Many, many designers have experienced creative breakthrough by taking something apart and putting it back together. Over this past weekend, thinkers, makers, hackers, know-it-alls and novices around the world threw down on The Deconstruction. The premise is simple, but the outcome is not: make... something. Strictly open-ended, The Deconstruction is somehow both a creation competition and a collaboration-focused conference while having no set theme or topic. This vague but fun event kicked off on Friday, as teams livestreamed and documented their projects through the weekend.
Projects can be physical, digital, mechanical, social, multimedia... Regardless of the mode, the only criteria is to "create something that did not exist 48 hours before" and to highlight interesting problem-solving. Fun interviews and updates will be happening at their HQ "inside the internet", and prizes will be given for teams' summary videos, problem-solving, and outstanding student contributions.
Design theory is all fine and good, but one of the better things that will happen during an industrial design education is when schools connect with real companies that make real things. The company gets an opportunity to see what fresh minds would do with their product line-up, and design students get real-world feedback on creating something that's actually doable.
Case in point: The annual Zinc Challenge sponsored by InterZinc, a Michigan-based company that unsurprisingly specializes in zinc—the fourth most commonly used metal worldwide, they're quick to point out—and asks ID students to come up with product-based uses for the stuff. "Our challenge [is] a two part zinc casting design competition," the company writes. "The first part based on knowledge, the second on practical design."
PolyOne GLS Thermoplastic Elastomers has launched a contest to find the best ideas for its innovative shape memory technology. This patent-pending technology is a new class of stimuli-responsive materials that can change shape under thermal stimulus. After heating the polymer with a substance such as hot water, it can be formed into any shape, and it will hold its shape when cooled. The polymer can be reheated and reshaped multiple times. Check out the video to see this shape-changing technology in action.
The shape-memory polymer belongs to a class of polymers called thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs). TPEs are flexible, resilient materials that can be made in any color and a variety of textures. The polymers can range from hard to soft, and can be used in single or multi-component constructions. For example, some types of TPEs are popular for "soft touch" grips on everything from toothbrushes to hammers because the soft, textured polymer can be "overmolded" on top of a harder polymer. Learn more about the shape memory TPE's properties and how shape-memory technology works here.
So, how can this shape-memory TPE add value to existing applications? What new products could be made from it? PolyOne thinks it can be used to create user-customized, ergonomic enhancements to a variety of products in the sports, consumer and healthcare industries. Its shape-changing ability could allow users to tailor products to fit their specific needs. For example, an athlete can make a custom mouthguard by putting the warmed polymer into the mouth and shaping it to the teeth. Because the polymer can be reheated and reshaped, deformed parts can be easily repaired. Send PolyOne your best idea using the form on PolyOne's contest page. The deadline is October 31.
The airport security line is the kind of universally despised ordeal that extraterrestrials, should they exist, would dread; even a seasoned traveler will bristle at the thought of the rigmarole of boarding pass / I.D., uncooperative scanners, doffing footwear, unwieldy bins, more scanners. At best, it's a mildly demeaning nuisance, but what are you going to do about it?
Well, it turns out that the TSA wants to know—they recently announced an Ideation Challenge soliciting proposals for expediting the process, specifically for TSA Pre✓ passengers but ostensibly for us plebs as well. "America's Next Generation Checkpoint Queue Design Model" may not roll off the tongue, but, hey, that's what we're up against (...and, as we saw a couple of weeks ago, this is what the TSA is up against).
TSA is looking for the Next Generation Checkpoint Queue Design Model to apply a scientific and simulation modeling approach to meet the dynamic security screening environment. The new queue design should include, but not limited to the following queue lanes:
· TSA Pre✓™
· Premier Passengers (1st class, business class, frequent fliers, etc.)
· Employee and Flight Crews
· PWD (wheelchair access)
The Challenge is to provide a simulation modeling concept that can form the basis to plan, develop requirements, and design a queue appropriately. The concept will be used to develop a model to be applied in decision analysis and to take in considerations of site specific requirements, peak and non-peak hours, flight schedules and TSA staffing schedules. Solvers are expected to provide the concept and provide evidence that it works as described in the requirements.
