Scottish Cancer Prevention Network

‘Exposed’ by Stuart Clark


Jul 15

The SCPN are delighted to announce that Stuart Clark, a 2015 product design graduate of the University of Dundee’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, has been awarded this year’s Art & Design prize.

Stuart as part of his final year project developed a UV light sensitive paracord bracelet aimed at 12-18 years olds to enhance their awareness of their UV exposure and the harm that this can cause in terms of increased risk of malignant melanoma. Malignant melanoma is the 5th most common cancer in the UK with around 13,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Melanoma is not always preventable, but the risk of developing the disease is reduced by limiting the skin’s exposure to UV light.

Stuart, a Scout leader, found himself, while acting as a first aider at a Jamborette last summer, frequently treating kids with severe sunburn. This experience led him to think about ways to help young people be more aware of their sun exposure as he felt this age group spends a lot of time outside but are unaware of or unwilling to listen to cancer prevention messages. Coupled with his interest in smart materials the more he researched the subject the more he became passionate about developing a product that would help young people help themselves – much more effective in this age group he thought than lecturing them on the do’s and don’ts of sun protection.

Stuart accepting his award

Stuart’s project, named ”Exposed”, led to the design of a woven paracord bracelet using  a photochromic paint to make it sensitive to UV light. It changes colour from a very light to dark blue depending on the level of UV exposure.

Stuart has done some product testing but plans more with Scouts attending the International Jamboree in Japan this summer. Having secured a summer placement with a smart materials company, Stuart hopes to further develop his idea and see if it is commercially viable. He may even return to postgraduate study in medical science and technology to fine tune his design with thoughts of marketing it as a social enterprise to channel any profits back in to skin cancer research.

We wish Stuart well with his design and what will surely be a spectacular career in product design.

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