KPU student's Mobile Warmth design wins award

Fri, Jul 30, 2021

Kwantlen Polytechnic University student Emile Routley-Long’s insulated blanket for a person in a wheelchair has won the Terry LeBlanc Innovation Award.

His Mobile Warmth design won the award in the province-wide Simon Cox Design Challenge by Technology for Living.

“It was nice to have won. I’ve never won a design competition before,” says the second year product design student at the Wilson School of Design at KPU.

“My project partner was someone who uses a powered wheelchair except they can’t move themselves. So the project was to creating an insulated blanket that would be comfortable for them during cold weather and more suitable for them than a combination of shawls and blankets.”

The blanket is easily put on the person in the wheelchair. Routley-Long says the blanket can fit around that specific wheelchair so the fit is snug. He also made sure it would adapt to their clothing.

Routley-Long credits KPU instructors with giving him the skills to create this prototype outside of school, from learning sewing skills to using anthropometry – the study of the measurements and proportions of the human body.

"On behalf of the product design faculty, we congratulate Emile and his team partner in technology on winning the Terry LeBlanc Innovation Award,” says product design instructor Sue Fairburn. “This award is a fantastic way to recognize the importance of design in addressing challenges often overlooked and even more important is the value in co-designing solutions with the people who need them and will be using them most.

“Emile is a committed and thoughtful design student and a valued member of his cohort and the product design program. We encourage our students to reach out and build their network through competitions and external projects like the Simon Cox Design Challenge. It's wonderful to see Emile and other students getting involved to deepen their design education."

Learn more about the product design program.