22nd April 2005




Elections should be for people rather than politicians, with a new Bank Holiday created for polling day and a cash prize given to the constituency with the highest turnout.


That’s the view of Hull Graphic Design student Sven Shaw, who is £1,800 better off after winning a coveted Royal Society of Arts (RSA) Design Directions Award.


The RSA challenged design students to create a new climate around the voting process and experience – one that is inclusive, demystified and relevant to society today.


Sven (21) came up with a scheme to improve voter participation in General Elections by declaring voting day a bank holiday and encouraging towns and cities to hold celebrations to coincide with polling day.


He travelled down to the RSA’s national headquarters in London to present his ideas and designs to a panel of expert judges – and this week he learned that he’d won the top prize.


“My idea was to get people into town centres to have a fun time and cast their vote,” said Sven, who comes from Bradford. “The city which returned the highest percentage of voters would receive a cash prize from the Government.”


Sven’s new designs for ballot slips and ballot boxes impressed the RSA, who will display a selection of his work as part of an online exhibition from 20th May.


“The Graphic Design degree in Hull has a long history of producing highly motivated and successful young designers,” said Julie Husband, a senior lecturer in Graphic Design at the Hull School of Art & Design.


“To achieve further recognition is wonderful and a cause for celebration.”


Altogether nine Art and Design students from the University of Lincoln – three from Hull and six from Lincoln – were shortlisted for the RSA Design Directions Awards.


The others are yet to hear whether or not they have been successful.


For more information contact: Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

01522 886042                         jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk

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