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:
This past Thursday, we had the opportunity to attend the announcement of the winners of the INDEX Awards, recognizing "Design to Improve Life." Once again, the esteemed jury of the INDEX awards selected five winners (from the 59 finalists) to receive prizes of €100,000 each, albeit with a different tack than in previous years. Not only did the organization introduce a new 'telecast' format for the fifth edition of the biennial event, but they held the festivities in a handful seaside venues in Elsinore, Denmark, about 45km north of Copenhagen for the first time. Following a VIP cocktail reception at the Kronborg castle, historic site of Shakespeare's Hamlet (where one speaker attempted an ill-advised riff on "To be or not to be"), attendees took their seats at the adjacent Culture Yard for the live announcement. The massive, hangar-like space was a Siemens factory as recently as three months ago, and the raw space offered a nice contrast to the slick movie set feel of the production itself. All told, the fast-paced and tightly-scripted presentation was a welcome change from the plodding ceremonies of the past, and the threat of rain cleared up for the warm reception afterward.
The winning entries themselves are stronger than ever, not least for the fact that several of them have already made an appreciable impact in the real world, demonstrating the potential of design to improve life. Drum roll please...
Copenhagen Adaptation Plan
Along with execs from the INDEX Awards, Lord Mayor Frank Jensen made a few introductory remarks at the press conference, welcoming us to the lovely city of Copenhagen, only to return to the stage just a few moments later to accept one of the top prizes for the Copenhagen Adaptation Plan. Although the city has been considering plans to explore new models of urbanism for over a decade now, the crippling floods of 2011 sparked a renewed effort to create the city of the future.
And while the fact that the city is host to the awards—founded as a private initiative, INDEX now has government support—the Copenhagen Adaptation Plan is impressive both for its scope and the fact that it's on track to meet ambitious deadlines within the next few years and decades.
It's a common refrain: ambitious designers develop brilliant, potentially world-changing solutions to the large-scale problems... which never leave the poster presentation or PDF precisely because they're simply too far-reaching. Even when researched and developed to a degree of realizable specificity, few designers have the resources or network to actually execute their vision, and investors are more inclined to support the likes of, say, Rap Genius, as opposed to a water filtration system for the developing world, which may never see any kind of quantitative ROI.
Yet social problems such as lack of food and water beleaguer the everyday lives of billions, and (perhaps more insidiously) environmental issues haunt our existence with no ostensible consequences... until a 100-year storm ravages a city or nation.
The organization also partnered with CNN to produce video 'vignettes' on each project
Thus, the INDEX Design Awards represents a new definition of design that is at once broader and more nuanced: moving beyond beautiful objects towards the intent to "improve life." The very premise of the award is that it might ultimately render itself obsolete—that humankind might eventually prevail over the various humanitarian crises that we face today, that we might achieve ecological homeostasis, that we might reach a point where there is nothing left to improve.
If it seems like a grand vision for what design could or should be, the organization is putting its money where its mouth is, with a total of €500,000 in prize money, as well as new initiatives to connect 'designpreneurs' with business training and savvy investors. And if the notion of "improving life" seems like too broad a directive, each of the finalists of the fifth edition of the biennial celebration of design offers a concrete solution to a remarkably broad range of issues.
The jury team winnowed the field of over 1,000 entrants down to 59 finalists, which can be viewed on the site (we'll have more on the five winners shortly). We've covered several of them before, but the INDEX Awards were a nice occasion to catch up with the likes of Massoud Hassani, who mentioned that his team is working on a new version of his much-lauded Mine Kafon; Dong-Ping Wong and Archie Lee Coates IV are hoping to launch the + Pool test tank in the East River next summer; and Scott Summit of Core77 Design Award-winner Bespoke Innovations, who mentioned that they'd actually started collaborating with another finalist, Ekso Bionics, just before we'd suggested that they work together in our write-up of the latter. We were also glad to see several previously-covered projects in the mix, including hydrogel, the Nest, Rabalder Parken, Skillshare and Wilmington Robotic Exoskeleton.