Those are the cities, but not the bikes; the big reveal is below...
Now in its third edition, the Oregon Manifest Bike Design Project set out a challenge for five teams in five cycling-heavy cities: pairing design firms and bike builders, who can make the most innovative utility bike? Once partnered, these designers and builders dug deep into what they thought a utilitarian bike should provide and hustled to bring their ideas off the page and onto the street. Last Friday, the teams from New York (Pensa × Horse Cycles), Portland (Industry × Ti Cycles), San Francisco (HUGE × 4130 Cycle Works), Seattle (Teague × Sizemore Bicycle) and Chicago (MNML × Method) unveiled their creations to local audiences. Public voting opens today, and cycling enthusiasts are invited to determine which design is the most visionary and best suited for the everyday rider; once the votes are tallied following the August 2 deadline, the winner will earn a chance at being put into production by Fuji Bikes.
Details from MNML and Pensa; full bikes below
Check out the teams and what they made and stay tuned for our exclusive designer Q&As throughout the week.
We've written about Morpholio's powerful app-based design tools in the past (here and here), but you might not know that they also foster design students through an annual competition called Pinup. This year, I had the privilege of sitting on the jury team—along with a solid lineup of fellow design editors and writers from Fast Company, ArchDaily, Interior Design Magazine, Design Milk, Design*Sponge and more—and I want to share a few of the many impressive submissions that were honored in this year's competition. From a curvaceous 3D-printed mask to a safer ladder, the submissions hailed from across a broad range of design typologies and disciplines
Entrants had a choice of three categories: Emerging Talent (young professional designers), Future Voice (student designers) and Shapes Future (annual themed category, this year featuring 3D printing), but the entry guidelines are intentionally left vague, which added a nice element of surprise to the judging process.
Perhaps my favorite entry came from San Francisco-based designer Jasmine Kwak. Her submission took on the idea of living within a community and how each separate "nuclei" of family units could be brought closer together—physically in day-to-day movements and activities—with her entry "Communal Living." "Traditional colonial housing models are designed for a single nuclear family. Hence, the houses are introverted, meaning all the activities, whether communal or private, happen within the four walls of a house," Kwak explains. "This project proposes that these existing houses to become extroverted by opening up the existing circulation and communal spaces. These spaces now become a semi-open and public space, encouraging any communal activities in a house to happen within the community scale."
With the "Ephemeral Beauty" headpiece, Jiang Yuan has achieved a rare level of grace and refinement for a 3D-printed design.
As a pioneer and mentor in the field of design for social impact, the late Sylvia Harris was an inspiration to designers of all stripes, and her legacy lives on in with a new opportunity for design professionals looking to make a difference. To honor her work and spirit, Design Ignites Change and AIGA are pleased to present the Sylvia Harris Citizen Design Award to support like-minded designers committed to public design.
Practicing professionals from all design disciplines (graphic, product, architecture, interior, interactive, service design, etc.) are invited to apply for the $10,000 award to be used towards realizing a well-researched and considered concept for a project to encourage change in their community. All applications will be reviewed by a committee of creative professionals, business, civic and non-profit leaders. Submissions will be judged based on the overall concept, viability and potential for impact.
To find out more about Sylvia Harris and her legacy, as well as details about how to enter, check out the Design Ignites Change website. The official deadline is August 1, 2014.
Dr. Samuel Yin is a Taiwanese entrepreneur who recently founded the Tang Prize, a Nobel-like honor intended to reward research scholars from anywhere in the world. It being a relatively new award, Yin needed an impressive medal to embody it and held a global competition for its design.
The winner was announced yesterday, and it was none other than Naoto Fukasawa who snagged top prize for designing the top prize. Fukasawa netted US $500,000 for his design, a sweet, pure gold spiral to be manufactured by Taiwan's Central Mint. (The runners-up didn't do too shabbily either—the other nine designers to crack the top ten will each get 50 large for their troubles!)
Fukasawa, of course, is no stranger to golden awards—it's just that he's usually the guy winning them, from America's IDEA Gold Award to Germany's iF Gold Award.
