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
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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.
Lars Techt Myrhøj and Stefan Urup Kaplan of Techturup tackle a very real problem with the "Rescue Ladder." By incorporating a solar-powered LED system into the platform and legs, the ladder is visible even at night, serving as a simple beacon in life-or-death situations. I was drawn to the ladder for its overall simplicity—its intended use is so clearly expressed through the design.
"LETHE" is a building design created with those suffering from PTSD in mind. Designers Georgios Petros Lazaridis and Alexandra Marantidou describe their structures for PTSD patients as "a miniature of the real world—a miniature without their memories." The spiderweb of material seems a bit fantastical, but the idea of a textile acting as a therapeutic medium is something very intriguing. I can't help but think of the Na'vi society in James Cameron's Avatar.
These are only four of the many honorees from this year's Pinup competition. You can check out a full list of the winners here.
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