A Falmouth University graduate has been awarded first prize in a national design competition.

Stephen Tozer, from St Austell, beat hundreds of applicants to win the Designed for Business competition at the House of Commons last Thursday. The event was organised by the Society of British and International Design and BE OPEN.

Stephen’s design, The Gas House, is designed to support 16-20-year-olds who are in, or have been in, the social care system and need guidance to be independent in the future.

“It feels amazing to win,” Stephen said. “The credibility of the awards will really help my CV and has given me so much more confidence as I start to plan my career,” he added, picking up a £1000 in prize money.

Stephen’s Gas House also aims to create a sense of belonging for its residents and encourages members of the local community to hone their own skills, bringing them into the home to aid young people through education, living and support.

Stephen was the first winner in what is a brand-new competition, and judges hailed the concept’s zoning, presentation and the use of colour with its energetic and fun design.

“The competition was created to engage the world of employment with design students who are eager to get themselves and their work within their chosen industry,” SBID founder Dr Vanessa Brady said.

“It is also a great opportunity for universities to showcase the talent their courses are shaping. We’re delighted with the number of entries overall and especially the turn out tonight,” she added.

Judging for the ceremony took six months as adjudicators assessed projects submitted by third-year university students. The panel consisted of key representatives from companies including Amazon, John Lewis and Conran Associates.

BE OPEN founder Elena Baturina said: “The Designed for Business Student competition is all about celebrating the talent, aspirations and tenacity of the young artists and designers whose creativity will define our futures for years to come.”