“Design for Empathy” is the 2019 theme for the Taiwan International Student Design Competition

If the past few years have been any indication, the east is strongly embracing design culture and the power of design when it comes to shaping lives, societies, and cultures. Countries like China, Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan are looking to adopt design thinking and design-led innovation on a massive, government-backed scale. The TISDC, or the Taiwan International Student Design Competition, integrates their Ministry of Education’s art and design talent fostering programs, creating the very reverse of a brain drain, and bringing great design thinking to their societies and their cultural landscape.

Held every year since 2010, the TISDC is a great way to use design to create a visible impact, especially since the competition is organized closely with the patronage and support of the Taiwan’s Ministry of Education. With past themes ranging from “Embrace”, and “Circles of Life” to last year’s theme of “Breakthrough & Innovation” and this year’s theme of “Empathy”, the competition encourages participation on an international scale, while also creating a crucial information exchange between Taiwan and the rest of the design world. The current year’s theme of “Empathy” aims to get designers to take on a more user-centric approach and address problems by putting themselves in the user’s specific scenario, by “Seeing the problem through their eyes”.

The Taiwan International Student Design Competition is held across various categories, spanning Product Design, Visual Communication, and Digital Animation, and is judged by a jury panel for their creativity, interpretation of the theme, expression of concept, and aesthetic approach. Winners are awarded a trophy + certificate along with a hefty cash prize of up to $13,000. Organized specifically to foster and nurture student talent, the awards program is made for students, prospective students, and immediate graduates, and requires no registration fee.

Recap:

– No Registration Fee
– Grand Prix (1 winner): $13,000
– Gold Prize (1 winner for each category): $8,000
– Silver Prize (1 winner for each category): $5,000
– Bronze Prize (3 winners for each category): $2,000
– Last Date for Submission: June 30 at 24:00 Taipei Time

Click Here to Submit Your Designs Now. Closes on June 30th.

Below: Winning Designs from TISDC 2018

Easy-Pull Barrier by Jhe-Wei Lin, Jui-Feng Tang

Much like how a QueueMaster makes it really easy to organize crowds and manage queues at airports, movie halls, concerts, and museums, the Easy-Pull Barrier quite easily creates specialized paths on roadways for cars to follow. Relying on the existing barricade design, the Easy-Pull Barrier just puts a convenient collapsible gate within it, giving it extra purpose. Use the barrier as is, or extend the metal gate within to give you more control, the Easy-Pull Barrier is a much more effective way of cordoning off, or outlining roadways during construction, or emergencies. A single barricade can now block off an entire road, when in the past one would need multiple barricades to block out a road. Plus, given their linked-metal construction, these collapsible gates can bend too, giving you full control over how you want to lay the barriers out!

Smart Gloves by Xue Hou, Ying Zhao, Qiu-Shi Zheng, Yue Wang

The Smart Gloves aren’t your ordinary prosthetic. Using an induction-chip/sensor the Smart Gloves can perceive the skin and skeleton changes of nearby fingers to analyze the movement path of the missing finger. The glove’s chip picks up on tiny actions on the backside of your palm to intelligently predict how your prosthetic should behave, giving them the dexterity and nuance you’d get from any normal fingers.

Breathing Barrier by Tsung-Ying Hsieh, Hsuan-Ting Huang

Designed to play multiple roles in making cities better for residents within cities, the Breathing Barrier does the job of an aesthetic, audio, and pollution barrier, making city-life much more liveable. The moss barrier is pleasing to look at, and adds a touch of greenery to our lives, while the barrier itself helps block out noise pollution caused by vehicles on the roads. The barrier comes with multiple layers on the inside which trap dust, dirt, and particulate matter, which the moss uses as nutrients, feeding off the pollution and emission caused by automobiles. The Breathable Barrier is a clever way to turn cities green without changing the transportation setup to an emission-free electric one. The emissions from cars end up nourishing the barriers, causing them to flourish, and in turn, naturally purify our air. It’s a win for everyone!

