Aqsa Ajmal, a graduate from National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST), has made headlines around the globe with her latest invention. She has also been selected as a finalist for the prestigious Lexus Design Awards in Milan, where she will be unveiling her invention: world’s first sewing machine for the visually impaired!
The project, called ‘Pursewit’, is a budgeted machine with embedded features; it is designed meticulously for the visually-impaired people. The project grants access to people from the lower classes to use the machine with ease in their daily lives. The inspiration to design a sewing machine specifically for the visually impaired came to Aqsa after a tragic incident of her neighbor in which she lost her eyesight. “It was very difficult for her to come to terms with how she couldn’t pursue her studies anymore. Not to mention, special education and equipment such as braille in Pakistan are quite expensive”, said Aqsa.
“I wanted to make her feel valuable, and that inspired me to create a concept that would help generate employment opportunities for her and individuals like her,” she added.
Around 2000 submissions from 79 countries were made for the Lexus Design Awards out of which Aqsa Ajmal was shortlisted among the top 6. She also reportedly displayed her design at the Milan Design Week 2020.
Speaking of her journey towards industrial design, Aqsa said, ““Honestly, I knew very little about industrial design before joining NUST. I explored a few fields and was unsure about which program to pursue,” she confessed.
“Initially, I struggled with my grades a lot and on numerous occasions, I considered giving up. But gradually, I found my pace and began to settle. As time progressed and with thorough determination, I found myself constantly vested in various domains of my degree.”
Aqsa and the 5 other top contestants will receive up to 3,000,000 Yen (more than $25,000) in fundings, in addition to mentorship from the renowned design leaders to improve their skills and create prototypes of their innovative ideas.