and present their own work.
    • Christopher Wallace a 4th year student whose assistive technology Medical design course work/Community Design Challenge entitled 20:20 won all the awards at the Universal Design Grand Challenge 2014. http://www.universaldesign.ie/
    • The second Community Design Challenge was held at Enable Ireland Sandymount. This I believe is what true user-centred-design is, designing at the core of a building where assistive technology is everywhere.
    • First time students from all years of DIT’s product design have participated in the Community Design Challenge.

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