As for who will win the Fukasawa-designed award in future, attaining the Tang Prize is a tall order likely to find its way only around the necks of the world's best and brightest. Here's the detailed description:
In the advent of industrialization and globalization, humanity has greatly enjoyed the convenience brought about by science and technology, reaping unprecedented benefits made possible by progress and development. Yet, in the meantime, humanity also faces a multitude of critical environmental, socio-cultural, and ethical issues on an unparalleled scale, such as climate change, inequality, and moral degradation. Against this backdrop, Dr. Samuel Yin established the Tang Prize in December 2012 to encourage individuals across the globe to chart the middle path to achieving sustainable development by recognizing and supporting scholars for conducting revolutionary research in the four major fields of Sustainable Development, Biopharmaceutical Science, Sinology, and the Rule of Law. The Tang Prize is truly global in reach, with laureates selected on the basis of the originality of their research along with their contributions to society irrespective of their nationality or ethnicity.
Rooted in the long-standing cultural traditions of Chinese philosophical thinking and in an outlook of convergence and mutual enrichment with other traditions, the Tang Prize aims to provide fresh impetus to the promotion of first-class research and development in the 21st century. Implemented with self-effacement and selflessness, the Tang Prize seeks to bring about positive changes to the global community and to create a brighter future for all humanity.
Just over a month ago, we posted a Call for Entries for a Dutch design-inspired gift item that could be produced on a 3D printer, to be produced by Kikkerland. The Royal Netherlands Embassy has since announced the 14 finalists, selected by an expert jury for public voting and (for those of you in NYC) viewing at the Museum of Arts and Design starting tomorrow, April 3, through April 20. Even if you can't make it to MAD to see the 3D-printed prototypes, anyone can cast his or her vote for the winner until April 30.
We caught up with jury member Jan van der Lande, CEO of Kikkerland, at the Housewares Show a few weeks ago, where he elaborated on the company's philosophy, including its longtime support of young designers:
Show master CEO Ralph Wiegmann with award winners from South Korea
Last weekend, we had the opportunity to attend the iF design awards 2014 night, which took place at the impressive BMW Welt museum in Munich. Some 2,000 guests involved in design, business, culture, politics and press enjoyed a relaxed get-together while show master Ralph Wiegmann (iF CEO) hosted the ceremony, personally handing out no less than 75 iF gold trophies, which deserves some respect, to three categories of winners: product, communication and packaging.
In January, some 50 jury experts from all over the world came together for three days in Hannover to select the winners of the iF design awards 2014.
Read on to see our top five picks:
iF product design awards
To select the 1,220 winning entries (including 50 coveted iF gold awards), an international jury of experts came together at the Hanover exhibition center to review no less than 3,249 (!) entries from 48 countries. Here are three of our favorite product winners, from big to small:
The BMW i3 is the first large-scale production car with an all-electric engine manufactured by BMW Group is tailored to the requirements of sustainable and emission-free mobility. With its revolutionary architecture and CRP passenger compartment, the BMW i3 weighs only 1,195 kg. Learn more about the innovative new vehicle in our feature story on the BMW i3, including an exclusive interview with Head of Design Adrian van Hooydonk. BMW Group München, Germany
Emergencies bring a slew of unexpected issues: information technologies fail, power is not available, the water supply is cut, food is scarce and health problems spread quickly. UNICEF and Socialab got together, discussed these problems and fell upon an important question: How can we assist victims of disasters more efficiently and save more lives? The decision was to co-launch the "Global Innovation Challenge: First 72 Hours."
To date, there are over 100 ideas from all around the globe focused on taking action in the first 72 hours after the on-set of a catastrophe. Some of the ideas are focused on finding and re-uniting families, others on accessing basic services and many on how to keep children safe post-disaster. An entire archive of the submitted ideas can be viewed here.
The Dutch government is looking for a new giveaway to distribute in the United States and is inviting designers to submit inventive, quirky, and smart ideas for a functional and affordable small item. The item should be inspired by Dutch Design and fit in the collection of our partner, Kikkerland. For more information please see www.Dutchcultureusa.com.
