Yanko Design and KeyShot announce the winners of the Material Design Challenge

With hundreds of entries over the 3-week competition time period, the YDxKeyShot Material Design Challenge finally came to a close with the winners being announced this week. The three winning entries showcase an incredibly versatile approach, proving exactly how capable KeyShot 11’s Material Graph and material designing abilities are.

The three winners distinctly stand in three separate categories. The Gold winning entry from Shahin Fathi explores the ability to put a realistic froth of bubbles on top of products, the Silver winning entry from Colin Ginn explored a unique parametric ‘chocolate chip cookie’ material with a lot of versatility, and the Bronze winning entry came from Nacho Riesco, who created an alluring cracked gold-leaf on wood texture that has great potential in furniture, interior, and even fashion rendering applications.

The judges declared Shahin the unanimous Gold Winner, but there were a few strong contenders for Silver and Bronze positions. Ultimately, the judges rated the entries on creativity as well as potential to be used across various industries. We congratulate the winners and are extremely grateful to everyone who participated!

Click Here to know more about KeyShot 11


Gold Winner – Shahin Fathi


Shahin Fathi (also known on Instagram by Predexign) was unanimously selected as the winning entry for its sheer creativity and impeccable execution. Jury member Sarang Sheth said, “Loved the idea and execution. This is exactly the kind of material I was expecting to come out of this competition.” The bubbles really push KeyShot 11’s textures to the limit. They’re incredibly realistic, and a simple drag and drop of the material onto a 3D object turns it into a foamy mass that has tonnes of applications in bathware, drinkware (think beer froth it coffee crema), and potentially even outdoor water scenes!
View Shahin’s winning entry below.

 

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A post shared by Shahin Fathi (@predexign)

Silver Winner – Colin Ginn


Colin Ginn secured the silver prize for his unique parametric chocolate chip cookie material. While the jury definitely found the material unique, they were impressed by the execution, the fact that it’s entirely parametric, and even the development animation that Colin created on his IG post. Jury member Janis Sne mentioned, “Collin did an outstanding job on this material challenge. I am very impressed by just looking at Collin’s Keyshot node material setup. He also made a great presentation, with a short animation of the texturing, that I highly appreciate. I think this designer really thought through everything and you can feel this love & passion into each 3D image.” The jury collectively also agreed that there was immense potential to adapt this material into a rocky, muddy ground material.
View Colin’s winning entry below.

 

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A post shared by Colin Ginn (@colin_ginn)

Bronze Winner – Nacho Riesco


The bronze prize was awarded to Nacho Riesco for his ‘cracked gold leaf on wood’ material. The material combined the best of both worlds, a realistic wooden texture and a cracked gold film on top. Jury member Preeti Jesudoss appreciated the “worn edges and organic-looking cracks” on the material and the jury collectively believed that the material also could potentially be used in creative art direction and even in fashion design applications.
View Nacho’s winning entry below.

Click Here to know more about KeyShot 11

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The Nothing phone (1) launch event was an oddly informal alternative to Apple’s polished keynotes

This keynote could have been an email…

After leaking the entire design online and giving tech YouTubers a first look, there was little left for Carl Pei to tell us about the phone… and that’s precisely what he did. First, he sat at a local cafe, and then moved to a tiny empty auditorium, seated for a majority of the event unlike any executive from your typical Silicon Valley keynote event. All this, Carl said, was Nothing’s way of challenging the status quo by being more ‘authentic’ (the event, he claimed, was also filmed entirely on the phone (1)). The cameras then moved to a corporate/community event in London, where the focus went from the phone itself to the company partners and design/development team. With as many as 80,000 people watching online, this was an odd way to reveal a product they hyped for so long. One person in the comments said, “Can’t believe we waited this long just to be told what we already knew about the phone”.

Back last month I predicted that the phone (1) design leak would put a lot of pressure on the company to have a grand slam launch. After leaking first the glyph, then the design, then the features, and then the tech specs, there was ‘nothing’ left to say about the phone. Heck, people even roughly knew what this thing was going to be priced at and where it was going to sell. However, I present to you, the Nothing phone (1).