Safety Protection by Zhi Li, Jia-Yuan Zhao, Yun-Qing Wang, Si Liu

With a collapsible shield that unfolds when in use, the Safety Protection fire extinguisher not only fights fire, it protects the firefighter too. The collapsible shield comes with a window that the firefighter can look through, and guards the fighter from any flames that may approach them. The shield even acts as a thermal barrier, keeping the waves of heat from reaching the firefighter, effectively allowing them to fight fire without experiencing the burning effects of the proximity to high heat.

Easy Take by Zhou-Quan Song, Xing-Ting Liang

A simple solution for a simple problem, Easy Take introduces a strip of fabric/plastic to packaged tins, making them easier to pull out, rather than having to dig around to get your fingers in and pull a can out from a full row. A simple string, made from recycled plastic, zigzags its way around the cans, and pulling on the string can disrupt the cans’ order, allowing you to easily grab a single can out of a tightly packed box. Worthy of an honorable mention, I’d say.

Protective Stretcher by Qiu-Shi Zheng, Yun-Qing Wang, Jin He, Shi-Chun Yu

The Protective Stretcher combines the benefits of a stretcher with that of a makeshift cast, by cushioning your body in place using airbags. The bags hold the injured patient in the supine position as the medics carry them out, avoiding any secondary injuries or paralysis that could occur during an emergency evacuation or transit. The airbags are laid out according to ergonomic and medical specifications, gently cushioning bones and joints to keep them in shape, while also keeping the head slightly elevated to prevent blood from rushing to the head.

Wathield Bucket by Ming-Sheng Shih

Ever tried to fill a big bucket in a tiny sink? If so, you know that it’s impossible to use the bucket’s full capacity because of the tilt. Even worse, if the sink is too small, you might not be able to fill it at all. Designed with these issues in mind, the WATHIELD bucket aims to make this everyday task much easier.
Shaped like a traditional bucket, it sports an additional feature in the form of an extended lip that funnels water into the bucket with ease. Better yet, it can be tucked away when it’s not being used. Simply unfold the lip and run it under the sink to capture water even if the space is compact.

Nipple Dust Mask by Jin-Ho Chae, Na-Yeun Kim

The Nipple Dust Mask is an unusual product that may just become a necessity in a few years, with rising environmental concerns about unchecked emissions. Designed to pacify as well as protect the baby’s young respiratory system, the Nipple Dust Mask keeps a child pacified, via a BPA-free polymer nipple, but also surrounds the nose and mouth with a HEPA filter that traps particulate matter, ensuring the child is breathing contaminant-free air.

Click Here to Submit Your Designs Now. Closes on June 30th.

These innovative paper plates are infinitely washable and reusable

Look closely and the Omotenasino Otomo don’t really look like paper plates. They look almost like plastic or melamine, with how incredibly glossy and opaque they are. The texture makes them almost look like cast iron, I’d say… but these plates aren’t made of any of those materials. They are, in fact, paper.

Japan’s fascination with paper spans over a millennium, with the introduction of Washi paper in 610 AD. It’s seen itself embedded in Japan’s culture, with its most popular use being in Origami, or the art of paper folding. The Omotenasino Otomo employ an Origami-esque pattern, and their innovation lies in the treatment of the paper, which makes it washable and reusable. This incredible ability comes from the design company Otomoshikki’s specialty lacquer, which allows the paper to turn into a stiff, waterproof, grease-proof, infinitely reusable material, almost perfect for utensils… and not just plates, spoons too!

The Omotenasino Otomo is a winner of the Design Intelligence Award for the year 2019.

Designer: Otomoshikki

Yamaha’s uniquely designed e-violin is all about the flair of the performance!

Short for the Yamaha Eletric Violin, the YEV explores a fundamental truth of electric instruments… and that is that electric instruments don’t need to worry about sound acoustics. A guitar is shaped the way it’s shaped so that air can vibrate in its hollow body. A drum too. Even a saxophone. But when you look at the electric versions of these instruments, you don’t need to worry about resonance, vibrations, and acoustics. That’s why an electric guitar is thinner and doesn’t have a hole. Electric drums are just literally tiles that you strike a drumstick against… and the YEV, just like with other electric instruments, doesn’t need to worry about hollow spaces and sound vibrations. However, what the YEV does with this liberation-from-volume is rather interesting, in that the violin is designed to be completely skeletal.

