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Insch graduate's degree project gets international exposure


By David Porter

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Edinburgh Napier product design graduate Rachel Naysmith who hails from Insch has won international recognition for a project which rewards good environmental deeds and helps combat climate anxiety.

Rachel Naysmith from Insch
Rachel Naysmith from Insch

M.O.S.S. – My Own Sustainable Self – has been selected for the Global Grad Show, an initiative by the Art Dubai Group which showcases 100 potentially world-changing ideas.

The newly-opened exhibition, normally in Dubai but being held online this year, attracted 1600 applications from 270 universities in 60 countries.

Rachel’s work, and that of three Glasgow-based students, features alongside ideas like a diabetes monitoring earring, a London Underground air pollution solution, an alternative to Styrofoam made of food waste, a Sudden Infant Death Syndrome prevention device and a skin patch that monitors nutrition data.

MOSS system
MOSS system

Rachel developed MOSS as her major project on her way to a first class B Des (Hons) Edinburgh Napier degree and the 2020 Class Medal, and she was encouraged to enter the Global Grad Show after her work was spotted on Instagram.

The project appears at the interactive online show under the category, "Coping in a complex world: Supporting mental health in challenging online and offline environments”.

MOSS recognises that people doing their best to follow environmentally-friendly lifestyles can easily become disheartened and feel their personal initiatives count for little when set against the catastrophes which play out on the news.

However, the app-based project keeps motivation levels high by providing targets and allowing users to keep tabs on their own sustainable efforts, and it rewards the achievement of goals with a MOSS panel housing a mini ecosystem which can be attached to the outside of any building.

MOSS system
MOSS system

“A one metre squared area of moss produces the same amount of oxygen as 78 trees,” said Rachel.

“You are not only provided with a visual representation of your efforts but you also help purify the air, reducing air pollution one MOSS panel at a time.”

She added: “I am very proud of the project and also proud to be one of the first four graduates from Scotland to be represented on this international platform.”

Global Grad Show was launched in 2015 as an exhibition of impact-driven designs from 10 universities, but has grown quickly.

Tadeu Baldani Caravieri, director of Global Grad Show, said: “The diversity of the community of young talented researchers we bring together at Global Grad Show has many facets: they span across six continents, institutions from Ivy League to regional colleges and disciplines from bioengineering through to architecture.

“They do have however, a reassuring common denominator: they investigate problems, social and environmental, that matter for everyone.



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