Insofar as the so-called Internet of Things is increasingly regarded as, well, a real thing, the tech and design communities alike have found common ground in pioneering and speculating as to just what those Things might be and how they might work. We've seen a fair share of them—from concept to prototype to final product—but it remains to be seen as to whether, say, Google Glass will see the widespread adoption.
Nevertheless, the connected devices represent the future of technology, and digital agency R/GA recently announced a partnership with startup accelerator Techstars to lead the way: "The R/GA Connected Devices Accelerator is a three-month, immersive, mentor-driven program for ten tech startups. Show us how you combine hardware, data, digital services, and innovative design—anything that adds to the ever-growing Internet of Things—and your company could go from startup to success story."
For three months starting in early December, R/GA will host the startups at their NYC offices, where the teams will have access to dozens of mentors, as well as up to $120K in funding. The deadline to apply for the Connected Devices accelerator is October 11, and the program will culminate with the presentation of the projects at SXSWi 2014. More details are available at RGAAccelerator.com.
With the cost of bandwidth ever in decline, the likes of Twitter and Instagram have been able to introduce moving images as well as still ones. It's too soon to determine Vine's destiny in the crowded social network space (pun intended), but the Twitter spinoff certainly has potential—and the folks at Airbnb are looking to make the most of it with an ambitious project called Hollywood and Vines. "Help shoot a first-of-its-kind short film made entirely of Vine videos. If your Vine is selected it will be featured on the Sundance Channel and you'll receive a $100 Airbnb coupon."
The team at Airbnb will be calling the shots starting right now, at 8am PT, releasing instructions every hour until 5pm—ten per day—for four days straight (through Sunday, August 27). There is a 48 hour window for submissions for each set of instructions, and they will be judged based on several weighted criteria: Originality & Creativity (40%), Compliance with Instructions (40%) and Video Quality & Clarity (20%). In addition to inclusion in the final film, each of the 40 winners will receive a $100 Airbnb coupon.
We had the chance to speak to Airbnb's Vivek Wagle about their metaphorical journey:
Core77: Let's start from the beginning—how did this project come about?
Originally, we were looking for interesting ways to galvanize our Los Angeles community around the "spirit of Airbnb"—that is, creating amazing experiences and stories through sharing. When we landed on the idea of Hollywood & Vines, we realized that we could create a much bigger, more beautiful story if we invited our global community rather than just Angelenos. We realized that this was something that had never been attempted: not an ad, but a true work of art. It was a chance to use a new form of technology to explore the boundaries of collaborative creation. And we loved the poetry of linking the history of filmmaking (Hollywood) with the future of filmmaking (Vine).
In what we'd say is a particularly big coincidence, news of two noteworthy technological feats, both named "Atlas," hit the web yesterday: aerospace startup Aerovelo won the Sikorsky Prize with an aptly-named quadcopter, and DARPA officially unveiled a humanoid robot of the same name... within 500 miles of each other, in Toronto and Waltham, MA, respectively. Seeing as each breakthrough is worth a detailed investigation of its own, we'll refer you to Popular Mechanics and the New York Times for the full scoop on each story, but here's a quick rundown on just what humans have achieved this week.
[The prize-winning flight,] which lasted 64 seconds and reached a maximum altitude of 3.3 meters... came at the very end of five days of test flights [at an indoor soccer stadium near Toronto], after which the space would no longer be available. On two earlier flights, Reichert pilot [sic] the craft, called Atlas, to heights of 2 meters and 2.5 meters. With just minutes remaining before the team was scheduled to vacate the stadium to make way for an evening soccer practice, Reichert managed to squeeze in one last flight. Within 10 seconds a horn sounded signaling that he had exceeded the 3-meter mark.
Their accomplishment is all the more remarkable because it took them only 20 months to bring the Atlas quadcopter from concept to history-making reality. After six months of initial planning, Robertson, Reichert & Co. turned to Kickstarter to raise $30 large towards their projected $170,000 budget (no word on the final bill for the project; the estimated delivery for the prize, per the June 2012 campaign, was last September, so I imagine they sought another round of funding at some point). The quadcopter comes in with a rotor radius of just over 10m and weighs in at 55 kilos (just over 120lbs)—far less than Reichert himself, a longtime athlete who weighs in at 80kg; full tech specs here.
