24 November 2014

A Look at Our 2014 Finalists: Jesse Leeworthy and Sandra Elliot

This week we’re continuing our closer look at all the 2014 finalists and their BIA designs with professional finalist Jesse Leeworthy and student finalist Sandra Elliot.

Jesse Leeworthy
2014 BIA Professional Finalist


[Slimline by Jesse Leeworthy]

A lifelong fascination with discovering how and why things work and a desire to create more environmentally friendly products through smarter design were key drivers of Jesse Leeworthy’s pursuit of a career as an industrial designer, and of his 2014 finalist entry, Slimline.

“I think the ultimate goal is to influence a more environmentally conscious society,” Jesse said. “To create more products that not only reduce the overall environmental impact of society but provide a realistic alternative to what’s already on the market. And do this through beautiful design.”

Already an international award winning designer, Jesse turned his environmentally conscious design focus to the bathroom vanity for the 2014 BIA.Â

“The concept emerged purely to assist in reducing the amount of water wasted within our households. By being able to closely monitor water wastage we have the ability to make informed decisions,” he said.

Jesse’s design includes a purpose-designed LCD touch screen with the capability to monitor water usage and provide live news and weather updates, as well as giving consumers the freedom to choose their own look with a variety of finishes. According to Jesse, it was “designed to be the central hub of the bathroom space and will set a new precedent for smart bathroom products”.

“The ‘out of sight, out of mind’ approach is way too inherent in our society these days. Not knowing what our water usage is until the bill arrives encourages overuse. It’s time that the opportunity is returned to the user, once again making an emotional connection with their water useage.”

Jesse says his design is the start of what he sees as a fast-approaching shift to technology-driven products for the bathroom. “I foresee a bit leap over the next couple of years, with the integration of smart products, increased functionality and user-centred design within the bathroom. It is a space that is beginning to move very quickly once again.”

Sandra Elliot
2014 BIA Student Finalist


[Horizon by Sandra Elliot]

Lidcombe TAFE student Sandra Elliot says she had never thought about designing for a bathroom until the Bathroom Innovation Award became part of her coursework. But as soon as this year’s brief was revealed, the idea for her finalist design “just popped into my head”.

Like many of our BIA finalists, Sandra describes industrial design as her “true calling”, the natural channel for lifelong creativity curiosity. Her finalist design, Horizon, captures her minimalist aesthetic and recognition of the changing role of the bathroom space.

“More people are using the bathroom space and I wanted to create a design that embodies integrity and innovation, while encompassing the users’ need for utility and multi-functionality,” said Sandra.

The design includes a wall mounted basin that conceals internal storage compartments at both ends which slide out horizontally at a single touch. Corresponding smaller, separate vanity units offer threefold function options – seating, storage and shelving. The complementary mirror incorporates standard and magnified sections as well as in-built LED lighting, while an accompanying freestanding towel rail is designed as one continuous piece of tubular steel. Â

According to Sandra, the BIA challenge helped her realise her own potential and explore new avenues of design.

“The competition gives students the opportunity unleash unbridled creative talent as well as gain industry exposure,” said Sandra. “It also makes the design process real for students – you’re designing for a client, not just for an assignment.”

Congratulations Jesse and Sandra. We hope to see more brilliant BIA designs from you in 2015.

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