Looking at the YEV’s body, it’s easy to tell that it’s a violin, but I guess you’d spend a good 10 seconds marveling exactly how it treats surfaces and volumes… or in other words, how it looks. With an extremely streamlined body that houses all the electronics, the YEV comes with a relatively violin-esque silhouette, thanks to a curved wooden veneer that gives the violin its definition. The veneer also interestingly makes the YEV see-through, because the product doesn’t have a front or back, making for a very interesting performance, which is honestly what this violin is all about!

The YEV Electric Violin is a winner of the Design Intelligence Award for the year 2018.

Designer: Yamaha

Here are the hottest winning-designs from the A’ Design Award 2019

What makes the A’ Design Award stand out from others is its mission statement. It wants to find a common link between great design ACROSS all disciplines, and is committed to being a consortium or a common-ground for all sorts of good design. The A’ Design Award and Competition is more than just an awards program. It actively seeks good design, markets it, brings value to the project as well as the designer in the form of a wide range of value added services like a dedicated PR Campaign, a Gala Night with the world’s biggest design patrons and designers alike, a proof-of-creation document for your work, and even a platform to sell your design on.

The A’ Design Award’s perks aren’t just limited to winning designs, but also to participants. Your participation entitles you to a proof-of-creation document, inclusion in A’ Design’s Business Network, and the Design Fee Calculator service that lets you accurately price your design services for clients.

Judged by a grand jury of 209 elite designers and educators, here are a select few of A’ Design Award and Competition 2019’s winners. We’ve hand-picked some of our favorites from this year’s list of winners spanning categories such as Product Design, Lighting Design, Architecture, Furniture, Medical, and Social Design. Scroll down below to have a look at what’s making the waves this year in the design circuit! And don’t forget to register below to participate in the Competition next year to make the most of the opportunities that the A’ Design Award promises!

Grab an Early-bird Registration for A’ Design Awards 2020 by clicking here!

YD Handpicks: Winning Designs from A’ Design Awards 2018-19

01. RoType Flexible Keyboard by Royole

The RoType is a neat, rollable keyboard. Unlike those hideous flexible silicone/TPU keyboards that you now find on novelty gadget shops, the RoType is slick, professional, and classy. With a miraculously transparent keyboard that embraces and becomes the surface you place it on, the RoType feels sort of like typing on air. The keyboard uses a special film which contains a hidden circuit. With a transparency of 92%, and a thickness of a dazzling 0.04mm, the RoType flexes, stretches and curls multiple times without deformation. The flexible hidden circuit allows you to type by simply touching the keys, giving it an incredibly feathery UX… and when not in use, rolls right back into the RoType’s robust metal case, which is practically 1/10th the size of a regular keyboard!

02. Hexa Passenger Drone by Maform Design

We’ve all secretly waited for drones to be powerful enough to lift humans, haven’t we? While VTOLs are still somewhere in the near future, the Hexa passenger drone is a pretty plausible concept that demonstrates how a drone that lifts a human could look. With 18 propellers arranged in two circles (12 outside, 6 inside), the Hexa has a flight time of around half an hour. Where would one be able to travel in that much time? Maform Design thinks the Hexa isn’t a transportation device but an experience device. Designed to give you the experience of piloting a vertical take-off and landing vehicle, Hexa’s all about allowing riders to experience the thrill and adrenaline of drone flight! Maybe with advancing battery technologies we’ll see the Hexa turning into a proper short-distance transport solution!

03. Right Angle Screwdriver by Qian Xiaowei and Ye Xinmin

Designed for portability, and to get into those tough-to-reach spots, the Right Angle Screwdriver is a neat multi-tool with interchangeable heads and the ability to maneuver itself into difficult spots thanks to its novel design that allows the screwdriver to bend 90°. The miter-joint not only lets you reach screws in recessed places, but the 90° bend even gives you the power to unscrew or screw with much more torque. The size of a pen, the Right Angle Screwdriver is an ideal piece of EDC for the tinkerer, and its multiple heads just extend the product’s versatility!

