Brunel student Connor Musoke-Jones has been shortlisted for the Nesta Inventor Prize on the back of his design for a hands-free door handle.
Connor wanted the handle to be visually pleasing, and its sleek design is aimed at removing the stigmatism around mobility aids
The 21-year-old product design undergrad was inspired to create the Unity Door Handle while living alongside someone with one hand.
“He was the inspiration for the idea of how to use a door handle with no hand,” Connor explained.
Talking to people with disabilities and conditions such as arthritis, as well as healthcare workers, helped Connor figure out how his door handle could support, hold and direct leverage from different angles. It’s claimed that the handle, which fuses ergonomics and anthropometrics, is cheaper and easier to fit than specialist doors.
On top of this, Connor wanted the handle to be visually pleasing, and its sleek design is aimed at removing the stigmatism around mobility aids. In his own words, his vision was to create “a product that makes everyone feel included, can’t look like a disability product, but has to work like one.”
Having made the shortlist of ten finalists, Connor will get £5,000 plus professional coaching to help bring his idea to life. If he’s announced as the overall winner in September, he’ll receive an additional £50,000 to help take the Unity Door Handle to market.
“I have been doing this project in my free time after work each day,” said Connor, from Leatherhead. “As a kid, it was my dream to become an inventor. My teachers told me that it wasn’t a job that existed anymore.”
Only just back from a sandwich year placement in Groningen in the Netherlands, Connor plans to run his own company TruRegard Ltd for the rest of the year, before returning to Brunel to finish his product design degree.