Pei described the phone (1)’s glyph interface in detail, highlighting (quite literally) how it instantly set the smartphone apart from the sea of existing phones out there. The frame comes made of aluminum, making the phone (1) feel significantly lighter than the iPhone pro series, which comes with a stainless steel frame. Pei mentioned that the aluminum used in the frame was entirely recycled, and half the plastics used in the phone (1) were bioplastics too. The phone (1) is also the first known smartphone to also recycle all the tin used in its internal soldering, but whether the phone (1) is easily repairable wasn’t really discussed at all.

The front and back panels are both Gorilla Glass 5, although there was no official mention of how durable the phone is, and what degree of waterproofing it has (it would be a shame for water to leak into the back and condense around the glyph interface. The phone comes outfitted with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 778G+ processor, and Pei was especially eager to fire shots at other companies for their bloated OS, pointing how lightweight the Nothing OS was (although that’s available as a launcher for regular Android phones too). The OS also is built around interoperability and interconnectedness, as Carl mentioned the company worked with Tesla to allow the phone (1) to remotely operate your EV, letting you remotely blink its headlights or switch the AC on. This does leave us desiring for more, given that Pei’s boasted so much about how Nothing is creating its open ecosystem.

All in all though, the phone (1) is an objectively good phone on paper and remains to be proved by reviewers in the coming weeks. The screen has uniform bezels thanks to the use of a flexible OLED (something that even top-notch Android phones today don’t offer) and comes with a 120Hz refresh rate for smooth buttery transitions and usage. It also supports 10 million colors with HDR10+ rivaling the Dolby Vision in the iPhone. The phone (1) as is clearly evident, comes with two cameras on the back, although Pei mentions they’re both built to be ‘primary cameras’ with 50MP Sony sensors behind each (one of them is a 114° ultra-wide camera, slightly lesser than apple’s own 120° ultrawide shooter… but the most understated yet important feature on the phone (1) remains its price, which starts at £399 GBP (or $475 USD). While this won’t put a dent in the iPhone sales (the phone (1) won’t even sell in USA), it’s definitely going to make other Android companies bleed… mainly OnePlus. I’m sure that’ll make Pei smile just a little bit.

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The 2022 Design Intelligence Award is open and free for entry, with a massive $750,000 prize fund

Ask yourself. Is a design good if it won an award? Or is it good if it positively impacted people? The latter sounds like the most obvious option, right? Well, that’s the objective of China’s premier awards program, the Design Intelligence Award. Established in 2015 by the China Academy of Art, the DIA Award doesn’t just discover good design… It develops it. Working in part as an award program and in part as a product accelerator, the DIA Award celebrates innovation and entrepreneurial imagination. The free-to-enter award program has a two-round judging and evaluation process, with the aim to help develop products that uniquely benefit humanity. In doing so, the DIA Award also aims at creating a platform to accelerate international trade, increase connectivity, and open up commercial opportunities. After all, good design is only impactful when it reaches and benefits more people, right? To that end, the award program has even set up a prize fund worth ¥5 million RMB, or $750,000 USD to help incubate great ideas into great designs.

The Design Intelligence Award’s judging process occurs in two stages – a preliminary, and a more hands-on final one. During this time, an elite panel of 550 multidisciplinary design experts evaluates the entries based on three criteria/layers – 1) The fundamental layer emphasizes the “Principles of Design”, covering functionality, aesthetics, technicality, user experience, and sustainability. 2) The advanced layer emphasizes the “Direction of Design”, spanning contribution to humanity, industry, and the future. 3) The top layer emphasizes the “Impact of Design” in regard to social influence and industrial development.