04. The Barisieur by Josh Renouf

The Barisieur is a concept that’s definitely garnered its deserving share of interest. Featured on YD as a conceptual one-of-a-kind product years ago, the Barisieur has developed a lot over time, becoming the award-winning product it is today. What is it? Basically the best alarm clock ever made, because rather than jolting you out of sleep with an alarming noise, it gently and effectively awakens your senses by brewing you a fine cup of coffee! The alarm is hooked to a water heater which transfers the water to a pour-over coffee filter that decants your brew as you awake to the aroma of coffee. Paired with a small vessel of milk on the side (and a tray for storing your sugar), the Barisieur proposes perhaps the most effective way to get you out of bed. With a hot cuppa!

05. Twig Dumbbells by Ji Hoon Lee

When you think about it, a twig-shaped dumbbell is rather ironic, right? The word twig is often used to describe skinny or scrawny arms or legs, while on the other hand dumbbells, well, they help bulk up arms. The Twig dumbbells are an innovative dumbbell design by Ji Hoon Lee. With a handle and three prongs on each side, the weight of these dumbbells can be changed simply by switching the prongs.
The prongs or branches of the Twig are individual weights. Different prongs come with different weights and you can simply switch them to make each individual Twig heavier or lighter… although they’re sure to always look visually light, thanks to their twig-like form. Wait! That’s probably the idea! To get you to psychologically lift more by fooling your eyes into thinking you’re lifting tiny, weightless branches! Pretty clever!

06. Sidekick Notebook by Tan Mavitan

The Sidekick is quirky, but has logic to it. An A5 notebook looks small on your desk, but open it and it doubles in size, becoming an A4, and occupying precious real estate on your desk. The Sidekick has no such problem. Its unusual shape and diagonal spine allows it to open into an ‘L’ shaped notebook that can easily sit at the corner of your keyboard, or your mousepad, or even tablet. The notebook won’t serve well for sketching, but makes a good note-taking pad, offering both landscape and portrait writing areas. Take notes, make doodles, or probably even sketch on it if you can, the Sidekick is that one notebook you won’t buy and put away only because you’ll love keeping it on your table to occasionally take notes, and to perpetually show off.

07. Tsutsumu Card Holder by Hirotaka Satoh

It’s incredible what one can achieve out of a single piece of leather. The Tsutumu card holder is made from a stamped piece of leather. That’s literally the only production process it went through (aside from the branding being stamped into it too). No glue, no stitches, no rivets. Just pure leather. Basing itself on the Japanese culture of wrapping valued items carefully (google Furoshiki), the Tsutumu comes flat-packed and can easily be folded into shape. Its design ensures it holds its shape while holding cards within it too!
Elegant, simple, stylish, and differently vibrant, the Tsutumu cases wrap around your cards in a way that looks beautiful and unusual. The leather ages with time, gathering a beautiful patina, but the case itself lives on for years and years!

08. Kurio Modular Shelfing System by Markus Hofko

Designed like a breadboard that you plug electrical elements into, the Kurio Modular Shelfing System comes with a universal base-platform that you plug planes into, to make shelves. Based on the size and quantity of items you want to keep on your shelf, you can build any layout you choose by simply plugging pieces together. Made from aluminum, the Kurio doesn’t use additional fixtures like screws or glue, just good old mechanical joineries that allow the planes to be pulled apart and rearranged whenever you choose!

09. Symphony Number 7 Chair by Chen Ting-Hsiang

Similar in spirit to the Butterfly Chair by Eduardo Garcia Campos, the Symphony 7 Chair is inspired by the softness and sweetness of the 7th Symphony by Beethoven. The rocking chair is made from a pipe frame, and comes with leather cushioning, combining comfort, strength, and an incredibly organic skeletal design that makes for a great silhouette. The chair looks even beautiful when paired together with another of its kind, creating a beautiful symmetry!