The competition is open to everyone. Organizers hope that Dutch designers, US designers inspired by Dutch Design, as well as special teams of Dutch and US designers will participate.
The top 10 entries will be selected by a high-profile jury by the beginning of April, and will be printed in 3D by Shapeways. This competition, however, does not require that every part of your design can be printed on a 3D printer. The winner will be anounced mid-April.
As we announced last week, Brunel University's top design students have been preparing for a 24-hour design-a-thon, which kicks off right now, at 6pm GMT.
The Made in Brunel 24hr Design Challenge sees 157 students tackle briefs from world renowned companies including Lego, Rolls Royce, IDEO and Seymour Powell. Working under pressure this is an opportunity for us to prove what Brunel designers are capable of.
Update: An earlier version of this story misreported that the structure works like a cooling tower.
The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 are pleased to announce the winner of this year's Young Architects Program (YAP), an annual call for proposals for a temporary outdoor installation for the converted schoolyard space in Long Island City. In keeping with the institution's mission to support contemporary art, architecture and design practice, the entries invariably err on the side of experimental even as they meet a brief to 1.) provide shade, seating and water, and 2.) address environmental issues, including sustainability and recycling. New Yorkers and well-heeled visitors alike have probably encountered one of these structures during MoMA PS1's weekly Warm-Up summer concert series, when these spectacular projects serve to elevate the courtyard (literally, at times) from a humble outdoor venue to a visionary social space.
The winner of the 15th YAP is The Living, an architectural practice led by principal David Benjamin, whose "Hy-Fi" is billed as a "100% organic" structure. Designed using "biological technologies combined with cutting-edge computation and engineering," the ambitious eco-edifice comes in at roughly three stories tall, with its lower portions constructed from organic bricks developed in conjunction with bio-material specialists Ecovative. Its upper extremities are made from hollow reflective bricks—"produced through the custom-forming of a new daylighting mirror film"—by 3M, which will first be used as the "growing trays" for the corn+'shroom bricks.
The organic bricks are arranged at the bottom of the structure and the reflective bricks are arranged at the top to bounce light down on the towers and the ground. The structure inverts the logic of load-bearing brick construction and creates a gravity-defying effect—instead of being thick and dense at the bottom, it is thin and porous at the bottom.
Last month, we announced the Surface Classroom Design Challenge (where our own Allan Chochinov will a part of the judging panel). If you haven't already, make sure to enter the contest before January 24th, 2014. Let's take a look at the way Surface has been changing the classroom environment with a few thoughts from teachers and students:
For the last round of the Hatch Live competition, the contestants were kept in the dark in terms of what they would be designing until four hours before the competition. "We wanted to keep it exciting," says Matthew Sargeant, founder and CEO of Hatch Hub. "We wanted to see how each designer works under pressure. It was great to feel the adrenaline in the room at the final." The morning of the final round, they were told they'd be creating table lamps. As the event began, it was pretty clear that judges Dan Rubinstein (former editor-in-chief of Surface magazine) and industrial designer Simon Enever had a tough choice ahead of them. Check out the behind-the-scenes video of the final battle for the grand prize:
"The goal of the World Design Impact Prize is to recognise and elevate industrial design driven solutions to societal challenges," noted Icsid Project Development Officer Mariam Masud. "By sharing these solutions, and the challenges they address the prize hopes to raise awareness of perhaps unknown obstacles and encourage a global exchange of ideas."
Food design for social change: a repurposing of the popular Indian snack called a "laddoo", with rich nutrients to fight malnutrition.
The shortlist of projects met the standards of basic selection criteria that extend past basic questions of design aesthetics and functionality that an industrial design competition might be focused on. Rather, jurors are asked to consider questions around Impact, Innovation, Context and Ease of Use. "Are there elements of the project (best practices) that can be universally shared?" "How well does the project compliment or build on the existing infrastructure (physical, political, cultural etc.)?" "Is the project easy to maintain and are replacement parts easily available?"