Based on these criteria, the DIA Jury Panel selects 30 outstanding projects that are innovative and positively impactful. Winners get access to the DIA’s prize fund of ¥5 million RMB ($750,000 USD) with the winner alone getting ¥1 million RMB. Although that isn’t the end of it. All winners are invited to the DIA Award Ceremony to engage face-to-face with global representatives from various industries such as design, academic circles, media, etc. The award also organizes a set of expert lectures known as the D-WILL, sponsored by Zhejiang Modern Intelligent Manufacturing Promotion Center and Design Innovation Center of China Academy of Art, with the intent to spearhead innovation and connectivity. With “Meet design, Meet future” as its initial intention, the Lecture invites education experts, industry elites, and pioneers to share their achievements and insights in their personal research and careers with younger generations. Finally, winners get featured in the media as a part of a coordinated PR push to help get their work noticed by everybody. In fact, you can scroll down to see a few winners and honorable mentions from last year’s Design Intelligence Awards.

Have an innovative idea for a product or service? Want to win up to ¥1 million RMB ($147,000 USD) to help develop it into a tangible life-changing design? Click here to enroll for the 2022 Design Intelligence Awards FOR FREE!

X2 by HT Aerospace Technology Co.Ltd.

The X2 is an award-winning flying car, or what the designers like to call a ‘three dimensional transportation system’! With a cockpit no larger than your average automobile, the X2 sits two people and uses four propellers for vertical take-off and landing (VTOL). Its unique aesthetic is a combination of cyberpunk inspiration along with aerodynamism. The X2 takes on a teardrop shape for peak aerodynamic efficiency, but has an aesthetic that still puts it in somewhat car territory. If you’re wondering whether the X2 is also made from a bulletproof metal alloy like the Cybertruck, it isn’t. Instead, it uses a carbon-fiber interior and exterior to achieve that lightweight build needed to be an efficient ‘flying car’!

Tmall Genie Queen by Zhejiang Tmall Technology Co., Ltd

Designed to be a smart mirror, the Tmall Genie Queen isn’t just a mirror with a speaker attached. Instead, it’s an IoT-enabled grooming system that coaches you as you get ready, giving you grooming and makeup tips to help you look your best. The mirror comes equipped with Tmall’s voice AI, and even has a ring light built into the rim of the mirror that automatically illuminates to give you perfect lighting as you apply your makeup. Does it play music too? Well, obviously!

Carbon Fiber Violin by Jiang Mi

It isn’t a Stradivarius, but in the violin’s defence, makers of the Stradivarius probably didn’t have access to novel materials like carbon fiber. Carbon fiber, oddly enough, makes for a rather interesting material when it comes to acoustics. We’ve seen carbon fiber guitars and speakers in the past, although this might be the first carbon fiber violin we’ve ever laid our eyes upon. Designed with an incredibly sleek and streamlined body, this violin is a lot thinner than traditional violins, and lighter too. Designed using “injection molding methods” (although how one would do that for a hollow instrument is definitely puzzling), the violin comes with what looks like an entirely unibody design, making it much tougher than any other violin out there. It also means the violin can come in a host of different colors, bringing an entirely new appeal to the otherwise strictly traditional instrument.

ThinkPad X1 Fold by Lenovo

Designed to be the first ever folding-display laptop, the ThinkPad X1 Fold comes with a 13.3″ OLED display that folds in half, and a physical keyboard that attaches to the screen when you want to use it in laptop mode, and detaches to turn the X1 Fold into a folding tablet. This dramatically helps scale down the laptop’s original framework, making it mildly thicker, but smaller width-wise, thanks to the folding screen. Each X1 Folf also comes with a kickstand to prop the screen up, and a stylus that lets you experience the Windows-based tablet’s full potential.

Sadler Bike by AQL8 s.r.l.

If a folding tablet/laptop wasn’t enough, say hello to the Sadler – a folding hubless e-bike that crams down to the size of a trolley, making it the most compact folding e-bike in the world. The Sadler comes with a carbon fiber frame and a motor built into the rear hubless wheel. The bike’s minimalist design goes one step further thanks to its folding action, which makes it occupy less than half its original space. Designed in Italy, the Sadler bike weighs a nominal 15 kilograms, but can support nearly ten times its weight. The e-bike’s internal battery has a range of 90 kilometers, while the rear-wheel motor can hit speeds of up to 25 km/h, as specified by EU regulations.