10. Grid Table by Mian Wei

Made entirely of interlocking wooden pieces, the Grid Table takes inspiration from Chinese wooden structures called Dougongs (Dou Gong). Dougong is essential to the timber frame structure of traditional Chinese building, as it binds the roof, girders and pillars together to distribute weight evenly. The Grid table brings that approach to table-design, with its top-heavy-yet-stable construction that does a great job of distributing the table’s weight, while also turning the Dougong construction technique into an artform, with its wonderful, Jenga-esque geometric aesthetic!

Grab an Early-bird Registration for A’ Design Awards 2020 by clicking here!

The Mini Tea Set is a combination of culture and compact design

Quite wonderfully balancing the need to remain traditional and authentic as well as be modern and space-saving, the Mini Tea Set from Pertouch fits a tea brewing set into its small form factor, with quaint, authentic vessels that allow you to brew tea in keeping with oriental culture and norms. The casing comes with 2 kettles and 4 sipping glasses stacked-on/nestled-within one another in a shock-proof case that carries them snugly, protecting them from breakage. The case comes with a decorative lid that serves as a tray too, allowing you to brew, present, and serve your tea with flair.

Its design also comes backed by a great deal of design thinking. The kettles come without any handles (that would otherwise occupy space) and instead opt for a dual-walled construction near where your fingers would grip it, for effective insulation and heat-prevention. The cups and kettles are all made from ceramic, while the tray is made from ABS, giving it impact-resistance and resistance to high temperatures. Moreover, the ridges on it, aside from providing a calming effect of resembling ripples, act as drainage outlets for any water/tea that may accidentally spill on the tray. The design details are tied together wonderfully with cultural sensitivity, to create a tea set that looks authentic, but is, in fact, incredibly well designed!

The T1 Mini Tea Set is a winner of the Design Intelligence Awards for the year 2018.

Designer: Pertouch

An object-holding tray that looks like wood, behaves like fabric

With a fractured wooden surface held together by a layer of flexible silicon rubber, the Stretch Board remains deceptively flat when there’s nothing placed on it… but the second you put an object with weight down on the surface, it begins dipping, displaying a property that feels almost like a taut fabric, and not like wood. This is the Stretch Board, a special material-type designed for a rather fun interaction with its share of benefits.

The Stretch Board can warp to the weight and shape of the objects you place on it. It adds an element of dynamism, turning any flat surface into a vessel, preventing items from rolling off. Place a couple of fruits or a tennis ball on it and they stay put, rather than rolling off. You can even use the Stretch Board’s unique properties in a tray, that may prevent things from sliding off or collapsing. Works best with items like saucers instead of wine glasses (given their higher CG). The interaction could even extend to furniture, turning a hard wooden chair into a comfortable cushion-like experience!

The Stretch Board is a winner of the Design Intelligence Award for the year 2018.

Designer: Taijiro Ishiko

The Design Intelligence Award accelerates good project into world-class product designs

Design awards are often a mechanism to discover good design. A panel of judges help identify designs with potential, and reward them for being a good concept, or having a good execution. China’s premiere awards program, the Design Intelligence Award (DIA) operates on a slightly different path. It doesn’t just discover good design. It develops it. Working in part like an award program and in part like a product accelerator, the DIA Awards have a long, arduous, meticulous process. They identify good work, but push it to be better. Great designers convene to form jury panels who spend day after day looking at projects and participants are put through what one might consider pretty effective crash course in design, presentation, and innovation. Not just winners, but even participants come out with insights and skill-sets that put them on a pedestal, because the DIA Awards don’t define talent… they refine it too.

The DIA Awards differ from most award programs primarily because of this intricate and methodical judging process, which almost borders on educational, feeling like an evaluation you’d get at a design university, rather than a divided panel of judges. Feedback and criticism are constructive, and the DIA Award approach to judging projects is extremely holistic, taking into account everything from the quality of its concept, to its usefulness, feasibility, impact on a personal as well as global scale, its sustainability as a product and as a business, and its marketability. Its judging process is broken into three segments too. The first round of judging happens online, as jury panels spend an entire week analyzing projects with potential. The second round is done on-site, as jury members interact with the physical product, judging it up close, and on a much more real and tactile level. The third round is where things get interesting. Imagine giving your own TED talk about your project… The third round is just that! An oral evaluation round, where contestants are required to present their idea in the format of an oral presentation to an audience of judges, business heads, media personnel, and consumers.