For 34 years running, the Industrial Designers Society of America sets out to find designers and designs that epitomize quality across design mediums and platforms. Are you ready to be discovered and recognized?
The International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) are given to only the brightest and best executed designs in products, sustainability, interaction design, packaging, strategy, research and concepts. Winners of this award enjoy immediate benefits including pride, self-satisfaction and bragging rights, as well as some longer-term perks, like a stronger professional reputation and increased career opportunities.
All the information you need about the awards, how to enter, the jury and much more is available here. The call for entries ends February 14th, 2014, which we all know seems like an eternity from now, but we recommend you get your entry in sooner than later. Good luck!
With just less than a year to go until their next event, the Belgian Biennale Interieur—a celebration of design and creative culture known for its relatively small size but uncompromising curation—is calling for entries from budding design talents keen to exhibit their work in 2014.
A star panel will judge entries on object and interior design:
Interior brief - Deadline: January 30, 2014 - Create a cutting-edge bar concept for the Biennale INTERIEUR 2014
Object brief - Deadline: April 30, 2014 - Create an object that is relevant to our living environment and helps us improve daily life
This jumprope by student Shi Weilu collects kinetic energy from use to power a flashlight
Ben Hughes has scarcely looked back since he made the transition from Central St. Martins to CAFA about three years ago; rather, he's looking to the future and what it might possibly hold. What better place to do so than in Beijing, where he's set up shop in the Caogchangdi artist village and works part time as a Visiting Professor at the prestigious China Academy of Fine Arts?
Yet in China, Hughes notes, "design is almost exclusively linked to lifestyle and luxury consumption. It is seen as something to aspire to rather than something accessible by all." In the interest of initiating a sea change, he's working on dn Design for the Real China, a design competition that addresses the "imbalance in the understanding of 'design' in China—amongst students, amongst consumers, amongst designers."
With dn - Design for the Real China, I was anxious that we didn't simply reproduce familiar modes of design competition. Many of these (you know who you are) appear to place image, styling and presentation over content and do not insist on development, prototyping or testing. Many also seem to favour slick exterior computer visuals and don't require any level of depth. Some (again, you know who you are) seem to exist solely as commercial entities to extract money out of students and young designers, first for entering, then for publishing, then for attending awards ceremonies, then for receiving an award.
Design for the Real China is unique on several levels:
Emphasizing the explanation of the problem being addressed. Competitions that provide briefs are often so limited and so full of assumptions that we wanted to remove that element. Therefore there is no brief, but participants are asked to explain the problem they are tackling. The problem is often as interesting as the solution...
Removing the influence of judges. They often have their own agenda, so the judging is by popular online vote.
Creating a new kind of incentive structure. The categories are not linked to traditional divisions of design activity—graphic design, product design, textiles, fashion, furniture, etc.—but are decided according to the number of people affected by the design.
This is potentially the most confusing part. Since we ask that all entries are prototyped and tested in some way, the category is linked to the number of people who have been affected so far. Therefore, a product that is on the market and has sold well may have affected 10,000 or more people. A prototype that you have shared with your classmates and friends might have affected 50 people. Something that you made for a relative to solve a particular problem might have affected just one person. The prize money is allocated in inverse proportion to this category. i.e. if the design has affected many people, the prize money is low.
Electrolux Design Lab, the annual design competition that asks design students to envision the future of product design, is coming into the home stretch for this year. Some 1700 entrants from around the world have been winnowed down into just eight finalists, through three rounds of judging, with the winner to be announced on October 16th.
This year's EDL was a little different in that the categories were opened up a bit, expanding beyond appliances into accessories, consumables or services. Still, two out of our three finalist faves still fall into the appliance category.
First up is the ballet-dancer-inspired 3F (for "Form Follows Function"), a shape-shifting vacuum cleaner by Germain Verbrackel, an ID student at France's Ecole de Design Nantes Atlantique:
It is designed to economise space in compact and urban apartments; thanks to its autonomous mobility and capacity for physical metamorphosis, -3F- is a living product, responsive to its consumer's needs.
Most people living in metropolitan areas can identify with cramped apartments. People move to the city to live on their own in their own space—only to find that they usually don't have much of it.