Have an innovative idea for a product or service? Want to win up to ¥1 million RMB ($147,000 USD) to help develop it into a tangible life-changing design? Click here to enroll for the 2022 Design Intelligence Awards FOR FREE!

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PITAKA unveils a quick-travel iPad cover and the ultimate AirTag accessories at its Ecosystem live event

Held at their Ecosystem virtual event, tech accessory brand PITAKA unveiled a series of new products and accessories, complimenting their Pita!Flow line and helping their users live easier, more comfortable lives. Alongside these product announcements, PITAKA even made a commitment to recycling their own products in the best ways possible, while demonstrating how they could extract aramid fibers from molded panels by dissolving the resin and separating the fibers entirely.

The PITAKA Ecosystem event kicked off with their founder and CEO James Zheng taking the stage and explaining PITAKA’s global vision and how their existing products tied into it. Zheng highlighted their ASI (Accompany Small Innovators) program that invites enthusiastic patrons and supporters to come on board as advisors and co-innovators, helping PITAKA develop new products and experiences. Following the Pita!Flow lines for the iPhone and iPad, Zheng then went on to debut their latest collection dubbed the Pita!Tag, a 3-product accessory set revolving around the AirTag.

The first product in this series is the Pita!Tag for Multi-tool, a tiny AirTag holder that also packed 4 fold-out mini tools for all sorts of activities from tightening screws to opening boxes. The $59 Pita!Tag for Multi-tool is just marginally larger than the AirTag itself, and fits perfectly around a keychain, so you can carry it anywhere. The AirTag’s ultra-wideband technology would enhance the Multi-tool’s usability, ensuring you always have it handy and can track it when it’s lost.

An extension of that philosophy carried to PITAKA’s latest announcement within the Pita!Tag collection – Pita!Tag for Cable, a unique cable holder and organizer with an AirTag attached to it, so you’re never struggling to find a charging cable in your house, your office, or your backpack. The Pita!Tag for Cable comes with its own USB-C to Lightning cable plugged in, and has an AirTag attached to it too for good measure. There’s no price mentioned for this, and the company is set to formally launch it in August.

The final accessory within the Pita!Tag universe is the Pita!Tag for Lighter, an indoor/outdoor accessory that the company will reveal further during its launch in the winter. For now, the lighter and other Pita!Tag accessories help expand PITAKA’s EDC collection and lend the AirTag’s tracking abilities to them in a way that’s uniquely helpful to customers. PITAKA also highlighted that these designs properly ensured that the AirTag’s tracking abilities weren’t affected by them.

PITAKA’s biggest announcement for the event, however, was the FlipBook Case for the iPad. Designed to let you seamlessly switch between working on the iPad and traveling with it, the FlipBook Case ditched the past notion of what an iPad case was supposed to look like. Instead of being a bag or a sleeve that the iPad slides into, PITAKA’s FlipBook Case perpetually sits around your iPad and its Magic Keyboard. With the company’s signature Aramid-fiber trims, and magnetic handles that make grabbing the iPad easy, the FlipBook Case is a stylish number for your iPad that lets you transition between working and traveling in under 2 seconds. “We don’t create time, but we seize every minute for you”, the company says. The FlipBook Case starts at $89 and will be made available in late July. For good measure, it has a pocket to store belongings like cables, power banks, or even your iPhone.

Highlighting the need to have a reliable ecosystem of great products to support your life and the tech in it, PITAKA also briefly announced an upcoming line of travel suitcases called the Pita!Go, featuring the company’s signature minimal tech-forward style, along with modular components that ensure a longer lifespan and easy repairability. CEO James Zheng also dwelled further on PITAKA’s commitment to the environment, talking about how each product will forward PITAKA’s vision of sustainability and recycling. Parts from the suitcase will be recycled into the iPad case, and then into the iPhone case, and finally into watch straps, ensuring that a material or component goes through multiple life cycles instead of going straight into the landfill.

