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Max Hughes named Young Australian Designer of the Year for videogame controller for disabled youth


A young South Australian designer has been recognised for his innovative invention, a novel video game controller specifically for kids living with disabilities such as cerebral palsy.

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Max Hughes was awarded the Hills Young Designer of the Year Award as part of the Good Design Festival in Sydney for his work on the controller.

It has the potential to improve their hand and arm function, as well as their sense of touch. Ease of use, good aesthetics and strong entertainment value contribute to user engagement and therefore increase the therapeutic benefits.

Hills Ltd CEO Ted Petty said he was delighted that the company could support the design stars of tomorrow.

“The panel was extremely impressed with the ingenuity of the game controller and the opportunity it gives children with a disability to play video games when they normally wouldn’t be able to do so,” he said.

Max’s prize includes $10,000 as well as support from Hills’ Lance Hill Design Centre and Hills D-Shop to convert his invention in to a commercial venture.

“We have established the Lance Hill Design Centre and Hills D-Shop to drive ingenuity in Australia and bring new ideas and products to market. Clever ideas are not enough – young innovators need to be connected to good networking and mentoring opportunities to help them ultimately bring their product to market,” Mr Pretty said.

Max developed the controller in collaboration with Flinders University and the University of South Australia.

The winning designs are on exhibition at the Good Design Lounge, 140 George St, The Rocks. The Lounge will be open 23 May – 9 June, 3pm-9pm daily.

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