Design-A-Radio Competition

Radio 4's Today programme have hosted a very special competition in aid of Children in Need. Read on to find out more about the competition itself, the winner and how you can get hold of the finished product!

The Today programme wanted to do something special for BBC Children in Need, so they ran a competition asking listeners to design a limited edition radio [Click HERE to buy the radio] to raise money for the charity. They used their impending move to the New Broadcasting House as the inspiration for the competition.

The winner revealed!

Huge congratulations to Mr David Hampson from Cardiff, who won the Design-A-Radio Competition, and whose winning design is pictured opposite.

Watch an audio slideshow on how the winning design, pictured opposite was chosen and the process the judges went through.

David explained how he came up with the design: “The front display face on the radio echoes two of the features of the original Broadcasting House, the clock face surround and the roof aerial, but keeping these details reasonably simple and uncluttered.

"The curves on the side panels of the radio are based on the perspective view of the new building when looking up from the new courtyard. On the right side panel the light blue represents day-break over the still darkened building, with the two lit windows showing that journalists on the early shift are already hard at work.

"These curved shapes also pay reference to radio and sound waves and the complex patterns that they form.

"The different colours of the veneer panel are a modern take on the marquetry detailing on traditional radio cabinet design; the different shades of blue giving it a crisp contemporary feel."

The finished product

The winner's radio is currently on sale for a limited period, to raise funds for the BBC Children in Need appeal. £50 from each radio sold will go towards BBC Children in Need and Tivoli Audio will take no profits from the sale of the radios.

The competition: how it came about

The competition was to design a 'skin' or outer cover for a DAB Radio made by Tivoli Audio and it was open to design students across the UK, as well as amateur designers and Today listeners.

The competition brief asked people to come up with a design that reflected the great traditions of radio but also represented broadcasting in a contemporary way, just as the restored and expanded New Broadcasting House in London does.

The competition launched on 5th April 2012, closed on 11th May and the judging took place on 15th May. The judging panel consisted of:

  • Stevie Spring, Chair of Trustees for BBC Children in Need
  • Deyan Sudjic, Director of The Design Museum
  • Sarah Montague, Presenter of Today
  • Ceri Thomas, Editor of Today

The Design Advisor to the panel was Tom DeVesto, Founder and CEO of Tivoli Audio. The panel wanted his guidance on whether the shortlisted design ideas could be realised and manufactured within the given timescale.

You can look at some of the entries that were submitted to the competition in our online gallery.

Although there's only one winner, there are plans to exhibit a selection of the best and most interesting entries alongside some classic radios of the past at the BBC and/or the Design Museum.

The Today programme

The Today programme launched in October 1957 and has been BBC Radio 4's flagship news and current affairs production ever since. Seven million listeners tune in each week, and December 2012 saw Today return from Television Centre in Shepherds Bush to its original home at the renovated Broadcasting House.

For a fascinating Today report on the history of radios, visit the BBC News Website.

Who You Help: WAC Wonderweb

Some of the projects that BBC Children in Need funds have strong links with radio - such as WAC Wonderweb based in North West London. It's a multi-media project for young people with autism and other learning disabilities.

The group has their own radio station kitted out from donated equipment and they present programmes from a recording studio in the college where they're based. Every week they broadcast a live show featuring music, chat, features and interviews. They also produce podcasts on subjects as varied as computer games, the meaning of life and the Olympics!

Hayden has been going to the project for 4 years. "WAC Wonder Web has quite frankly changed my life. Through the project we want to challenge the attitudes of others and show we're not stupid and to increase our confidence and the confidence of other young disabled people and... be completely random!"

Tivoli Audio

Tivoli Audio, which won the tender to manufacture the radio was founded by Tom DeVesto in 2000. Tom remains the Chief Designer and his passion for "the magnificent medium of radio" led him to be involved in this project. He says that Tivoli Audio is honoured to work with BBC Children in Need on this special project.