Our favorite Japanese purveyor of no-brand quality goods is pleased to partner with All Nippon Airways a new sweepstakes to promote MUJI to GO, "a category of MUJI products curated based on the concept of 'Good Travels with Good Products.'" The global campaign "Mini to GO" will launch at the Times Square location on July 12, and run for just over a month. From this Friday until August 15, customers who shop at the MUJI stores can bring their receipt to the store at the New York Times Building to get a 3D photograph taken. Participants can enter for a chance to win one of ten free 3D-printed figurines (from the scans) and the grand prize, a vacation courtesy of ANA.
The MUJI Times Square store is located at 620 8th Ave (at 40th St), New York, NY 10018. See more details here.
Retirees may have all the free time in the world, but entrants to the Heineken Ideas Brewery 60+ Design Challenge have just SIX DAYS LEFT to submit their ideas to reinvent the beer-drinking experience for the 60-70 year old demographic. The brief calls for innovative new designs for anything and everything from beer itself to the packaging to the serving experience.
Command X, the ultimate reality show for emerging graphic designers, is back for a fourth season this fall with Matteo Bologna as emcee and Sean Adams as roving reporter. Seven up-and-coming designers will have the chance to win the title and break into the industry at "Head, Heart Hand: AIGA Design Conference" in Minneapolis.
And this year, contestants who make it through the first round will have the chance to work with an AIGA Medalist mentor—including design legends Jessica Helfand, Jennifer Morla, Lucille Tenazas, Michael Vanderbyl and Lorraine Wild. Think you can make the cut? Visit designconference.aiga.org for complete rules, application details and prizes.
Heineken is pleased to announce the next challenge in their ongoing Ideas Brewery innovation platform: they're inviting designers to come up with new ways to reach and reinvent the beer-drinking experience for the 60–70 year old demographic, based on crowdsourced observations from earlier this year.
An often over-looked demographic, Heineken is using its crowdsourcing platform, IdeasBrewery.com, to gather ideas on how to cater for this 'liberated' generation of consumers who enjoy more freedom from jobs, children, stress and strive more for quality of life, well-being and self-development.
HEINEKEN invites creative people from around the world to submit fresh ideas that will enhance the drinking experience for 60–70 years olds, taking into consideration the beer, the packaging and serving method. The challenge is to cater these new propositions to the unique lifestyle, attitudes and needs of this group. This is the second stage of the Ideas Brewery campaign which was launched at the beginning of the year, where Heineken challenged the public to submit their observations on the lifestyles for 60+.
These insights, gathered from consumers across five continents via IdeasBrewery.com, fell under three main categories and should guide the thinking for the 60+ Ideas challenge responses:
- Quality experiences: The 60+ demographic is becoming increasingly more quality focused. The quality of a meal or beverage far outweighs the quantity for these consumers.
- Learning and re-discovery: This generation is committed to continued learning, new perspectives and self-development. They want to stay relevant and vital.
- More time for social activities: The 60+ generation of today has more time, space and liberty to enjoy hobbies, sports and traveling. They have a strong attraction to new or more frequent activity-related social occasions
Entrants have until June 27 to submit their best ideas on IdeasBrewery.com for a chance to win a share of the $10,000 total cash prizes. Following the entry period, Heineken will select six finalists to a two-day workshop in Amsterdam; an expert jury—Dominic Wilcox, Alex Goh (Design Taxi), Daniel Quinn (Happen.com) and two senior HEINEKEN innovation experts—will select the top three winners, who will receive $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000.
Adblock Plus, the "open-source community project to block obnoxious online ads," is pleased to announce their first Creative Challenge. Here's a short, um, promotional video of their product:
In any case, they've just launched a contest to further their mission to clean up the visual clutter that passes for websites these days, with the goal "to make the Internet a better experience for everyone by (ironically) encouraging advertising of a different sort."
As click-through rates have declined, advertisers get desperate and try to make more noise by making intentionally obnoxious and disruptive ads, which just further depresses click-through rates. We're in a downward spiral, and we want to reverse it with clever, creative, responsible ads that meet our Acceptable Ads guidelines.