Good design comes in many shapes and forms, which is why each design need individual attention and a fresh approach. The exhaustive judging process for the DIA Awards involves closely inspecting and reviewing every aspect of every product, down from its brief, intent, to its visual expression (your presentation and rendering skills), to description, proof-of-concept, and finally to your ability to talk about your product. After this degree of scrutiny, the products that emerge victorious truly look a class apart. They’re clearly defined, well-designed, and address a very established void or need in the marketplace. Winners of the DIA Award receive a hefty cash prize that goes up to 1 million RMB (approx. $145,000 USD), and are armed with all the skills and assets needed to take their product to the next step. Winners also get inducted into the “DIA Platform”, a platform that integrates hundreds of venture capitals, incubators, manufacturing enterprises and governments. Excellent participants are also invited to industrial events including capital docking, product hatching, intellectual property auction, etc.

Sending your project through the Design Intelligence Awards helps accelerate its growth and put the project as well as you on a trajectory to success. Scroll below to look at some of the winners of the DIA Awards over the years. Chances are you’ve probably heard of or seen them somewhere or the other, just because they’re so brilliantly defined, designed, and executed!

Click Here to Apply Now! Last Date for Submission: May 28th, 2019. Hurry, only 13 days left!

Vibram Furoshiki by Vibram S.p.A.

Ditching shoelaces, velcros, and those new-fangled self-lacing robotic shoe-fastening alternatives, the Furoshiki by Vibram is an innovative new way to wear shoes.

Developed by Vibram, a leader in outdoor, leisure, work, fashion, orthopedic footwear, the Furoshiki’s revolutionary nature comes from the way it’s work. The Furoshiki is a flat piece of footwear that wraps around the foot, securing it in place. This wrapping action allows the shoes to secure themselves tightly around your foot, taking its shape. Additionally, the shoes can be manufactured and shipped as singular, flat SKUs, making them economical.

A winner of the DIA Excellence Award, the New Vibram Furoshiki “wrapping soles” are comfortable, secure, light, easy to carry around, easy to clean, and most importantly, easy to wear!

KanDao Obsidian 3D VR Camera by JU&KE Studio

Colored black to look powerful and premium, and christened Obsidian because it’s an unshakeable force to reckon with, KanDao’s VR camera comes with 6 fisheye lenses arranged in a hexagonal layout. Here’s where the mind-boggling feature list begins. The Obsidian doesn’t just shoot in 360°. It shoots in 3D 360°, and at a boggling resolution of 8K, using a clever algorithm that processes both left and right channels, stitching together the videos and images captured in real-time.

Awarded a DIA Excellence award, the Obsidian is beautiful, useful, and innovative. Its design combines aspects of sheer desirability, with an interplay of matte black and copper, and contains an absolute powerhouse of technology on the inside!

HEXA Robot by Vincross Inc.

With 6 legs that give it much more dexterity and balance than a quadriped, the HEXA is a talented, adorable robot that can walk on any surface and perform quite a few tasks. The all-terrain hexapod comes with an open operating system, a web camera, multiple hardware interfaces, and a powerful SDK, which you can use to develop skills for the robot, using basic If/Then tasks to give it commands. HEXA can react by walking, waving, grabbing, sending data or controlling connected Internet of Things devices.

The DIA Innovation Award winning HEXA successfully completed its kickstarter campaign, and even secured another design award on the way to its design and commercial success!

NUMS Ultra-thin Smart Keyboard by Beijing Luckey Technology Co., Ltd.

NUMS’ stunning innovation comes from its conceptual simplicity and functional effectiveness. It recognizes a problem, and solves it in the most ingenious way possible, without extra moving parts, and without a learning curve. A simple transparent piece of plastic with adhesive at one end and no circuitry whatsoever, the NUMS just sits on your laptop, giving you the magic of a numpad (and much more) on your portable computing device.

