Expandable kids' clothing wins James Dyson Award for best student invention in the UK
Royal College of Art graduate Ryan Mario Yasin has won the UK edition of the James Dyson Award, with his line of children's clothing designed to grow with their wearer.
Yasin's Petit Pli clothing was created as part of his masters programme in Innovation Design Engineering. It subsequently went viral on the internet when a video made by Dezeen generated 4.4 million views.
It was selected from over 2,000 entries to be named 2017 winner of the UK James Dyson Award, which recognises the most innovative new inventions devised by students in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Petit Pli clothing incorporates permanent pleats that enable it to expand in all directions, growing up to six sizes. Yasin was inspired to create the garments after buying clothes for his nephew and discovering they no longer fit by the time they turned up.
He channelled his previous experience studying aeronautical engineering at Imperial College London into the project to create an auxetic material – one that becomes wider when stretched and narrower when squashed.
This means the clothes appear to "unpack" when pulled. The collection features waterproof and windproof outwear that fits children aged six months to 36 months.
The garments are made of a synthetic material that is patent-pending, and have a hydrophobic coating, making them waterproof.
Yasin hopes Petit Pli provides a more sustainable option for dressing children, given that 300,000 tonnes of clothing was thrown away by UK households in the UK in 2016.
"Children outgrow their clothes in a matter of a few months, yet we clothe them in miniaturised adult clothing, as opposed to designing them from the ground up," Yasin told Dezeen in July. "With 11 million children in the UK, I thought it was time we redesigned children's garments."
As the winner of the UK James Dyson Award, Yasin will receive £2,000 and progresses to the international round of the competition, where first prize is £30,000. He intends to use the money for further research and development, and to grow Petit Pli into a business.
One of the runners-up in the competition was another design for children, Lalepé, which combines a child carrier, flight seat, feeding chair and travel mat in one.
The other three runner-up projects were Comp-A-Tent, which can be left to decompose after a weekend of camping; Grace, a wearable to aid menopausal women through hot flushes; and Climate Edge, a weather monitoring system for farmers.
The James Dyson Award runs in 23 countries, and is open to university-level students and recent graduates in product design, industrial design and engineering.
Set up by British inventor James Dyson and run by the charitable James Dyson Foundation, the award champions projects that challenge convention, show lean engineering and design with the environment in mind.
Last year's overall winner was Isis Shiffer, a graduate of the Pratt Institute of Design in New York, with EcoHelmet – a recyclable, collapsible helmet designed for bike-share stations.