In other words, it's not so much a wholesale boycott of advertising as a campaign to make ads better. As Till Faida, Managing Director of Adblock Plus, told the Times, "I am not against ads in general... just annoyed by the current state of ads."
In the interest of "getting more designers involved," Adblock Plus is challenging filmmakers to produce a 30–90-second video for a chance to win the grand prize of a four-week filmmaking workshop at the International Academy of Film and Television in the Philippines (or, if he or she prefers, a prize pack of video equipment of their choice.
The Adblock Plus Creative Challenge is open to would-be adbusters above the age of 16 worldwide; see full rules here and submit your entry by the May 31 deadline for a chance to win.
Our friends at Herman Miller have recently launched "Everywhere in Your Day," an online trivia / scavenger hunt contest for a chance to win an Eames Lounge & Ottoman or one of four other prizes. The contest launched last week with the first pair of bi-weekly clues; six more will be posted over the course of the next three weeks.
Check out the stop-motion video for the contest, which holds the answer to today's bit of George Nelson trivia, as well as the first clue (you'll have to view it in their embedded player to submit your answer):
To hear PENSOLE founder D'Wayne Edwards tell it, "Our mission is to provide aspiring footwear designers a platform to create their own brand and become the future of the footwear industry. This year we are welcoming Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) and Coroflot as scholarship partners to reach an even larger base of emerging talent."
Future of Footwear entrants are required to "submit an original shoe design drawn by hand and rendered in color, using a marker" on the Mesh01 platform by May 26. PENSOLE will announce the 20 winners live on Google+ the following week, each of whom will receive scholarships to experience PENSOLE's rigorous "learn by doing" curriculum, in which students are assigned projects in the following categories:
1. Athletic - Footwear designed to help perform a sport or activity better
2. Dress - Footwear designed to wear at formal events
3. Kids - Footwear designed for kids of all ages
4. Made in USA - Footwear designed for manufacture in the USA
5. Sustainable - Footwear designed with recyclable materials and more efficient manufacturing processes
Coroflot will award one scholarship in each of the five categories, as will our friends at IDSA; the last ten will be selected by PENSOLE. All students will have an additional merit-based opportunity to present samples of their work at a major tradeshow:
At the end of the third week of class, a panel of industry judges and the PENSOLE Google+ community will vote to select 10 semi-finalists who will have samples of their designs made and be awarded a trip to Las Vegas to have their designs on display at the PENSOLE booth at FN PLATFORM, August 19-21, 2013.
Now in its 17th year, 2013 marks the first time that the International Bicycle Design Competition has partnered with iF Design Talents. Although the judging took place in October, following the submission period, the winners were announced just a couple of weeks ago at the Taipei International Cycle Show. Given the sheer backlash to two of the more recently-seen bicycleconcepts here, we'll offer no more than a measured critique of the winners of the 2013 International Bicycle Design Competition. Far be it for me to take issue with the judges' selections of 22 prize winners from a field of 590 entries, who earned an invitation to a three-day workshop in Taiwan (the top ten won a cash prize as well)... though I couldn't help but notice some of the usual suspects, from hubless wheels to stylized e-bikes and, of course, lights galore.
Judges Michael Tseng (Merida Bikes) & Martin Kessler (Process Group)
In any case, here are the 12 'Third Place' winners, who earned the invitation to a three-day workshop in Taiwan, with a few discursive comments where applicable.
ALIGHT Brian Franson - NC State University, Raleigh, United States
ALIGHT is a retractable lighting device that attaches to the rear seat of a bicycle, [incorporating] stretchable electronics and a retractor mechanism, which allows it to be coiled up or extended out. By extending the light to the rear wheel axle, it creates more surface area and a larger visual impact [which can be seen from all angles]. ALIGHT emits a bright green light, which will turn red when braking and flash yellow when turning left or right.
- Definitely a novel approach to bicycle lighting, but I wonder how other road-users will interpret the lines of light, which don't explicitly indicate a bicycle (or any vehicle, for that matter). Drivers and other cyclists alike might find it confusing.
