Last week, we headed to Munich to celebrate the 66 gold winners of the iF DESIGN AWARD 2019 at the striking BMW Welt. Part of Munich's Creative Business Week, the iF DESIGN AWARD welcomed a total of 6,375 contributions from 50 countries within the categories of Product Design, Communication Design, Packaging Design, Service Design, Architecture, Interior Architecture and Professional Concept.
After party at the BMW Welt
Each year, iF puts together an annual exhibition in Hamburg where many of the award-winning products can be viewed in person. Walking through halls of vacuums and refrigerators in a gallery setting was rather humorous, but similar to MoMA's current exhibition, "The Value of Good Design", the iF DESIGN AWARDS takes a strong stance that good design encompasses products that positively impact and improve our lives on an everyday basis: and that such objects should be celebrated.
iF Design Awards Exhibition in Hamburg
The iF DESIGN AWARD tends to recognize everyday designs, such as lighting and home appliances. The concepts they do choose to award are ones that aren't too far off from reality. We noticed that (as opposed to last year), this year's winners were more technology-focused, all aiming to create a more seamless, tech-integrated life for humans.
Below we selected a few of our favorite 2019 iF DESIGN AWARD gold winners that we learned about while in Munich:
One of the more conceptual winners, the IONITY electric vehicle charging system is a unique collaboration between BMW, Daimler, Ford, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche. The charging device aims to address long distance travel for electric vehicle drivers with its capacity of up to 350 KW and quick charging speeds.
Wireless Audio VL Series (VL5 and VL3)
There's nothin' wrong with a little nostalgia! Samsung's Wireless Audio VL Series combines the modern box shape we've all become accustomed to with old school dials reminiscent of radio dials.
Card Phone KY-01L
This business card-sized phone designed by NTT DOCOMO offers an alternative mobile phone option for when you don't want to carry your sensitive data around with you—so basically a work phone. The device features a power-saving e-paper display (think Nook or Kindle) and a simple, easy to navigate display.
Computer = ...Lamp? This friendly desk lamp designed by Compal Experience Design doubles as a computer with the ability to project educational VR and AR experiences without a screen. "With powerful object recognition abilities, family members can interact through interesting AR games. Then, rotate Lumi 2.0's head against the wall to project fun color doodles or any other child-friendly, mixed-reality content for immersive learning experiences."
The Balanced kitchen knife set designed by Paul Cohen Design allows you to adjust the balance and weight of each knife individually with a magnetic weight. The patented adjustable balance weight ensures a firm and comfortable grip—positioning the weight forward allows for firm chopping, while moving it to the rear balances the knife for precision cutting.
Nest Thermostat E
Thermostat E is a promising evolution of the classic Nest Thermostat. It simply lets you change the temperature from anywhere using the Nest app or by voice command with your Google Home Assistant. No boiler access is needed—you can install it yourself using your previous thermostat wires and then place the Nest Thermostat E wherever you like.
Beside is a portable indoor/outdoor air conditioner with a minimalist flair. Designed by Daikin Industries, Beside features an ultra-small compressor and a new radiator layout, allowing the device to be portable and flexible. Most air conditioners are comprised of two parts, but Beside has everything in one.
Projector Molded Pulp Packaging
BenQ has simplified and reduced their electronic product packaging with this box that both cushions and protects—without the use of any glue or additional protective padding. Even without these extra wasteful materials, the molded pulp packaging passed drop and crash tests. The non-composite molded pulp materials are also very easy to recycle.
T.um is a technology museum designed and run by SK Telecom, SouthKorea's largest telecommunication operator. The museum's goal is to highlight and inform visitors of technology's affect on society at large. The clean, futuristic space was brought to life in a collaboration between designers, neurologists and futurologists and offers an interactive experience on multiple levels , including AR experiences.
Volvo Concept Wheel Loader ZEUX
If you think this concept autonomous wheel loader looks like an adult LEGO set, you're not too far off: Volvo and LEGO actually combined their skillsets to bring this bad boy to life. According to Volvo, "Multi-disciplinary teams from Volvo Construction Equipment and LEGO Technic joined forces with a focus group of children in a comprehensive design process. The result is not only an inspiring LEGO Technic play set, but a revolutionary concept for the sustainable construction machines of tomorrow." Needless to say, the future of construction looks epic.
The BMW Vision iNEXT
BMW's Vision iNEXT concept is a highly automated, emission-free, and fully connected vehicle that boasts the size and proportions of a regular car. The vehicle can be automated if desired but easily switches over to full human control. Our favorite feature is the the jacquard-like textile upholstery inside the car that BMW has made "smart". When drawing certain patterns on the seat with their finger, users are able to complete basic tasks like switching between songs.
Endoscopy Department Transformation
This redesign by Philips goes beyond a clean, sleek update to include a full, streamlined patient experience design. A seamless workflow, patient flow, and service delivery strategy was co-designed with staff and supported by an updated spatial environment design.
Dongziguan Affordable Housing
The project is a new village for relocated farmers built on the southern Yangtze River near Hangzhou, China. Buildings are organized in the traditional Chinese courtyard style, bringing cultural familiarity and respect to a new development that promises opportunity for rural revival.
Learn more about the iF DESIGN AWARDS here and how you can apply for the 2020 awards cycle cycle here.