Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, New York City


In 2017 Dr Hilton Beck received a request from Cooper Hewitt to submit the IQ Stick for inclusion in a static display of 50 products selected as being innovative designs for either physical or cognitive disability.

Original team: Dr Hilton Beck (Inventor) - David Nevell (Inventors HQ )

Dr John Nevell and John Hardy (Design HQ)

David Nevell and Dr Hilton Beck accepting their awards

David Nevell and Dr Hilton Beck accepting their awards

The IQ Stick won three design awards in 2014: first place in Sydney and Melbourne, and runner up in London.

The challenge: design a walking stick using materials strong enough to support the user; achieving the lowest possible centre of gravity required to produce the stand alone, self-righting feature. 

The final product has user appeal: people who might not use a traditional walking stick - due to the problems of accessibility often associated with them - benefit from a support and balance aid.

Handle design: ergonomic, strong and lightweight, and easily attached to the shaft in a way that achieves enough strength to withstand everyday use.

The angle of the upper edge of the base has been designed so that it will not catch on the under surface of open-style stairs.

Generic walking sticks fall over easily, are cumbersome and difficult for many users to retrieve. They do not achieve the freedom that the IQ Stick provides around the home or care facility, and they do not have a self-righting or glow-in-the-dark feature.

London design awards