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September 21, 2017 10:31 AM

Conestoga graduate receives national design award

The Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD) has named Graphic Design graduate Rebecca van Leeuwen a winner of its annual student competition. Van Leeuwen's work was among more than 640 submissions received from post-secondary design students across Canada.

Van Leeuwen, a 2017 graduate, received the BOLD Award for Accessible Design. Her Brain Beacon app concept was created for her third-year thesis project and its purpose is to improve daily life for those who have dementia and live on their own.

The app features two parts—a tablet app for the person with dementia, and a smartphone app for their caregiver. The tablet app allows the user to do tasks like view a calendar, add photos to an album, and receive information about the weather in a simple and accessible way. The caregiver’s app lets them add events to that same calendar, send reminders, and easily message or video call the person for whom they are caring.

“While researching this topic, I gained empathy for the experience of those living with dementia and the family and caregivers who support them,” said van Leeuwen. “Many peoples’ lives have been touched by this difficult disease. My hope is that this app will someday be available to make their day-to-day experiences just a little bit easier.”

In addition to a $1,000 cash award, van Leeuwen’s work will be printed in a student award annual to be distributed to design professionals across Canada, shared through the RGD website, and included in a digital display at the Design Thinkers conference in Toronto in November. The conference attracts more than 2,000 creative professionals.

Submissions were reviewed and scored by a team of 75 judges drawn from the industry. Judges also awarded honourable mentions to a number other Conestoga students:

  • .design Award for Self-Promotional/Personal Website - Jonathan Collie, Bachelor of Design (Honours) program
  • Greenmelon Award for Packaging Design (Single) - Grace Stallard, Graphic Design program; Aidan Boileau, Graphic Design program
  • Intent Award for Print Design - Sara Wong, Graphic Design program
  • Polyester Studio Award for Motion Graphics - Taylor Newman-Craigmill, Graphic Design program

 The full list of student winners is available through RGD

RGD sets professional standards for more than 3,800 registered Canadian design practitioners including freelancers, managers, educators and students. Those permitted to use the RGD designation have met industry standards that include specific levels of education and experience.

To learn more about Conestoga’s Bachelor of Design (Honours) program and Graphic Design advanced diploma program, visit the School of Media & Design

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