The Core77 Design Awards has always integrated student and professional entries in each category, with the idea that student work should not be marginalized into a single collection, but rather viewed alongside the professional work in any particular category. At this point, with almost all students having access to sophisticated rendering software and research tools, the projects are more ambitious than ever, and are presented at an extremely high level of fit and finish.
Below is a small set of student projects that stood out to our editors for their excellent production value, interesting subject matter, or for succeeding on several levels simultaneously, something every project should strive fore. Keep in mind this is a very small subset, as we had more than 130 student projects honored this year, and we encourage you to visit the awards site to see all the winners. And if you're a design student reading this, now is the time to prep your best work and enter the 2024 Core77 Design Awards, which open on January 4th.
TerraLite Backpacking Stove
The Terralite Backpacking Stove, by Washington-based designer Carter Heikkila, was a runner up in the Sports & Outdoors category. The project is well researched, and considers materials and production processes throughout. The presentation is clear and clean, with an easily understood narrative describing the offering and functionality. This project and its presentation is a great model for any design student to emulate with their own work.
Hug - Therapeutic Furniture Kit
The Hug project, by Savannah College of Art and Design student Natalie Schaake, earned a notable honor in the Health & Wellness category. The chair comes as a disassembled kit, which allows the owner freedom to choose their desired color and materials for the final finishing. The act of assembling and upholstering the object will provide relief from anxiety and stress and invites the consumer to participate in the design process. The lovely photography in the entry emphasizes the clean lines of the design while the soft-touch materials used in the example feel warm and cozy. This project also succeeds on several levels, which undoubtedly caught the eye of the jury.
NakedPak - zero waste, pre-packaged meals
NakedPak series is a line of zero-waste, edible meals, wrapped in soluble bio-plastic made of agar produced from algae. The project, by Israeli designer Naama Nicotra, consists of a number of prepared foods, wrapped in edible plastic, which can simply be tossed into a pot of water and then eaten. The example above is an ice cream nugget, so no need to boil it first. This is an interesting approach to reducing single use plastic film and proposes a near-future vision of sustainability. NakedPak took home a Runner Up honor in the Packaging category.
Concealed Studio Brand Identity
It's hard to say enough good things about this project, by Minghao Lin. It succeeds on every level - beautiful composition, outstanding photography, interesting and varied materials, flawless execution and attention to detail. It's no wonder that this project was the winner in the Visual Communication category. Rather than reiterate everything included in the entry here, you should see the full project yourself, and then hire them for your next brand strategy project.
BoardWalk - A Multifunctional Destination
The Boardwalk projectis a temporary structure, designed to function as "an informal gathering space, temporary stage, and viewing platform" as part of the 2022 Bethel Woods Art and Architecture Festival. The team of students at Cornell University used thousands of board feet of reclaimed lumber from a former ironworks and foundry building in central New York, slated for demolition. Using a combination of precision CNC cuts and reusable nylon straps, the platform can be easily assembled on site, and then disassembled and moved to a new location again and again. This is an excellent example of high and low tech, sustainability and community engagement, which is what helped it to take home a Notable honor in the Built Environment category.