The sticker, aside from acting as a protective guard for your trackpad, bestows it with the powers of a virtual numpad. Install the NUMS driver and you’re ready to go. Swipe down diagonally from the top right corner to toggle between trackpad mode and numpad mode. The NUMS can be used for crunching numbers, keeping accounts, and even for games! Moreover, within the NUMS software, you can program buttons to act as hotkeys and shortcuts, allowing you to open softwares, run scripts, and just be an absolute powerhouse of productivity!

Securing the DIA Excellence Award, the NUMS is just ingenious as it is simple. It provides extra features without any compromise or additional effort… and it’s so thin you practically don’t notice it. Who thought a small plastic sticker and a powerful idea could accomplish so much?!

YEV Electric Violin by Yamaha

Electric instruments, unlike acoustic ones, don’t rely on air vibrations to generate sound. They do it through fluctuations in a magnetic field caused by the vibrating strings… so in essence, an electric instrument doesn’t need to be voluminous, or hollow. The YEV capitalizes on that, with its intriguing body that explores organic curves and a skeletal design. Extremely strong and lightweight, the YEV stands out on stage for having no apparent rear surface regardless of the angle it is viewed from, and truly shines as a bastion for creativity… an essential in music! Available in both 4 and 5 stringed variants, this DIA Top 100 Award winning instrument is also backed by Yamaha’s world class audio engineering.

Papier Machine by Marion Pinaffo & Raphaël Pluvinage

Designers Marion Pinaffo and Raphaël Pluvinage are using paper to build simple machines and gadgets. Titled Papier Machine (a play on the word Papier Mache), the designers compiled a 13-page book where pages can be torn off and folded into various different electronic mini-machines and sensors (that can sense mass, humidity, wind, and even color… all made out of paper!), powered by simple off-the-shelf batteries. The DIA Excellence Award winning paper electro-toys rely on special types of conductive ink that are screen-printed onto the pages, bringing much more to the table than just colorful visuals. I wonder what we’ll be able to do with paper next?!

Heng Balance Lamp by Zanwen Li

The Heng Balance Lamp is perhaps one of the best examples of how awards and coverage can absolutely propel a design! This DIA Top 100 Award winning lamp is a brilliant way of showing how a product interaction that is taken for granted can be turned into a new experience that’s so entertaining, rewarding, and enriching, it absolutely piques your interest… even if you were looking at a video of it online! The Heng Balance Lamp operates rather simply. Two wooden spheres (with magnets within) are secured by strings on either end of the Heng’s inner periphery. Lift the lower sphere closer to the upper one and magnetic attraction causes them to pull towards each other, and to tug on the lower string, causing the lamp to switch on. Break the magnetic attraction and the lower sphere goes limp, and the light switches off. I could probably do this all day!

Niu M Electric Scooter by Beijing Niu Technology

Designed to breathe a new breath of life into the category of electric scooters (which have been around in China for a long time), the Niu M1 is a visual reawakening for the category, making sustainable zero-emission transportation aesthetic and cool again. The Niu M1 is bold, has a clearly defined design aesthetic, silhouette, and color palette. Designed and optimized for a brilliant riding experience, the M1 comes with a robust, ergonomic design and even includes anti-theft measures by allowing the bike to communicate any alerts to you via the Niu app. The DIA Top 100 Award winning bike rekindles the love for electric scooters with its friendly, fresh design… plus that circular headlight is virtually iconic!

Mono 3D Printed Eyewear by ITUM

Imparting a new aesthetic to eyewear is just one of the things Mono does. It also makes spectacles, a product heavily dependent on ergonomic and anthropometric design, easy to customize. Made in a single piece, these eyepieces can be adjusted to suit your facial measurements, giving you a great (or quirky) looking pair of spectacles that fit your face perfectly. Aside from that, print the Mono spectacles in a resilient, robust polymer and they can resist breakage, giving you a pair of specs that don’t accidentally shatter if you sit or step on them. A winner of the DIA Top 100 Award, the Mono spectacles are innovative and disruptive on many levels. They can be customized, are designed to be flexible, and come with an innovatively designed spiral hinge that gives the temple-pieces their flexibility. Additionally, the lenses on the Mono can easily be ejected by applying pressure with your fingers, giving you the ability to slip in tinted sunglass lenses whenever you want!