NYFU sees this problem and has created the perfect solution: transformable, functional furniture! NYFU, or New York FUnctional FUrniture, is a team of talented designers who have come together to make city-living seamless with their trendy, innovative products. Made with high-quality European materials and offered at affordable prices, their functional furniture is the perfect addition to any metropolitan home.
To get their furniture into your home, NYFU started a Kickstarter campaign demonstrating the benefits of its products. Such products include but are not limited to:
TriBeCa Nesting Tables - Because everyone always need more room.
NY+U Storage Desk - Where you can hide all of the money it's saving you.
For its seventh design competition, Spark is dishing out its most 'meta' brief yet, calling for "a design that shows the experience of designing experience." They're looking to dive into the realm of user experience its interaction in the design process from idea to finished product.
The judges are looking for entries that align with Spark's mission, initiating positive design-led change. Winners will be published in the new Spark Annual and in Korea's Creative World of Design Competitions.
The late entry deadline is coming up on October 10. Find out more info and enter at the competition website.
Travel to most countries around the world, and when you arrive at the airport and step into a convenience store, it's pretty safe to assume that you'll be able to pick up a SIM card and data plan for a reasonable price. By contrast, the most common business model in the United States is to offer a phone at low or no cost but lock customers into a contract for two years. Customers are often left paying a bill of over 50 dollars a month for the most straightforward data plan. If they're lucky, they won't get any surprise charges on their credit card bill. For those who travel internationally, it's often necessary to purchase a new phone or a pricey world band phone, because the more common wireless technology network in North America, CDMA, is rarely recognized abroad.
SIMPLE Mobile is trying to shake things up. Offering a SIM card and easy-to-understand talk, text and data plans, the company aims to make the process of owning a phone and mobile plan a little more straightforward. A 40 dollar per month prepaid plan gets you 1GB of data at 4G speeds, with unlimited talk, text and even international text. Unless you're watching a lot of YouTube videos and plan to upload large documents with your phone, that's probably more than enough for basic use. Expecting a heavier month for calls? Just shift the plan for the next month. It's easy and flexible, as it should be.
Although SIMPLE Mobile isn't offered everywhere in the US, it runs on the TracFone Wireless network and is available in most of the country, especially in urban areas. If you have an unlocked phone with a SIM card slot, it will probably work. Even a tablet like a 3G iPad should work on the network, though you might need to purchase a micro SIM instead of a regular SIM. This means you can browse the web on a much larger screen and not have to worry about hunting for wifi all the time. And since phones that support SIMPLE Mobile run on the world-friendly GSM band, you won't need a new phone abroad; you could even just turn on their international plan for the month you travel.
Core77 is pleased to partner with soon-to-launch innovation platform Hatch Hub for their launch event Hatch Live, a live design competition kicking off in NYC this October, with submissions closing soon. The Grand Prize winner will receive $4,000 and a brunch and portfolio review for former Editor in Chief of Surface Magazine, Dan Rubinstein.
Hatch Live is a new and fast-paced design competition allowing product designers to showcase their talent. Bringing together the design community and an audience of design lovers, Hatch Live will take up-and-coming industrial designers and place them head-to-head in a live design battle using Rhino 3D software. Competitors will receive instructions to create an exciting new product within a specific product category, limited to specific bounding shape constraints set for each round. Up to 12 people will be selected to compete live in the competition matches. Learn more and sign up to compete now at www.hatchlive.com.
Over 100 designers from all over the world submitted cars. It was difficult to narrow it down, but Paul Hatch, founder of TEAMS Design and conference chair, and I narrowed it down to the ten cars we thought would be most likely to win in each of these three categories. The cars were then printed by Stratasys, Computer Aided Technologies, Kalidescope and The 3D Printer Experience. Finally, Models Plus built the track that the cars would race down to their destruction.
With the ten cars printed and on display before the 1,000 designers who attended the conference, the excitement for the race was building. For those of you who missed it or attendees who want to relive the experience, we had six cameras capturing the action, including a slow motion camera to grab the crashes. Check it out: