Formerly known as the Michelin Challenge, the “Movin’On Challenge Design” is now accepting entries for 2022!




With its new brand name and its newly unveiled theme for the 2022 leg of the competition, the Movin’On Challenge Design is all set to revolutionize the world of transport and make it sustainable, equitable, and beneficial to everyone.

Formerly known as the Michelin Challenge Design, the international competition has a rich 21-year history when it comes to fostering and encouraging innovation from the brightest minds in the design industry. Over the last two decades, the challenge issued a broad brief to designers, asking them to create concept electric vehicles, conceptual Le Mans race cars, and even its 2021 brief — “Respect”, a call to end the mobility divide between people from different communities, walks of life, and with different abilities. Michelin Challenge Design became Movin’On Challenge Design in 2020, reflecting its integration as a featured program of the Movin’On Summit, the world’s foremost gathering for sustainable mobility. Created and inspired by Michelin, the Summit brings together large companies, startups, public and academic authorities, NGOs, and international organizations, as well as a community of experts and professionals to move from ambition to action.

The Movin’On Challenge Design now enters its 2022 edition with its competition theme: DELIVERED. The brief of the theme is to invite designers to focus on logistical equality and equitability, or being able to get goods and services to the people who need them. Nearly 30 percent of the world’s population lives outside urban centers and an equal number reside in economically depressed urban areas with sub-standard infrastructure. The 2022 Movin’On Challenge invites participants to design a mobility solution to provide essential services to all people in a safe, efficient, and sustainable way. The challenge isn’t even a transportation-focused one anymore. It’s open to artists, designers, engineers, architects, city planners, creatives, or anyone with a strong vision to build a more equitable, sustainable future by considering mankind’s need for and relation to mobility. Participants are encouraged to:

  • Identify the people or communities that your solution would serve, by including related research, and how it will improve their quality of life.
  • Explain how your idea is built on the foundation of inclusive design to enhance the human experience, and not simply to make services more convenient for those who already have access.
  • Illustrate how your innovative solution will deliver services to people.

The 2022 Movin’On Challenge Design is now accepting entries up until its submission deadline of March 1st, 2022. The Challenge’s top three winners will be announced at a Movin’On global event in June and concurrently through Movin’On social media channels. Through its first 21 challenges, the competition has received more than 14,700 entries from 136 countries. Scroll down to see a few of our favorites from the 2021 challenge, with its theme: RESPECT.

Click Here to participate in the Movin’On Challenge Design 2022. Deadline for entries: March 1st, 2022.


Crosswing by Drew Spahn

The Crosswing’s clever design turns a prosthetic leg into a skateboard that the prosthetic-wearer can use to skateboard – either for recreation or transportation. The prosthetic leg features a fold-out skateboard that when closed, provides the same walking experience as a prosthetic leg but when opened out, offers a riding experience that compares to a skateboard or pair of skates! The multipurpose artificial limb “turns a disadvantage into an advantage”, mentions Spahn, a fourth-year industrial design student at Kean University.

T.Flex by Siavash Jafari Jozani

T.Flex is an Adaptive Extreme Sports Wheelchair that aims to redefine the pleasure of having an active lifestyle with an enjoyable machine for individuals with limited lower-body mobility. Traditional wheelchairs are designed to be steady and balanced, a feature that becomes a problem for people who want their mobility solutions to be flexible, freeing, and frankly, thrilling. The T.Flex incorporates an innovative steering and a flexible structure to realize this freedom. Moreover, the riding position is highly customizable to meet the needs of individuals with diverse body characteristics, including paraplegics, above-knee amputees, below-knee amputees, and a host of other disabilities. While incredibly unconventional as a design solution, the T.Flex does justice to the 2021 challenge’s theme, giving respect to its user and allowing even the disabled to enjoy the thrills of racing and extreme sports!

Orbit by Seongha Lee, Byunghyun Bae, Byungyoon Jung and Minsun Lee

A modern solution for a modern problem, the Orbit is a mass-transit system designed to provide public transport for people with agoraphobia. The pandemic has drawn major attention to the need to socially distance, although people with agoraphobia find it difficult to be around other people, to begin with. Orbit aims to hit two birds with one stone, providing a public transport system that’s accommodating for all, while still creating a private, personalized travel experience. The larger vehicle acts as a ‘movable nest’ for smaller pods that can independently dislodge from the main body of the Orbit and complete last-mile pickups and drop-offs for people. The main vehicle covers fixed frequent routes while the individual pods provide access in remote areas, picking them up from their locations and taking them to the main vehicle, which transports everyone in their own enclosed bubble!

Tramo by Stefan Perriard

Tramo imagines transportation in a world without cars. Designed for the futuristic car-free city, Tramo offers an equitable mode of transport that’s safe, human-centric, and truly for everyone. The design adopts the shape of a pod-like platform that traverses across the city’s roadways. Its unique design makes space for people who want to stand or sit, as well as for wheelchairs and baby strollers. Designer Stefan Perriard describes Tramo as “a flexible solution with no need for stations — like a moving sidewalk” that you can hop onto or hop off from.

Concept Holosafe by Kiran Babu

The Indian Railways is among one of the world’s largest rail networks, although 41% of its accidents and 63% of its fatalities happen OUTSIDE the train, on railway crossings. Kiran Babu’s Concept Holosafe aims at making the railway crossing not only safer but much more informative too. There’s a sense of complacency when you see the barricade descend at a railway crossing, and most people simply assume that they’ve got a reasonable window of time to cross before the train ACTUALLY arrives because the barricade doesn’t tell you how long you have to wait. This attitude is so prevalent at unmanned crossings in India that the government has decided to completely close off all unmanned crossings in the interest of public safety. Kiran Babu’s solution is a novel one that promotes safety by eliminating complacency and replacing it with actionable information. While it isn’t entirely possible to prevent people from crossing over at unmanned railway crossings, Babu’s solution implements a holographic counter that acts as a ‘traffic light’ of sorts. The holographic barricade creates a virtual ‘red zone’ with a countdown clock to let people know how long they’ll be waiting at the crossing, and when the train passes by, it turns into a green zone with a countdown clock too, giving people a realistic idea of the time they’ve got before the zone turns red again. Sounds a lot like a certain Squid Game event, but hey… this one’s actually designed to SAVE lives!

Click Here to participate in the Movin’On Challenge Design 2022. Deadline for entries: March 1st, 2022.

The post Formerly known as the Michelin Challenge, the “Movin’On Challenge Design” is now accepting entries for 2022! first appeared on Yanko Design.

FluidStance Level Balance Board Review

PROS:


  • 360-degree freedom of motion

  • Eco-friendly materials and production process

  • First-ever balance board with NEAT Certification

CONS:


  • Wooden deck can be slippery and tough

  • Metal base can be easily scratched

  • Expensive (especially with mats)

RATINGS:

AESTHETICS
ERGONOMICS
SUSTAINABILITY / REPAIRABILITY
VALUE FOR MONEY

EDITOR'S QUOTE:

The FluidStance Level may not be the most affordable option in the market, but you'd be hard-pressed to find one that strikes a good balance between design, ergonomics, and sustainability. Its handsome looks, 360-degree range of motion, and focus on protecting the environment make the price tag feel like a long-term investment rather than an expensive one-off purchase.

Working at home in the past two years has brought to light the poor habits and postures we develop while in the office. Standing desks have long been a fad among more health-conscious knowledge workers, but that is really only half the equation. Constant or regular movement is the other part, but that has been more difficult to observe if you’re you’re the type that’s glued to the computer for hours on end. Balance boards, although not completely new, are gaining more traction lately, and we put the FluidStance’s Level balance board under our feet to check out if its promises are worth its price.

Aesthetics

People would be forgiven for thinking you’re skating dangerously close to insane levels of fitness obsession when they see you seemingly hovering on a skateboard while standing by your desk. The FluidStance Level is indeed designed to resemble the familiar shape of a skateboard precisely because it is a familiar and well-tested design. And like a skateboard, you might feel proud of yourself after you’ve learned the tricks of the trade, perhaps forgetting how odd one might look.

Fortunately, the Level is actually a thing of beauty, which might sound odd for something that is meant to always be at your feet. You at least won’t be embarrassed when seeing the premium maple wood that makes up the top deck of the board. Available in Natural (Light) and Walnut (Dark) finishes, it almost feels like a shame to mar its surface with dirt from your shoes. In practice, you might not always see that natural wood stain if you prefer to always use the board with some foam.

Even the Level’s metal bottom isn’t something to be ashamed of. Made from military-grade die-cast aluminum, the concave form of that base provides the freedom of motion that many balance boards lack. The webbed structure, on the other hand, delivers the flexibility and strength to support people weighing 300 lbs or lighter. It also makes for an interesting visual design when you prop up the board against the wall when not in use.

All-in-all, the Level weighs only 7 lbs, which FluidStance amusingly compares to a small cat. You won’t be carrying it around a lot, of course, and will most likely place it near your desk most of the time. Still, that’s a good thing to note, in case you’ve set up standing desks at home and in your private office.

FluidStance’s choice of materials and manufacturing processes, however, does have some consequences when it comes to the product’s longevity. Wood, of course, ages and scratches over time, which can both be a source of distinctive design marks as well as damages. More worrying, perhaps, is the powder coating on the aluminum base that could wear off or be scratched more easily, depending on the floor’s surface. Fortunately, FluidStance does have solutions for both problems.

Ergonomics

As a balance board, the Level solves two problems that plain standing desks don’t sufficiently address. Simply standing at your desk all day, while an improvement over sitting all the time, doesn’t exactly heap on the benefits of being active. The famed Mayo Clinic developed a new Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis or NEAT Certification to indicate products or activities that keep the body active without going into a formal state of exercise. The Level is one of the first few of its kind to be awarded this new marketing metric, promising to help you burn calories while you’re standing.

Standing all day at your desk can also be unhealthy for your legs and feet, and other options like walking treadmills or even exercise bikes might be over the top. A balance board helps provide that natural movement needed by our bodies without taxing our lower limbs. The Level’s advantage over other boards is that its design allows users to pivot a full 360 degrees rather than being limited to rolling motions in one direction only. Its range of motion or ROM has been measured to be equivalent to normal walking motions.

These benefits do come with some learning curve, especially if you’re not used to standing while working in the first place. The constant motion feels anything but natural but also becomes familiar and almost second nature after a few days of continuous use. Even while constantly being in motion, it’s still advised to take breaks in between to give your legs and feet a well-deserved rest.

There are also some usability side-effects of the Level’s materials. The wooden board makes using it with just socks or bare feet a big no-no for safety reasons. At the same time, the hard flat surface can still wear out your heels even when wearing footwear. FluidStance sells a UPmat made from 100% recyclable “PLUSfoam” to provide some cushion, but that’s an extra purchase.

There will also be concerns about the metal base coming in contact with whatever material the floor is made of. Unsurprisingly, the company also sells a separate Base Mat to protect both the floor and the board’s base.

Sustainability

Although its core focus is health and fitness, FluidStance is proud to be part of the new breed of designers and companies that make sure they have as little impact on the environment as much as possible. The company, however, doesn’t simply stop at the choice of materials but also in the processes used to craft them. The powder-coating process for the aluminum base, for example, has a considerably lower footprint, almost zero emissions, when compared to typical painting and anodizing processes.

It’s also more easily repairable, too, to some extent. The wooden deck can be unscrewed if it needs to be replaced, though you might have to find ways to get your hands on a new one. If there’s any shortcoming with FluidStance’s strong sustainability efforts, it’s that it doesn’t make it non-trivial to buy replacement wooden decks. You will definitely want that UPmat to keep the top in usable shape for as long as possible.

Fortunately, FluidStance’s accessories are just as environment-friendly as the Level itself, or at least the company promises. That Base Mat may be made of 100% virgin polycarbonate to make it as strong as bulletproof glass, but it is also advertised to be fully recyclable.

Value

The Level already sets itself apart from other balance boards with its design and commitment to sustainability. Unfortunately, it also sets itself apart with its price, and not in a good way. At $249, it’s easily one of the more expensive balance boards in the market, and that’s just for the board itself.

The UPmat provides comfort and support to your feet and legs while protecting the surface of the wooden top. The Base Mat makes sure that the Level is usable on any floor surface or material you have, While keeping the wear and tear on the powder-coated die-cast aluminum to a minimum. At $69 and $99, respectively, these items look like accessories, but they might actually be necessities, bringing the total package up to $417.

The big question, however, is whether it’s actually worth that much. Fortunately for FluidStance, there isn’t much competition in the market yet, at least with its combination of design, ergonomics, and environment focus. There are definitely other alternatives, but few manage to check all those marks equally. Even better, FluidStance actually has a more affordable “The Plane” option, though that ditches the wood and metal materials and is designed for lighter people 250 lbs and below.

Verdict

When health experts preached the good news of standing desks, they seemed to have forgotten the impact those would have on our feet and legs. They also didn’t dwell much on the fact that you don’t really burn calories while simply standing and that you actually require more movement to gain the benefits of a non-sedentary work lifestyle. Balance boards are becoming the next and more viable trend after desk treadmills and bikes, and, naturally, not all of them were made equal.

The FluidStance Level brings balance in more ways than one. It doesn’t immediately strike one as an exercise product, unlike other balance boards, and is designed to be environment-friendly right from the start of the production process. The price tag might be a bit shocking, especially when you consider you might really want to get the two mats the company sells. Thankfully, it’s built to last, too, making it an investment that will keep you moving even while standing in place in front of your computer.

The post FluidStance Level Balance Board Review first appeared on Yanko Design.

The International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) 2022 Is Open for Entries Across 20 Categories!




The iPhone, the MacBook Pro, the Tesla Model S, the Oculus Rift, the Xbox, all have one thing in common. They’ve all received the International Design Excellence Award. A mark that rewards the best and brightest in design, the awards are now back for their 42nd edition and you can apply too, to stand a chance to have your work put on the same platform as some of the world’s greatest designs!

The International Design Excellence Awards (or IDEA for short) is organized every year by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), America’s foremost and oldest organization for Industrial Designers. Originally founded to recognize exceptional achievement in industrial design, the program has since grown to highlight design in many connected disciplines including design strategy, branding, digital interaction and so much more. “For anyone who is a maker, who is building something, it’s the ultimate achievement to get an IDEA. IDEA is the award by designers, for designers”, says Yves Béhar, IDSA member, founder of fuseproject, and multi-IDEA winner.

Winning an IDEA puts your design on the biggest creative platform there is, giving it recognition alongside some of the most lauded and life-changing products in years gone by. The awards accept entries across a wide gamut of experience levels, with a dedicated section for students too. Agnostic to brand or studio size, the IDEA rewards sheer creativity, and IDEA-winning designs and designers receive significant international publicity and exposure, including high-profile industry promotion by IDSA and across media outlets. All winners are featured in IDSA’s annual Yearbook of Design Excellence, a standout collector’s edition magazine distributed to a global audience of design and business executives, and winning IDEA products are also entered into the permanent collection of The Henry Ford Museum, where they remain ever-present symbols of ingenuity and mastery of craft. The designers also receive the highly coveted IDEA trophy, which can be pulled apart to showcase the letters I-D-E-A (you can view the history and the design process of the trophy in the video above!)

The 42nd annual International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA)®, presented by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), is now open for entry through March 21, 2022. Entries are open across a myriad of categories for designers, studios, brands, and even for students. The IDEA 2022 categories are Automotive & Transportation, Branding, Children’s Products, Commercial & Industrial Products, Concepts & Speculative Design, Consumer Technology, Design Strategy, Digital Interaction, Environments, Home (including Kitchen & Bath), Furniture & Lighting (including Outdoor Furniture), Lifestyle & Accessories, Medical & Health, Office & Accessories, Outdoor & Gardens, Packaging, Service Design, Social Impact Design, Sports, Leisure & Recreation, and Student Design (including any physical or digital product, service, or experience created during collegiate student coursework).

Heading the jury panel this year is IDSA member and VP of Design at Airbnb, Tim Allen. The diverse IDEA 2022 jury also includes top designers from Dolby Laboratories, Fjord, GE Appliances. HP, Medtronic, Radio Flyer, Above, Signify, and more. The International Design Excellence Awards saw a record-breaking 2,081 submissions from 25 countries in 2021 (we’ve highlighted a few of our favorites below). The awards program now enters its 42nd edition in 2022, and you can enter your product/design by visiting the IDEA website. This year, all IDEA winners will be honored at the IDEA Ceremony & Gala in Seattle, preceding the International Design Conference 2022 (Sept. 12-14).

Click Here to Visit the IDEA Website and Submit Your Design! Entry Phase ends on March 21st, 2022.

Xbox Adaptive Controller (Best In Show)

Designed primarily to meet the needs of gamers with limited mobility, the Xbox Adaptive Controller is a unified hub for devices that make gaming more accessible. It was built from the ground up through strong partnerships with The AbleGamers Charity, The Cerebral Palsy Foundation, SpecialEffect, Warfighter Engaged, and many community members. Input from these groups helped shape the design, functionality, and packaging of the Xbox Adaptive Controller, which can even additionally be supplemented with external devices such as switches, buttons, mounts, and joysticks to create a customized controller experience.

Eargo Neo Hearing Aids and Charger Case (Jury Chair’s Award & People’s Choice Award)

Dieter Rams’ principles for Good Design ring incredibly true with the Eargo Neo Hearing Aids, a pair of hearing aids so small, they do their job incredibly well without screaming for attention or validation. The earpieces sit snugly within each ear in a way that makes them practically invisible to the eye, uplifting the lives of people with hearing impairment in a way that lets them live normal lives without any social stigma. Eargo Neo features a sleeker profile than previous generations, with corrosion-resistant steel charging contacts for enhanced durability. Replaceable Flexi Palm tips made from soft medical-grade silicone conform to users’ ear canals, providing improved comfort and acoustic performance. The rechargeable Neo contains a full day’s charge and comes with a portable charger case that protects and charges the hearing aids when not in use.

Hyundai IONIQ 5

The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 is the closest we’ve felt to driving an iPhone, in a good way. It brings modern, distinctive, and sleek design, innovation, ease of use, and allure, things that Apple has so compellingly mastered. What’s immediately clear, this electric car was created with great ambition, with genuine intention, and not out of compliance. The Ioniq 5 is built on Hyundai’s just-out-of-the-box all-electric platform—called EGMP, or Electric Global Modular Platform—and is the first of many pure-electric vehicles to come. Being built on a dedicated platform allows for reimagined thinking, from the outset.

Cognixion One AR Headset

Cognixion One is the world’s first wearable speech-generating device, combining a Brain-Computer-Interface with Augmented Reality to enable communication in those with disabilities like never before. Three context-aware, predictive keyboard options, radial sentence builder tools, and an integrated AI assistant are all powered by 6 occipital-placed electrodes and 4G mobility, enabling comfortable use and functionality to the wearer, who’s presented with a new, intuitive way to communicate with the world. Designed for tetraplegic users with communication disabilities, the technology is usable in any position, in any environment.

TômTex Sustainable Faux Leather (Student Gold Winner)

TômTex is a sustainable artificial leather that’s made from just two ingredients and chances are, you’ll never ever be able to guess them! Crafted from just two bio-based ingredients, seashell waste and coffee grounds, TômTex uses no tanning process or backing material, offering an alternative to leather that may not be vegan, but is incredibly sustainable given that it uses only waste for its raw materials. “It is a solution that makes productive use of the more than 9 million tons of wasted coffee grounds produced globally each year and the 6–8 million tons of shellfish waste generated by the food industry annually”, says Uyen Tran of Parsons School of Design. It also provides an alternative for the toxic tanning process, which isn’t just harmful to the environment, it’s hazardous for the workers who use the chemical tanning agents too.

Elves – Shinola Camping Accessory Set

By massively upgrading the camping experience, Elves makes the outdoors just as comfortable and enjoyable as relaxing indoors. The camping accessories boast of a minimal yet functional design that borders on the sleek appeal of glamping, while still being energy efficient and having a minimal carbon footprint. At the very heart of the design is the innovative fireplace that runs on solar energy and emits thermal energy without a flame. It’s perfect for cooking food on as well as for roasting marshmallows, and the legs of the fireplace even come with integrated lamps to illuminate your campsite, giving you an experience that feels familiar, yet is radically different and better!

Nebia by Moen Spa Shower

Designed in partnership with Moen’s shower design, Nebia’s showerhead works with water droplets that are less than a millimeter thick. Just like a 4K screen has smaller and more clustered pixels as compared to a 720p screen, Nebia’s showerhead creates what the company calls a “high definition” shower experience. Now that may be marketing-speak, but the shower definitely covers a larger area than a regular shower, especially with its ring-shaped Rainshower head and the shower wand, that bombard you with rain-like water sprays from not just the top, but even the front. That perfect stream of well-heated water is courtesy of the specially engineered nozzles within the Nebia by Moen which don’t work as flow regulators, but rather function as pressure regulators which help it deliver a consistent experience no matter which part of the world you’re in.

PlayStation 5

As polarizing as its organic, alien-inspired design may be, the PlayStation 5’s incredible demand really cements its reputation as the most popular gaming console of all time. The whole structure is designed to look as if it were formed by floating components, accentuating its slim appearance. On the inside, haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, and 3D Audio deliver deeper immersion, while the power of a custom CPU, GPU, and SSD is harnessed to rewrite the rules of what the PlayStation 5 console is really capable of. With a performance that’s out of this world, it helps that the PS5 looks otherworldly too!

Click Here to Visit the IDEA Website and Submit Your Design! Entry Phase ends on March 21st, 2022.

The post The International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) 2022 Is Open for Entries Across 20 Categories! first appeared on Yanko Design.

Braun Series 9 Pro Foil Electric Shaver Review

Technology is meant to make our lives simpler, easier, and more convenient. That is true for the complex computers in our pockets to the mundane electrical products scattered around our homes. Electric shavers are probably some of the last things you’d consider to be technological innovations, but every new generation does try to add a little something new that tries to help us free up time for the more important things in life. Braun’s new Series 9 Pro electric shaver is one such example, and we give it a few tries to see if those incremental improvements do add up.

Aesthetics

As the name suggests, the Braun Series 9 Pro builds upon an older base model, one that was launched six years ago. The electric shaver company hasn’t exactly been sitting on its during that period but had released other incremental upgrades to the Series 9 foil shavers. The Braun Series 9 Pro may sound like the culmination of those improvements, but it’s easy enough to mistake it for its predecessors because of how they all look eerily similar.

Granted, electric shavers of this type tend to share the same basic design, and the Series 9 Pro is definitely not an outlier. Like many of its kind, its design is utilitarian rather than aesthetic, putting a heavier emphasis on handling and ergonomics rather than looks. Since a shaver is something you’ll hold for minutes on end, often a few times a week, comfort is definitely near the top of the list, with safety and performance being the greatest concern.

To that extent, it’s not really surprising that the majority of the Braun Series 9 Pro is made of plastic that’s painted to look like polished metal. Although definitely not environment-friendly nor sustainable, aluminum would have made the shaver too heavy. The plastic coating, however, is a fingerprint magnet, and you might lose a lot of time trying to make it look pristine after every use. Unlike the chrome finish on the front, the Series 9 Pro’s back is covered with a dimpled rubber material that is clearly more for ergonomics than looks.

The electric shaver doesn’t have many design elements to distract the user from its intended purpose. Aside from the large shaver head, the only other part that really calls your attention is the textured thumb rest in the middle, with a “PrecisionLock” switch and the power button below it. There’s also an LED screen for the battery and travel lock indicators, but don’t expect a high-quality display. In fact, you might even notice a bit of backlight bleeding around the icons.

The Braun Series 9 Pro comes with a 5-in-1 SmartCare Center “dock” and, depending on the actual model, a PowerCase with a built-in battery. The latter makes this travel case less conducive for travel, making the mostly plastic case heavier than it looks. The SmartCare station follows the Series 9 Pro’s very basic design, with a single power button as its only user interface.

Ergonomics

As a product that’s meant to be held with one hand for slightly longer periods of time and multiple days a week, Braun designed its Series 9 shavers to be comfortable to use. The choice of lightweight plastic materials and the rubber cover on the back work towards that end, but they thankfully don’t cheapen the feel of the device. The Series 9 Pro feels solid and durable, designed to face the wear and tear of semi-daily use.

The contours of the electric shaver let most hands grasp the body firmly, but it’s the rubber back and the textured thumb rest that really gives you a grip on it. The lack of a cord dangling out of the shaver’s body definitely adds to its usability. In fact, you can’t even use it while it’s plugged in, so you have to be sure there’s enough charge remaining for your use.

While the head can only move back and forth, the four cutting foils can each move independently, depending on the pressure applied and the surface they’re moving on. Together, this range of motions allows the Braun Series 9 Pro to smoothly move on almost any surface of your head, including your scalp. But in case you prefer having more direct control over the head’s movement, the PrecisionLock below the thumb rest can keep the head still while still letting the foils move on their own.

The Braun Series 9 Pro, just like its predecessors, is clearly designed for ease of use, but one particular part of it seems to stick out like a sore thumb, almost literally. The shaver hides a “precision trimmer” that slides out from its bottom that’s meant to be used for trimming beards. Unfortunately, its location makes it a bit awkward to use in its default position, forcing you to turn the shaver upside-down instead. It doesn’t work that well, either, so it might be the most underutilized part of the shaver anyway.

Sustainability

There is a growing trend among some consumer electronics manufacturers, including smartphone makers, where sustainability or at least eco-friendliness has become an advertising point. Although they can’t completely do away with some materials, they try to at least reduce their use, especially in packaging. Braun, unfortunately, isn’t there yet, and the Series 9 Pro definitely won’t score marks in this department.

The use of plastics and rubber might be understandable, at least given the limits of today’s materials, but the company could have still taken small steps towards reducing waste. One example is the charging cable, which uses Braun’s two-pronged connector. Given the aim of portability, it could have taken the opportunity to adopt USB-C since many people today have phones that charge over that standard. That said, it does have the advantage that you can use new accessories like the PowerCase with older Series 9 shaver models that use the same proprietary connector, saving you the expense and hassle of buying a new cord if you already have one.

Like traditional consumer electronics, Braun didn’t build its shavers with self-repair in mind. None of its shavers are easily repairable, and the only replaceable parts are the cassette holding the cutting elements and the head itself. Once broken or worn down, there is no room for repairs, and these have to be thrown out. Braun doesn’t have any guidance or system for recycling these parts either, which could have gone a long way in getting the company started in a more sustainable direction.

Performance

The Braun Series 9 Pro closely resembles the rest of its family in both design and function, but the biggest upgrade it got is one you can only see and feel after using it regularly for a while. Braun is advertising a new 4+1 Shaving Elements and a “ProLift Trimmer” that’s meant to catch long and hard-to-reach hairs, or at least that’s the theory. In practice, it gets close but not close enough.

The Series 9 Pro generally works well and gives a close shave, managing longer hairs that have grown for as long as seven days. It’s no magic wand that will make your facial hair disappear with one flick, though. You might have to do a few passes in areas like the neck. And despite the flexibility of motion, getting to those hairs under the nose can get a bit tricky, too.

Part of the Series 9 Pro’s trick is its powerful motors, but that increased power does come at some price. Although not unbearably loud, the shaver still produces enough audible noise to call attention to it or, worse, wake someone up. The shaver could also sometimes feel a bit rougher on your skin, though not enough to produce discomfort or irritation unless you have extremely sensitive skin. There’s a tendency, unfortunately, to have the occasional pinched skin or get a long hair snagged.

Braun advertises about 60 minutes of use with a full battery, and it’s pretty much on point in that estimate. Charging the shaver, on the other hand, takes a good 50 minutes to full. And that’s when the Series 9 Pro is plugged directly. The PowerCase almost doubles its battery life but naturally charges a lot slower. The SmartCare Center also charges the shaver, but only when it’s not cleaning it.

That “dock” is actually one of the biggest highlights of the Series 9 shavers and is what makes this particular family easy to use and maintain. Simply plopping the Series 9 Pro in its “cradle” and pressing the power button initiates not only a cleaning process but also a lubrication session. Of course, you can clean the shaver manually and might want to do a thorough cleaning from time to time, but this worry-free maintenance definitely takes some burden off owners’ shoulders.

Value

At $349.99, the Braun Series 9 Pro is one of the more expensive electric shaves in the market; there’s just no escaping that fact. It doesn’t have one killer feature that easily makes it stand out, but it’s the sum of its parts that can justify its price. Fortunately, there are also other aspects that help soften the blow, but it’s still a bitter pill to swallow in the end.

There is, for example, an option to buy one without the PowerCase, but that only saves you $20. Braun’s Series 9 accessories and parts are also mostly interchangeable and backward compatible, so you can at least stop worrying about your shaver being obsolete when the next Series 9 model appears. It definitely feels more like a long-term investment rather than a regular purchase, and hopefully, the shaver will last as long as you need it, at least until Braun launches the Series 10 in a few years.

Verdict

Electric shavers are almost a dime a dozen these days, but not many have been able to really deliver on the promise of a quick but close shave. Braun has been at it for years, especially with the Series 9, and the Series 9 Pro, in particular, tries to combine all those lessons learned into a single package. It definitely comes close but also comes up short in a few places as well.

Its powerful motor and new head design definitely get close and personal with longer hair, but you’ll still need more than just a few passes to weed out the more stubborn ones. Its power comes with a bit of roughness, but the real cost is in the literal price. Even Braun’s older Series 9 shavers could offer close to the same performance for less.

As far as product design goes, however, the Series 9 Pro doesn’t exactly offer anything innovative or exciting. Its use of light but durable plastic and grippy rubber is a standard among electric shavers, though it tries to add a bit of glamor with some silver coating, a few gold accents, and an ergonomic shape. It’s durable to boot, and its SmartCare Center dock helps make sure it will last longer, which is for the best since there’s very little in the Braun Series 9 Pro that’s built to last or be easily replaced and recycled.

The post Braun Series 9 Pro Foil Electric Shaver Review first appeared on Yanko Design.

Offsite’s ‘Learn From Home’ approach is making great design education more accessible to everyone




The notion that good education/learning MUST come from a university or from working is a flawed one. Offsite’s mentorship courses and programs are disrupting design education by enabling industry leaders to spread knowledge to budding design talent in a setting that’s less formal and expensive than a college, less demanding than a workplace, while still being just as (if not even more) enriching.

Offsite just announced the dates for their 2022 Spring Cohort – a twelve-week long online course (available in two stages) that introduces applicants to the concepts of industrial design and allows them to hone their design thinking abilities and develop the hard skills required in the industry. The two comprehensive courses are open to non-designers and design students alike, giving them a 12-week-long primer that helps them develop the exact skill set required by the industry today, led by senior designers and industry professionals. Enrollment for the courses has begun and applications close on the 10th of January 2022. If you’re someone who’s flirted with the idea of pursuing Industrial Design, or you’re a young Industrial Designer looking to upgrade their skill set, you can apply for the courses using the link below! Keep reading for important dates and course details.

Click Here to Register Now!

Dates:

Monday, January 10, 2022 — Applications Close
Sunday, January 30, 2022 — Acceptance Notification
Monday, February 14, 2022 — Instruction Begins
Monday, March 14, 2022 — Week Break
Monday, March 21, 2022 — Week Break
Friday, May 6, 2022 — Program Concludes

Cohort 01: Breaking into Design

Works of Aleksander Schmidt

Breaking into Design is a 12-week, four-course program. Students will learn the hard skills required to begin sketching, rapid prototyping to test and validate their ideas; alongside the soft skills of form development and the design process.

Works of Maria Jose Grijalba

Who Can Apply? If you’ve never heard of industrial design, never picked up a pen to sketch, built a prototype, never questioned where the objects around you come from, but you have a passion to learn more about it—this program is for you.

Cohort 02: Levelling Up

Works by Eugenio Schiano

Works by Eugenio Schiano

Works by Eugenio Schiano

Works by Eugenio Schiano

Leveling Up is a 12-week program that caters to teaching students skills related to – design within business, design discourse, sketching to communicate, product visualization, professional self-presentation, design for manufacturing. Students who have completed the 12 weeks of instruction will be ready to take on their next career move, whether it’s their first internship or next job.

Works of Erik Oeckinghaus

Works of Erik Oeckinghaus

Who Can Apply? If you’re a current design student or working professional looking to level up your product design skills—from fabrication, interfacing with business partners, or overall presentation of yourself and your work—this program is for you.

Click Here to Register Now!

The post Offsite’s ‘Learn From Home’ approach is making great design education more accessible to everyone first appeared on Yanko Design.

Holme and Hadfield Watch Deck Review

The advent of smartwatches may have made it feel like we only ever need one timepiece, but not everyone has subscribed to the hi-tech wearable trend. And even with a smartwatch, there will always be a place for more traditional watches, especially those from luxury brands. Some even have two or more of these, and it often becomes a worry and a chore to organize them inside boxes with tiny pillows. Holme and Hadfield has designed a way to keep some of those watches organized while putting them up for display. But are the Watch Deck and its siblings the best way to take care of your luxury timepieces, or are they just pretty faces?

Aesthetics

Watch collectors and serious watch owners are probably familiar with traditional watch boxes. They keep your watches organized and protected, but they aren’t exactly flattering. They are often also cumbersome to use, requiring a multi-step process to remove a watch and then put the cushion back inside the box. The Holme and Hadfield Watch Deck does away with all of that and lets you showcase your favorite watches when not in use.

The majority of the Watch Deck is made of wood, from the box itself to the holders to the drawer. The company describes it as a sturdy “medium-density fiberboard” material that will withstand the test of time, with proper care, of course. The three available finishes of Oak, Walnut, and Black all look elegant and perfectly fit any classic timepiece you choose to put on top.

The transparent cover, however, is almost the complete opposite of the box. Very discerning eyes will be able to tell that it isn’t glass, and that’s actually for better and for worse. The acrylic top removes fears and worries when handling the cover, especially when repeatedly removing it to fetch the watch you’ve chosen to wear for that day. However, it also slightly cheapens the overall impact of the Watch Deck, especially once you realize its true nature, and raises concerns about the product’s sustainability.

There are no metal parts in the Watch Deck or its smaller siblings, at least not that are visible and large enough to affect the quality and operation of the box. No gears or slides to wear and tear over time, and nothing to affect the watches themselves. Even the drawer operates on a simple wooden system, which also has its own set of drawbacks.

Holme and Hadfield’s watch cases blend well with almost any kind of room or furniture thanks to its minimalist design, though there will certainly be instances where its wood and glass motif might clash with some themes. The color option will be a bigger point of consideration when buying a Watch Deck, but one that pleasantly contrasts its surrounding can also work in its favor. After all, what better way to call attention to your watch collection than by having an Oak or Walnut box that visually pops out in the middle of a predominantly black and white shelf?

Ergonomics

The Watch Deck’s simple design is also reflected in its simple use. You really don’t need instructions for this kind of product, and you simply remove the acrylic cover to place or take out a watch for use. Likewise, you pull out the drawer to remove or place a wallet, glasses, and other trinkets inside. What you have to mind, instead, are the physical dimensions of the watch holders and the drawers, which limit what you could place in them.

The wooden watch holder posts themselves were designed with 45mm watches in mind. Watches with smaller or shorter straps might not be able to wrap around the posts properly. Conversely, watches with larger bodies might prevent the case from closing, though some have had luck with 51mm watches inside.

Even with all watches fitting well, there will be some worries that the wooden surface might scratch the watches or that the watches would end up scratching each other. The posts are fortunately spaced apart sufficiently that the watches won’t rub against each other. The smooth finish of the Watch Deck’s surfaces also helps reduce the chances of the watches themselves getting scratched.

The Watch Deck’s drawer is about 12.5 inches wide, 4.4 inches long, and 1.8 inches deep. It’s big enough to fit a regular-sized wallet or eyeglasses and a few other items like a key fob. There are even small compartments inside for rings and coins. The two-piece “Weekender” and single-piece “Daily” naturally have less room inside. The drawer moves smoothly when you pull it but stops completely at a certain point. You don’t have to worry about pulling too far or the draw falling off when transporting the Deck.

As mentioned, these drawers don’t use any metal to stay in place and move, which lessens the number of things that could break or fall apart. Unfortunately, a pure wooden drawer system requires more precision and design to operate smoothly. It is easy for the drawer’s slots to misalign, and, over time, the friction will wear down those wooden points of contact, and it will be difficult to fix this when the time comes.

Sustainability

You would think that a wooden box like the Watch Deck is the ultimate sustainable product, but that’s only half true. Being able to repair or service a product is also part of its longevity. Craftmanship isn’t just about the design but also about the quality of its execution, and Holme and Hadfield’s watch holders raise very important questions.

The lack of metal parts reduces the number of materials required to make the Watch Deck, but it might also make things like the drawer harder to repair when slots misalign, or the wood has worn down. There are even some customer complaints about drawers that weren’t as smooth as they should be right out of the box.

The biggest blemish on the Watch Deck’s face is the one that you might not always see, depending on how clean it is. Hard-quality acrylic is substantially tougher than glass, of course, and it will also last longer. It doesn’t look nor feel premium, though, and it is definitely not one that is easily repairable or replaceable. When it does get deformed, scratched, or broken, there is very little choice but to discard or replace it, and it isn’t the most recyclable material on the market.

To be fair, Holme and Hadfield doesn’t exactly make sustainability an advertising point for its products. Its use of wood is an aesthetic decision rather than one with a mind towards the environment or future generations. At its price point, it’s probably not surprising that the Watch Deck isn’t something that is playing for keeps, but you’d hope that the younger generation of designers would actually try to make a lasting positive impact not just in design but also on the environment.

Value

Assigning value to a product, especially designer products, isn’t exactly straightforward. That said, value shouldn’t be based solely on appearances, something that’s presumed to be the default for these items. Design, after all, isn’t just about looking good, and product design ensures that things also work the way they were intended to, which often means trying to solve a particular problem.

The Holme and Hadfield Watch Deck definitely checks most of the boxes. It looks handsome on top of any room decor. Its minimalist wooden design and clear acrylic case make sure that your watches are the center of attraction. It even has a compartment to hide other possessions from view but still keep them within easy reach.

The clincher is its price tag, which is almost scandalous for something that’s considered a designer item. For less than $100, you get a stylish holder for four of your favorite watches and a chest for everything else. At that price, it’s almost too easy to just buy a new piece if the current one breaks, which is probably why longevity doesn’t seem to be a high priority.

Verdict

While smartwatches are turning age-old wrist-worn timepieces into more hi-tech but utilitarian objects, there is still a great number that sees watches as more than just accessories. Some do treat them as luxury items and symbols of social status, but there are those that see in them the epitome of excellent product design.

The Holme and Hadfield Watch Deck provides a pedestal that shines the spotlight on these timeless tellers of time. Made from sturdy wooden material and fine finishes contrast perfectly with the metallic bodies of the majority of watches, at least the ones you will proudly show off to everyone that pays attention. The choice of acrylic might be a bit questionable from a sustainability standpoint, but it makes the case easier to use and worry-free.

Perhaps more importantly, the Watch Deck is also a testament that great design and great value don’t always have to come with a high price tag. Admittedly, not all watch connoisseurs will be happy with some of the design choices, but Holme and Hadfield clearly wants to deliver the message that living a life by design doesn’t always have to be expensive.

The post Holme and Hadfield Watch Deck Review first appeared on Yanko Design.

Lunar Artefacts Pointer Instrument (Lunar Optic) Review – Sports Car Looks

PROS:


  • Eye-catching sports car design with a translucent top cover

  • Offers Bluetooth, wireless (RF), and wired connectivity

  • Can be used on glass or reflective surfaces

  • Easy to repair and replace broken parts

CONS:


  • Ergonomics requires a bit of getting used to

  • Doesn't offer advanced mouse features for its price range

RATING:

AESTHETICS
ERGONOMICS
PERFORMANCE
SUSTAINABILITY / REPAIRABILITY
VALUE FOR MONEY

EDITOR'S QUOTE:

The Lunar Artefacts Pointer Instrument changes the way you think a computer mouse can look like and its easy-to-repair design completely changes the game. The lack of features for its price tag, however, could put off more advanced computer users.

Computers and their peripherals are probably the last consumer products that one would normally associate with beautiful design, especially if you’ve seen how these electronic contraptions looked in the earliest days of personal computing. Apple can perhaps be credited for making consumers not only more conscious of well-designed gadgets but also become more accepting of the price one has to pay for them. There has been a steady stream of designer products that try to add some visual appeal to computers and accessories but focus more on appearances at the expense of actual utility. Lunar Artefacts of London, however, wants to prove you can have beauty, functionality, and longevity, so we take the Pointer Instrument Lunar Optic model for a spin to see if it is really the only mouse you’ll ever need.

Aesthetics

Lunar Artefacts compares its Pointer Instruments, its alternative name for a computer mouse, with the Corvette Stingray, and it’s clear that the device’s design is inspired by sports cars rather than other mice. The contours make it look like it was designed with aerodynamics in mind, and you almost expect it to glide over your desk with very little push. As we’ll see later, it is, in fact, designed to operate smoothly with very minimal effort, at least from your arm.

There are quite a few variations of the Pointer Instrument, depending on the material used for the top cover and the base. The Lunar Optic, for example, combines a translucent top that should delight technophiles and an aluminum base that is designed to be lightweight. Those who prefer a bit of heft can opt for the Solar Optic model that uses brass for its base instead.

The choice of leather for other models might be a bit controversial. Genuine full-grain leather is, of course, known for letting the skin breathe, but hands tend to get sweaty when using computer mice, regardless of the environment. It will also wear and tear over time, but that is something that Lunar Artefacts ironically encourages people to embrace. These materials are promised to age beautifully, and you can always replace them should they become unbearable to look at.

Ergonomics

The Lunar Artefacts Pointer Instrument doesn’t look like your run-of-the-mill mouse, even when compared to some of the more esoteric gaming mice available in the market. That unique visual identity, however, does have consequences for the usability of the product and could feel alien in your hand at first. The company itself admits it will need a bit of getting used to, which could hamper your productivity for a while.

Lunar Artefacts insists that it’s worth the time you put into it, though, as it will supposedly improve your comfort over time. Unlike regular mice, you don’t need to grip the Pointer Instrument, and your hand is supposed to rest comfortably on the surface instead. The ambidextrous design of the mouse will surely be of comfort to left-handed users, but the rest of your fingers might feel at a loss where to rest.

Curiously, Lunar Artefacts sells an optional nylon Accessory Grip that basically mimics the shape of a gaming mouse. Unfortunately, that’s an added expense you might not be aware of, and it would have probably been better if it was included in the box, especially since the company admits that no one size fits all.

The designers did at least concede that different people have different preferences when it comes to how heavy or light they want their mice to be, especially when gaming is involved. The luminous aluminum shell that most closely resembles the dark hues of computer mice weighs in at only 120 grams for those who have more precise motion control and prefer a lighter touch. At 195 grams, the brass shell has slightly more heft, offering a solid feel that isn’t uncomfortably heavy.

Sustainability

Designers today have become more aware of the ecological ramifications of their products, and many have made it their mission to create sustainable designs that are also accessible to regular people. When it comes to consumer electronics, how easily repairable or recyclable products are have become major selling points, and the Pointer Instrument probably gets top marks for it. The box it comes in can even be reused as a photo frame, even though it might not be the best way to show off your face. Fortunately, the packaging uses recyclable materials, so it still scores points even if you decide not to use it as the designers intended.

Many companies and designers boast about products sourced from sustainable or environment-friendly materials, but there are times when the use of plastic is almost unavoidable. Plastic does last a long time, but the problem starts when it begins to show its age or needs to be replaced. Lunar Artefacts does have a Lifetime Repair Service program that could handle the proper disposal of such materials, but it still puts a question mark on the Pointer Instrument’s overall sustainability.

Although there might be some debate about how sustainable the materials are, they are at least meant to last longer than your usual plastic. More importantly, however, almost every critical part of the mouse except for the circuit board can be easily replaced. Lunar Artefacts even has a handy video guide on how to disassemble and reassemble the Pointer Instrument, assuring buyers that almost anyone can do that.

The slight hitch to this proposition is that you will have to know where to buy those replacement parts. Although those components might not be that difficult to find online, it would have been dandy if Lunar Artefacts itself sold those or at least connected customers to shops that sell them.

Performance

The Pointer Instrument has been likened to a sports car in design, but does it behave like a Corvette Stingray as well? It’s definitely not a slouch, offering up to 3000 DPI precision, but that’s just about it. If a mouse’s performance is to be judged by the number of buttons it has, including programmable ones, or the beating it can take from a trigger-happy finger, this designer mouse might fail to impress.

It does have one feature that not all computer mice have, even the more expensive ones. It can be used on any surface, including glass or reflective materials that often throw off optical mice. You can, of course, still buy a leather mouse pad from Lunar Artefacts if you just want a matching set.

While it might lack buttons, the Pointer Instrument definitely doesn’t lack connectivity options. In addition to both Bluetooth and RF Wireless, you can also connect it using the USB-C cable that is also used for charging it. It even supports wireless charging if you have a Qi-compatible wireless charging pad large enough to hold it.

Value

Designer products are often more expensive than their common retail counterparts, and not just because they’re designer products. In addition to the thought and extra care that’s put into them, the materials used also play a part in the overall cost of making the product. The Lunar Artefacts Pointer Instrument clearly has those marks, but the question is whether it’s worth that £155 ($200) price tag.

It’s a difficult question to answer and mostly depends on what you would use a computer mouse for. It will hardly perform as well as a dedicated gaming mouse and would easily wear out the buttons repeatedly, even if you could replace it again and again. There are also other ergonomic mice designed with a plethora of features that cost a lot less, though they definitely have nothing on the Pointer Instrument in terms of dapper looks.

Verdict

Lunar Artefacts of London is challenging the concept of a computer mouse. Often considered expendable except by PC gamers, mice are often bought and discarded at rates higher than any other computer peripheral. While people can get attached to their keyboards and have them repaired as much as possible, mice are often just replaced, their discarded carcasses filling up landfills the world all over.

The Pointer Instrument turns that idea on its head, and the Lunar Optic model gives it a visual flair that could appeal to computer users that fancy transparent or translucent designs. Although the sports car inspiration might not stand the test of time, the Lunar Artefacts Pointer Instrument definitely will, as long as there are replacement parts available. At its price tag, you might want this to really be the last mouse you’ll ever buy, and, fortunately, it was built to be that way.

But even when the Lunar Artefacts Pointer Instrument does age, owners will find that it ages gracefully and beautifully as well. When the leather top develops scuffs, and when the aluminum and brass bodies start to grow patinas over time, the mouse begins to take on a more personalized appearance the differs from owner to owner, depending on how they use the device. This way, the Pointer Instrument becomes more than just a utilitarian mouse that you discard after it has served its purpose. It becomes, instead, a more visible and tangible record of your life, growing old along with its owner in an almost personal way.

The post Lunar Artefacts Pointer Instrument (Lunar Optic) Review – Sports Car Looks first appeared on Yanko Design.

The Acropolis of Athens among the multiple lighting design entries to win the 2021 LIT Design Awards

Envisioned as the eminent award program for identifying and rewarding great lighting designs (while also supporting and nurturing the ever-growing lighting industry), the LIT Design Awards announced the winners for their 2021 edition. The underlying ethos of the awards program is that lighting is both an art and a science, and is one of the most important elements of design. Light is also one of the most important forms of energy, unlocking our ability to see, and playing a pivotal role in our visual sense. The LIT Design Awards were envisioned to celebrate creativity and innovation in the fields of lighting products and applications.

Held annually, the LIT Design Awards are the brain-child of the Farmani Group, who have also helped pioneer and organize other prestigious design awards and recognitions like the International Design Awards (IDA), Architecture Masterprize, DNA Paris Design Awards, London International Creative Awards, Prix de la Photographie in Paris, and the Annual Lucie Awards for Photography. With as many as 47 categories in Lighting Product Design and 31 categories in Lighting Design represented, LIT is one of the most comprehensive lighting design competitions, uniting creativity, and innovation. Winning entries are selected by an esteemed jury of designers and leaders in the lighting, interior design, and architectural fields, and receive the coveted LIT trophy, a cash prize of $1000 (for the Emerging Designer/Product), and extensive publicity showcasing their designs and products to an international audience.

Visit the LIT Design Award website to see all the winning designs for the year 2021.

A little while ago, the LIT Design Awards announced the winners of their 2021 edition, with the designers behind the new lighting for the Acropolis unanimously winning the Lighting Designer of the Year Award. The award also recognized the contributions of Tony Lawrence (Lighting Product Director at Concord Lighting part of the Feilo Sylvania), and Craig A. Bernecker (Professor of Lighting Design at Parsons School of Design and Founder of the Lighting Education Institute) with the LIT Lifetime Achievement Award, and presented the 2021 Spotlight Prize to the LUCI Association, a non-profit organization bringing together over 70 member towns and cities worldwide that use light as a tool for social, cultural, and economic development.

Scroll down to take a look at some of the inspirational winners of this year’s LIT Design Awards, or visit the LIT website to see all the winning designs for the year 2021!

Acropolis of Athens and Monuments by Eleftheria Deko & Associates (Lighting Designer of the Year)

The Acropolis of Athens stands as one of the oldest, grandest monuments of human civilization. Among its many testaments, it also happens to be this year’s winning entry for Lighting Design of the Year at the LIT Lighting Awards. The award doesn’t go to the monument itself, but rather goes to the designers behind its newly unveiled lighting, Eleftheria Deko & Associates. “We approached the monuments first with respect”, says principal designer Eleftheria Deko. “Before applying our thoughts on paper we observed the characteristics of this unique place, studied its history, the forms and materials, the visibility from different points of the city, and the significance of this landmark.” The lighting project’s most difficult task is to play a secondary role in the project, seeking to highlight not itself, but the architectural landmark instead. The lighting illuminates the Acropolis in a way that makes the site look outstanding at night from multiple directions both up close and from afar, bringing a new life into the monuments of the Acropolis.

Opteris Chandelier by Opteris Studio (Lighting Product Design of the Year)

The Opteris chandelier pays homage to the Tomopteris, a deep-sea creature. Looking almost like a grand sculpture (akin to the skeletal recreations seen in museums) that hangs directly above a table, the Opteris has a commanding appearance with its incredibly dynamic design and truly unique aesthetic. The lighting fixture is composed of two parallel frames which are interwoven with 104 unique cherry wood fins which interlock on the frames. The result is a chandelier that’s organic and asymmetric, making it look different from every angle, so you’re greeted with a new view no matter where you observe the chandelier from!

Star in Motion by Koert Vermeulen & ACTLD

Perched atop the Kingdom Tower for the lighting festival Noor Riyadh 2021, Koert Vermeulen’s Star in Motion illuminates the skies above the capital city of Saudi Arabia while subconsciously underscoring the festival’s theme, Under One Sky. Throughout the world, in most major religions, stars represent the luminaries that gleam, glow and flicker throughout the heavens. The massive star measures 6.2 meters in diameter and hangs 257 meters above the ground. It comes outfitted with 520 linear meters of LED strips that emit a stunning 1.2 million lumens of light, adding a bright, sparkling jewel in Riyadh’s skyline!

Nantong Grand Theater by Tungsten Studio

Located around a rather picturesque contoured lake, the Nantong Grand Theater adopts an undulating roof that resembles two concert pianos releasing melodious music. On the opposite side of the lake (facing the city) the building has a softly curved, white stage tower, like a light auspicious cloud, stopping on the shore of Zilang Lake, guiding pedestrians to the lake and showing them the beautiful and moving lakeshore landscape. Often, in the pursuit of impactful architecture, buildings look iconic from their top view while looking relatively plain when viewed from the ground. The Nantong Grand Theater, however, ensures a wonderfully artistic facade even when viewed by the pedestrians… something that’s rather fitting, considering the theater is home to art itself!

Hanabi 2020 by Deep Origin Innovation Lab

Japanese for ‘firework’, the Hanabi installation definitely looks the part! The chandelier comes with thousands of pipes diverging out of a single point, with LEDs at the end of them, creating the impression of a firework exploding in the sky. Named Hanabi 2020, the installation draws a parallel between the firework destroying itself in the sky and the destruction and pain of the year 2020, while also serving as a reminder that like fireworks themselves, pain is ephemeral too, and will soon pass… and that one should focus on the beautiful memory the firework/pain leaves behind in our mind.

Serif by Kuzco Lighting

The Serif Collection features clean, angular geometries colliding in harmony. Minimal yet impactful, the rings of light seem to float organically in air, and are individually adjustable, creating a wonderfully asymmetric and versatile piece of lighting that can be oriented to create both 2D and 3D forms, adding visual drama to any space!

Urban Bloom by CA PLAN

Completed in December 2020, the Urban Bloom is a remodeling project of the Galleria Department Store, a landmark in Daejeon built in the 1990s. Covering the façade, 5700 petal modules of nature-inspired concept were all designed in different shapes and sizes through algorithms, and LED modules were installed at the center of the flower to create a media façade. The beauty of the Urban Bloom is that it makes use of light in different ways during the day and the night. In daylight, the Urban Bloom looks dynamic as the sun shifts from east to west, shining on the polygonal petals at different angles through the day to create vivid highlights and shadows… while at night, the entire structure comes to life as LEDs at the center of each flower light up, turning the entire building into a massive lighting installation!

Colms by Yellow Goat Design

Practically ushering in the Christmas spirit, the Colms literally is visualized as a massive tree-shaped chandelier that hangs from the ceiling. Designed, however, to look like shoots of bamboo, the Colms comes with 5 white columns and multiple golden bamboo-leaf tips arranged stylistically like an upside-down Ikebana-style flower arrangement that also happens to illuminate wonderfully at night, as LEDs within the aluminum columns light up and cause the golden leaves to shimmer and scatter light randomly across the room. Designed to be as sturdy as it is stunning, the Colms is a lighting set that can easily be customized too, to fit a whole variety of interior settings.

Visit the LIT Design Award website to see all the winning designs for the year 2021.

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At the Mindsailors Design Studio, powerful ideas travel from sketches to fully assembled products under one roof





When you say the words design process, the common misconception is that it’s a formulaic approach that leads to results… However, the design ‘process’ (which I believe isn’t the right word, to begin with) is a shapeshifting methodical approach that requires understanding a problem and time to develop a solution. For example – shaping a new design for a small, consumer electronic device takes a minimum of 6 months because, unlike writing code for a mobile app, where changes are done quickly (usually within a few days), in a physical product development world, design iterations can take weeks or months.

Click Here to Know More About Mindsailors.

While working on a project, designers progress from the more creatively fluid phase of visual design, to much more challenging and intensive phases as the concepts are detailed, reviewed, and built out. Developing the mechanical design of a new product consists of multiple tests using a variety of prototypes, a surplus of engineering to ensure robustness and usability, and keeping an eye on manufacturing technology demands. Additionally, the dynamic of the whole process is strongly influenced by the Client’s decision-making skills… although it helps if the design studio has a wealth of experience, and the multidisciplinary ability to progress rapidly from one stage to the next.

An in-home spirometer that allows you to track your results, and help eliminate severe hospitalizations due to acute and chronic exacerbations.

A multidisciplinary design studio based out of Poznan in Poland, Mindsailors contains every branch of the design and development process in-house, ensuring that ideas travel fast and designs are communicated between departments efficiently, from concepts to modeling, prototyping, electronic hardware integration, and even branding. This integrated approach has helped the Mindsailors make its impact too, with 15 years of experience, 4 iF Design Awards, and clients across various fields ranging from appliance and technology to even medical design and transportation design.

The video above does an incredibly standout job of explaining Mindsailors’ process and capabilities in a single sitting. All their projects begin first with research, scenario-building, and crafting the right design brief. It’s only then that the team gets to work ideating, sketching, refining, and detailing out concepts.

1. The teams start with a pre-design process to determine the scope of cooperation and project requirements. This helps create a comprehensible project brief that will serve as a blueprint for the designers/engineers in later stages, and will also help Mindsailors walk the client through the next steps so that they get a more detailed view on how the project will unfold and help achieve the client’s needs.

2. This is followed by a preliminary round of conceptual study that explores forms, palettes, technologies, and potential challenges. First, the teams collectively detail out 3 concepts that fit the brief, for clients/customers to examine before they present their thoughts.

3. Once a concept’s been approved, Mindsailors enters its second targeted conceptual study, during which they begin applying finishing touches, developing and testing PCB designs (if needed), and transferring the chosen concept’s ownership rights.

4. Conceptual studies are followed by the Mechanical Design phase, which requires deep-diving into the concept and building it from the inside out. The studio’s design & embedded teams begin creating a mechanically correct model in virtual space, along with electronics & firmware. This is followed by either creating the first prototype, or finding the right partners to help do it. The Mindsailors team helps with consulting, research, and finalizing materials + a datasheet required to create the first proper real-world prototype of the design.

5. Once a fully specced model is ready after defining/finalizing materials & creating a datasheet, the studio proceeds with its DFM (Design for Manufacturing) phase, where Mindsailors helps clients select manufacturing partners and technologies, and presents the clients with the BOM (Bill of Materials) that completely details the design down to its smallest components and processes. This BOM helps clients easily calculate costs and transition from a detailed product on paper to a mass-produced good in reality.

6. The next step is an actual production test-run of the design, with Mindsailors tapping into its nearly two decades worth of experience to help manufacture the first production batch. Mindsailors provides consultation with manufacturers/subcontractors, overlooks the production process, and depending on the nature of the product, sends the client a semi-finished or fully-finished first batch for them to analyze and review. This stage progresses differently depending on the project, but Mindsailors helps ensure that what was initially an idea or concept, or even a napkin sketch, gets carried forward into the real world as a well-conceived and well-designed product.





At the start of the pandemic, the team was approached by Acuva Technologies to develop a handheld UV disinfection device. The resulting Acuva Solarix is the most powerful disinfection device available on the market, and it fits into most pockets. The device comes with a folding shape that opens up into a wand, letting you wave it over surfaces that need disinfecting, and the UV lights do the job of neutralizing any microorganisms by dismantling their DNA. The team’s biggest constraint was time; practically racing against the clock as an invisible virus ravaged the country, Mindsailors helped put together the Solarix in record time, relying on their in-studio ability to take a rough concept and turn it into a mechanical design ready for prototyping and mass-manufacturing.





The award-winning studio also gives us a look into their process for designing the POTZ Genesis Watch Winder, for EU-based premium watch-accessory company, POTZ. In the video above, Design and Business Lead Tomasz Weber takes us through the journey behind designing the Genesis, and why it’s much more than just a simple rotating surface you put your watch on. The creative end of the design process saw the creation of 5 different concepts, post which the clients arrived at the slick black-box-inspired winder with its sophisticated yet mysterious design. However, the mechanical aspects of the watch winder proved to be much more challenging than expected, with details like hinges, holders, lights, motors, and the overall chassis requiring multiple tweaks and rounds of iteration. “Every part of the product had to be prototyped and tested”, Tomasz mentioned, highlighting that the studio’s in-house technical abilities allowed the entire process to move incredibly fast, eliminating unnecessary delays and allowing even the client to get a first-hand experience of the product right before the design handover.

It isn’t entirely common for designers or studios to be so forthcoming with their behind-the-scenes process, but Mindsailors believes this transparency helps clients understand and trust the process better. The 4-time iF Design Award-winning studio has worked with clients across fields ranging from appliance and technology to even medical design and transportation design, helping build the studio’s repertoire to handle a wide range of projects, with most of the design process occurring internally at their well-equipped studio. With 15 years of experience, the design and engineering studio has seen as many as 160 projects till their execution. You can check out more of their work by visiting their website below.

Click Here to Know More About Mindsailors.

The post At the Mindsailors Design Studio, powerful ideas travel from sketches to fully assembled products under one roof first appeared on Yanko Design.

The Parmigiano Reggiano Design Challenge 2021 just announced its results. Here are the winning designs!

Envisioned in partnership with iconic Italian brands Alessi and Kartell, the Parmigiano Reggiano® Design Challenge invited the design community to help “elevate the human experience through products that celebrate authenticity across the journey of enjoying a meal.”

The open competition, which ended on the 15th of October, saw nearly 500 submissions that were judged by an esteemed panel of judges that comprised Mauro Porcini, Karim Rashid, Ayse Birsel + Bibi Seck, and Pietro Rovatti. The competition’s winners (some of which are showcased below) span across 3 culinary-related categories – Cooking, Eating, and Sitting… and the jury awarded the overall Best Of The Show Winner prize to Qing Yan for designing Cillio – a range of ‘cheese cutlery’ that bordered on kitchen jewelry!

Click Here for The Complete List of Award Winners.

Aside from winning the award, Qing Yan also wins a one-week all-expenses-paid trip to Italy which includes a private tour of a Parmigiano Reggiano cheese-making facility, as well as separate VIP experiences at Alessi and Kartell’s facilities and museums!

Scroll below to see the Best Of The Show Winning Design, as well as some of our favorite designs from the jury-picked winners’ list!





Cillio Cheese Cutlery by Qing Yan (Best Of The Show Winner)

The Cillio celebrates cheese in its unique way by being a functional piece of art designed around the versatile world of cheeses. Elevating the experience of cheese cutting to a ‘ritual’, Qing Yan’s cutlery set takes inspiration from leaves, plants, and organic forms as a reference to the food tools used in earlier times, while bringing it effectively into modern society as ‘kitchen jewelry’ that celebrates all kinds of cheeses from around the world! Watch the video above to see the Cillio in action.

Bifur by Keber Li (Gold – Cooking Category)

Bifur is a nifty little compact scale that comes in the shape of a foldable trivet-style structure and also packs a kitchen timer in it. Designed to be small yet effective, and the kind of tool that becomes indispensable around the kitchen, the Bifur lets you measure the weight of ingredients during food prep, and time your cook too, once it begins cooking. When all’s said and done, the device folds down like a tripod into a tiny baton that you can easily stash in one of your kitchen drawers!

Ember by Adrian Perez (Silver – Cooking Category)

Designed to make baking accessible, Ember is a pretty unique little device that sits on your stovetop, using the stove’s flame to create the ideal conditions for baking. Working sort of like how a dutch oven does, the Ember does a much more advanced job when it comes to even heat distribution… plus it even has a convenient temperature indicator on the front that tells you the reading of the inside of the oven so you can regulate the stove flame accordingly.

Love Birds by Kickie Chudikova (Gold – Eating Category)

European cuisine will have you believe that salt and pepper are the ultimate condiments. Found at virtually every restaurant table (and even some at home), salt and pepper are a culinary match made in heaven, so Kickie Chudikova turned them into love birds! The Love Birds is a salt and pepper shaker set shaped like two birds kissing each other! The shakers have their respective openings at the beaks, which cleverly align together when sitting on the table to effectively ‘shut’ the openings to prevent moisture from getting into the shakers. Coincidentally, the feature also adds a touch of romance and cuteness to the table, making it perfect for date night!

Duet by Ed Ko (Silver – Eating Category)

Duet is a clever microplane grater that also comes with a size-appropriate measuring cup attached to it. Designed in a way that makes grating easy overall, the cup helps prop the grater up so you can hold it easily, while the cup itself comes with markings on the side that let you measure out how much you’ve grated. Pretty useful for anything from hard cheeses to even plants like garlic or ginger.

Cup by Alan Hung (Silver – Sitting Category)

Seating forms an integral part of the dining experience, which is why it was included as a category for the Parmigiano Reggiano Design Challenge too. The Cup chair by Alan Hung won the silver award for its refined aesthetic that took inspiration from food trays. The upper part of the chair features a molded veneer shape that resembles the lipped profile of food trays, while it rests on a rather comfortably shaped molded plastic base, that acts like the tabletop surface on which the food tray rests.

Hybrid by Stephen He (Bronze – Eating Category)

Hybrid is a chair that explores a rather unusual combination of materials that also have a role to play in food and dining. The chair comes with an aluminum base (aluminum can be found in all kinds of utensils) and a cork seat + backrest (cork is often used to make trivets to keep hot utensils on). The cork lends a softness to the chair, while the aluminum structure provides strength while being lightweight. Designer Stephen He also points out that both materials can stand the test of time, and if need be, can easily be recycled too!

Click Here for The Complete List of Award Winners.

The post The Parmigiano Reggiano Design Challenge 2021 just announced its results. Here are the winning designs! first appeared on Yanko Design.