HikVision Parking Robot by HikRobotics

Perhaps the most useful application for self-driving tech is in the area of driving that annoys most drivers. Parking. Hik Vision’s self-driving palette helps out by doing that task for you. The robot sits under a metal platform that carries your car. All you do is drive onto the platform, making sure your car is perfectly positioned on it, and parking robot does the rest. Using inertial navigation, visual navigation, and a set of wheels that allow the palette to travel in any direction, including rotating in place, the robot carries your car to the nearest parking spot and gingerly lowers the platform down onto the ground. Once summoned, the robot lifts the platform and your car up, and carries it back to you, eliminating pretty much any undesirable parking experience you’d otherwise have if you were parking the car yourself.

The HikVision Parking Robot is a winner of the highly coveted DIA Gold Award because of how simply it executes and solves a complex problem that automotive companies still haven’t cracked. It uses self-driving technology in an area riddled with user-problems and solves all of them effortlessly. Imagine never having to worry about parking your vehicle ever again!!

– DIA Award is set awards of Gold Award (2 Prizes – $145,000/Prize)
– Silver Award (10 Prizes – $29,000/Prize)
– Bronze Award (10 Prizes – $ 14,000/Prize)
– Honorable Mention (around 300 prizes)
– “Design Yiwu” Special award is set awards of First prize (2 Prizes – $21,000/Prize),
– Second prize (3 Prizes – $14,000/Prize)
– Third prize (5 Prizes – $7,000/Prize)
– Excellent award (10 Prizes – $1,500/Prize)

Click Here to Apply Now! Last Date for Submission: May 28th, 2019. Hurry, only 13 days left!

These self-driving robo-palettes will park your car while you go shopping

Perhaps the most useful application for self-driving tech is in the area of driving that annoys most drivers. Parking. Parking is perhaps the one reason I don’t enjoy driving. Looking for a spot, and then struggling to parallel park (and eventually take out) your car from said spot requires patience, skill, and willpower… virtues that I don’t possess, but a robot could.

Hik Vision’s award-winning self-driving palette helps out by doing that task for you. Unlike other parking-assistant-robots that tug your car, the Hik Vision Parking Robot operates your car from underneath it. The robot sits under a metal platform that carries your car. All you do is drive onto the platform, making sure your car is perfectly positioned on it, and parking robot does the rest. Using inertial navigation, visual navigation, and a set of wheels that allow the palette to travel in any direction, including rotating in place, the robot carries your car to the nearest parking spot and gingerly lowers the platform down onto the ground. Once summoned, the robot lifts the platform and your car up, and carries it back to you, eliminating pretty much any undesirable parking experience you’d otherwise have if you were parking the car yourself.

The Hik Vision Parking Robot is a Gold Winner of the Design Intelligence Award for the year 2018.

Designer: HikRobotics

These Twig-shaped Dumbbells will bulk you up!

When you think about it, a twig-shaped dumbbell is rather ironic, right? The word twig is often used to describe skinny or scrawny arms or legs, and dumbbells, well, they help bulk up arms. The Twig dumbbells are an innovative dumbbell design by Ji Hoon Lee. With a handle and three prongs on each side, the weight of these dumbbells can be changed simply by switching the prongs.

The prongs or branches of the Twig are individual weights. Different prongs come with different weights and you can simply switch them to make each individual Twig heavier or lighter… although they’re sure to always look visually light, thanks to their twig-like form. Wait! That’s probably the idea! To get you to psychologically lift more by fooling your eyes into thinking you’re lifting tiny, weightless branches! Pretty clever!

The Twig Dumbbell is a winner of the A’ Design Award for the year 2019.

Designer: Ji Hoon Lee