* * *
Anti-Theft Pedal Yao Ying-Liang & Hsu Ting-Yun - SHU-TE University, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
Using the profile of the pedal, the two sides of the pedal are extended to form a fork-shape, it is then fixed at the support of the rear wheel, locking the pedal. Thus, the pedal cannot move forwards, offering an elegant anti-theft function.
- I find that pedals protrude rather awkwardly when locking up; this concept turns them into an ad hoc locking mechanism. I'd be curious to see if this could be extrapolated into some kind of integrated U-lock, but I imagine the additional bulk/weight would be a limiting factor.
* * *
DORA Helmet Concept Balázs Filczer - MOME, Budapest, Hungary
DORA has been designed for cyclists who travel through the city very often, especially at night... its lights can be seen from every direction. The other problem is the non-equivalent signals between the cyclist and the drivers, mostly during direction changes. DORA helps you change direction easily and safely. The front light on the helmet gives you light directed toward the road; moreover you can leave your bike (and its light) behind, because the light is exactly where you look.
- I've seen some similar concepts, so it's not entirely original, but it benefits from strong presentation, and the handlebar-mounted Bluetooth remote is a nice touch. Still, I think it would make more sense to somehow integrate the buttons into the brake levers (though this means that each one would either have to have its own battery, or be wired to a single battery).
* * *
Gran Turismo Justin Chan, Paul Czarnietzki, Mina Lee & Andrew Lesniak - University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
Known for their ergonomics, recumbent tricycles allow people with injuries that prevent them from riding a normal bike to still enjoy riding. However, recumbent tricycle designs have remained unchanged and stagnant. The Gran-Turismo is an update to improve on the areas of aesthetics, safety, materials and technology. Inspired by the essence of a modern super car it aims to match their road bike counterparts in building materials and to stand out in style and performance. Using an existing recumbent tricycle, we overhauled the frame while keeping the same dimensions and geometry to maintain its ergonomics.
This year's James Dyson Award design competition, which as always carries the appealingly simple brief of "Design something that solves a problem," opens today. What's different this time around is the reward money. Whether in a bid to attract more competitors or to more richly reward the victors, the International Winner's purse has been doubled to US $45,000 for the student or student team, and a further $15,000 to their associated university department.
The prize for the International Runners-up is nothing to scoff at either: Both will receive $15,000, while National Winners will take home $3,000 for their troubles.
Though he only won half of what's on offer this year, Dan Watson put the money to good use after taking home last year's top prize. The designer of the SafetyNet (see video below) forwent the Porsche-leasing I'd have been tempted into and instead set up a company, SafetyNet Technologies: "I have used the prize money to improve and test my prototypes," he writes. "The exposure the award has given me has opened a lot of doors for me, from television appearances to meetings with government officials. The future for SafetyNet is extremely promising."
You've got until August 1st to get your act together and make like Watson. Get started now!
All winners and finalists will receive a 1-year subscription to the Windows Phone Dev Center development community and any finalists who launch their apps in the Windows Phone store will become our notable finalists, scoring a Windows Phone. Winners not only receive a subscription to Dev Center, Windows Phone and Microsoft Surface with Touch Cover, but they also get an app design consultation with a Windows Phone design team member and their app featured on Microsoft's Channel 9. Keep checking back over the next few months as we start Phase 2 of the competition: watching the winners and finalists turn their ideas into reality. And now, the Apps to the Future...
4weather—a weather app that lets you zero in what the weather will be like when and where you actually plan to be outside by utilizing a new adaptive forecast feed at its root, an extended and more informative set of "climacons" and finally the choice of the best forecast data vendor for your region.
"Of all the weather apps I've seen this is the only one that actually does something useful for you as well as telling you the weather." —Chris Caldwell
"Lots of thought into the data/algorithm, smart use of sensors, phone in idle mode, seems like content/utility delivery is simple. Prototyping with users would show whether passive information presentation is contextually relevant / useful and if the user input is too laborious." —Jennifer Bove
"This could be boiled down to a simple AI + GPS that would quickly learn what weather conditions you like or dislike in which locations." —Eric Ludlum
"Very unique idea. The description of the app concept provides a very good explanation behind why there is a need for such an app. Instead of providing a general weather forecast, this app exemplifies the Windows Phone's You paradigm by personalizing weather based on you and your information." —Pratik Kothari
App Designer: Alexander Uhlig Leipzig, Germany
Alexander is currently a Master of Physics student and expects to graduate by the end of 2013. Right now he is working on his Masters project, which is related to an econometric subject.
At the age of 16 he gained his first insight into human-computer interaction as a tutor and not long afterwards took over the soft- and hardware- support of a small pharmaceutical company.
Getting to know different cultures, and new people with other traditions fascinates him. Right after finishing school he went to Australia on a work & travel visa. He completed the first part of his Master studies in Leeds, UK as an exchange student.
Alexander's strength is blending creative and problem solving abilities. He is passionate about solving versatile tasks and looks forward to the challenges the development of 4weather will bring along.
fitCHAMP—a social fitness app that combines the powerful APIs of the personal fitness trackers that you and your friends use onto a single, beautifully designed dashboard where you can track and compete with your friends through certain metrics like distance moved, steps taken, and calories burned.
"Could be fantastic if the platform API's work well together and you can map data onto similar and comparable points." —Chris Caldwell
"Great socialization/gamification of the dataset and activity." —Eric Ludlum
"Similar apps exist but the design of this app provides a fresh look. Social component is certainly a motivating factor to challenge someone." —Pratik Kothari
Christian Valencia and Shelby Blair are User Experience Designers who work at Ratio Interactive, a small digital agency in Seattle, WA. They design experiences for: Web, iOS, Android, Windows 8 and now Windows Phone.
Christian recently graduated from Seattle Central Creative Academy where he mainly focused on Interaction Design. He loves designing simple, yet engaging interfaces for any of the platforms listed above.
Shelby graduated from the University of North Texas and got into UX design just over a year ago. She is an explorer at heart, and will always love illustration and print design.
HappyAppy—a smile is contagious and what better way to spread a smile than by sharing a dance? HappyAppy is an interactive mobile application that allows friends to connect by dancing for one another when words are not enough. This allows people to virtually connect in a physical and emotional way that is not currently possible.
"I started smiling instantly :) You made my day! Besides being unfathomably simple, this is an experience that you'll have fun creating as well as receiving." —Chris Caldwell
"Simple, delightful, great use of physical gesture. Adorable characters, smart constraints around time limits, movements, etc." —Jennifer Bove
"It is cute and there is opportunity for a broader spectrum of sentiment (angsty appy? morose appy? estatic appy?)." —Eric Ludlum
"Uses various Windows Phone accelerometer features to create a customized greeting. This is certainly designed to connect and delight." —Pratik Kothari
"What a creative and fun way to connect with your friends and family and make them smile! This app makes me smile :D" —Corrina Black
Yian Ling and Sarah met while attending graduate school at Carnegie Mellon University. Although they come from opposite ends of the world, their backgrounds are surprisingly similar. Both Yian Ling and Sarah have a bachelors degree in industrial design and work experience in design research. When they are not designing, both of them enjoy traveling the world, collecting fresh inspiration and getting their hands on new projects.
Tide&a Surfing forecast app that creates a more gestural way of exploring the waves through time whilst allowing fast access to the data that most is important to surfers.
"This makes me want to buy a surfboard, abandon my landlocked city, and drive thousands of miles to the nearest ocean and start surfing!" —Chris Caldwell
"Simple, quick access to info on the go. Fluid use of gesture, application interface doesn't get in the way. Easy to share." —Jennifer Bove
"Awesome and beautiful. The sine wave display feels like the pure essence of the phenomenon and is at home in the Windows UI." —Eric Ludlum
"Overall very good design and a useful app." —Pratik Kothari
Martin is a young Industrial Designer currently working for DCA Design in Warwick, United Kingdom. Having graduated from Loughborough Design School in 2011 his work focuses on creating connected products, brands and experiences. When these are designed at the same time, really new and interesting experiences emerge. This is not currently being implemented by most companies.
It is an exciting time for design, where different fields such as UI/ UX, Web Design, Packaging and traditional Industrial Design are coming together and the boundaries are becoming more and more blurred.
TripUs—connect all your social activities about a trip through one app. Organize all your pictures, Facebook updates, check-ins and tweets into a Trip timeline with invited friends and share information and photos with those friends in your network.
"Where were you on my last road trip? What a great way to spread the travel bug!" —Chris Caldwell
"An easy way to organize personal media into a narrative—trips are a natural for this." —Eric Ludlum
"Good design and layout." —Pratik Kothari
"Fun way of connecting with friends to capture shared events in a visually compelling, immersive, and memorable manner." —Corrina Black
Simply download any CAD model from the GrabCAD library—then develop it, re-arrange it, cut it, splice it, hack it... but most importantly implement color in a fresh and creative way.
Think about how color affects the design, improves the user experience and brings a 4th dimension to how an object, product, assembly or landscape is perceived. Use this challenge as an outlet for you and your design team to reimagine how we incorporate color into our creative process. Then submit your rendering to the Challenge in JPG format.
Our jury of leading industrial designers, engineers and graphic designers will evaluate and select the best and most creative submissions to be highlighted at the IDSA's 2013 Northeast District Design Conference "The Color of Design" in April in Hartford.
Enter by the March 25 deadline for a chance to win prizes such as a custom ride from BikeID, complimentary conference registration, Keyshot licenses and more.
See the full contest rules and regulations here (and check out some of the entries here.)
The Massachusetts College of Art and Design and Wentworth Institute of Technology have something no other two schools have, two different Industrial Design programs within a stones throw away from each other. 16 Hours to Glory is a culmination of Massachusetts College of Art and Design and Wentworth Institute of Technology students working in small teams researching, brainstorming, designing, and finalizing a solution to a problem which is given at the start of the competition. The next day, students are given the opportunity to present their 16 hour solutions to a panel of outside judges. The goal of the competition is to create some friendly competition, and camaraderie between the two schools of industrial design, and celebrate their differences and styles.
Saturday, March 2nd will be the Design Phase from 8AM to 12AM and March 3rd will see presentations and judging. Both will be held in the Trustee's Room at MassArt, floor 11.
Sponsored by Staples, Bose, Design Museum Boston, Monster Energy and Keyshot.
Team sign up deadline is Thursday, February the 28th at 6:30 pm.
B.Y.O.C [Bring Your Own Computer]
You will find out the design challenge at 8am sharp, on the morning of the competition.
We will provide desks, chairs, some supplies, scanners, printers, Monster, and music.
If you have a Cintiq or any Wacom tablet, bring it, we will have a few, but the more the merrier.
We will provide blue foam, Olfa knives, cutting mats and straight edges.
Model shop: if you feel you have to, please utilize it before you are too tired. Be smart.
1. Teams of up to three. Students only.
2. All work must be new and original. Don't cheat, be honest.
3. Start time is 8 AM, Saturday March 2nd, end time is midnight Saturday March 2nd.
4. You will have from 10 am until noon on Sunday to work on your presentation.
5. Presentations will start exactly at 12:30 on Sunday. The order will be random.
6. Presentations will be a maximum of 6 minutes. There will be a buzzer.
Sign up by Thursday, February 28: Send an E-mail with "Team Registration" in the subject line to 16hourstoglory[at]gmail.com to sign up, state the members of your team and what school you are from. If you want, a team name would be cool as well.
Can you feel it? We are officially in the thick of awards season and with all those deadlines looming, it's important to keep your dates in order.
The next major program deadline coming up is for the International Design Excellence Awards. Their late deadline for entry is February 25th. While you'll pay a bit more for the privilege of the late entry, all the recognition, glory and bragging rights are still up for grabs to everyone who enters.
If you're curious about what won the judges over in years past, the IDSA website has 12 year's of winners online. You can also check out our favorite winners from 2012 and 2011. Then, imagine what it would feel like to see your work featured there, and go enter!
2013 IDEA Deadline: February 25, 2013 - Enter here