PITAKA plans to share more details on its Ecosystem in the future, along with other product releases. The ASI program is currently looking for fresh ideas for new products, especially for the Pita!Tag line. You can learn more on PITAKA’s website or enroll in their PITAKA ASI Program to be a part of the company’s future.

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Oppo announces the 2022 edition of its Renovators Emerging Artists Project with prizes up to $15K


Earlier this month, prominent tech brand OPPO unveiled and launched its 2022 Renovators event – an annual competition that rallies artists to infuse tech into art and use the result to create something that benefits or raises a mirror to society.

Now in its 4th iteration, OPPO Renovators Emerging Artists Project, inviting professional creatives, as well as students and professors at art and design institutes around the world, to submit interdisciplinary artwork that explores the fusion of art and tech. This year, OPPO has developed partnerships with top art and design colleges and universities in more than 230 cities across more than 40 countries and regions around the world. “To date, nearly ten thousand artists have participated in the program and several outstanding projects
have been further developed with OPPO’s support”, mentioned the brand in a press release.

Click Here to visit the OPPO Renovators 2022 website and participate – Last date for submission is August 18th, 2022.

The competition is held in two categories – one for Future Renovators, and one for Brand Renovators. Future Renovators are invited to help art, science, and tech collide in a way that uniquely benefits societies, while Brand Renovators are called upon for cross-art creation and IP building. 100 entries stand a chance to win awards once the competition comes to a close with results being announced on September 1st, 2022. Winners can secure prizes as high as 100,000 CNY ($14,948 USD) along with an internship opportunity sponsored by OPPO. Excellent artworks will also be showcased at London Design Festival, a themed exhibition in Shenzhen Sea World Art Center, and on OPPO INNO DAY.

The 2022 leg of the OPPO Renovators will be judged by an esteemed panel of 11 jury members who command the professional and education space, with Dajuin YAO of the China Academy of Art heading the Future Renovators category, and William Liu, VP of OPPO heading the Brand Renovators category. Click here to know more on the OPPO Renovators website where you can enroll to participate too!

Past Winners of the OPPO Renovators 2021 Project

‘Light High’ Art Installation by Jacqueline Wen

‘Light Breathing’ Art Installation

‘Heatwave Auxiliary Skin’ to help humans in hot climates

A.I. Intelligent Space by Jianwen Li

‘AutoGene’ Art Installation by Peter William Holden

Click Here to visit the OPPO Renovators 2022 website and participate – Last date for submission is August 18th, 2022.

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KeyShot and Yanko Design invite designers to create innovative new materials for the popular rendering software

We’re thrilled to announce the “YDxKeyShot Material Design Challenge”, a unique opportunity for designers to explore KeyShot 11’s powerful Material Graph and 3D Paint features to create the materials of their dreams. Winners will not only be awarded free KeyShot 11 Pro licenses, but will also get to see their material on the KeyShot Cloud certified materials list. Winning renders will even be showcased on KeyShot’s startup window to thousands of KeyShot users across the world!

This is your chance to design the material of your dreams, creating something you wish everyone could use in their renders. The challenge is pretty simple. Design your own material – you could use KeyShot’s procedural textures, image files from the internet (free use non-copyrighted), or click images of your own and edit them to create your own resources. The YDxKeyShot Material Design Challenge has no rules – just have fun and keep creating! Looking for a nice carbon fiber material? Create your own! Found a nice terrazzo texture at your local cafe? Click a picture and turn it into a material! Need a smudgy, scratched glass surface for that photoreal smartphone render? Here’s the perfect opportunity to make it and share it with the world.

Once you design your material, how you present it matters too. Apply your material to an appropriate product and create a render that highlights your material in the best way possible. For example, if you designed a wooden material, apply it to a piece of furniture. If you made a ceramic material, showcase it on a ceramic object that’ll wow everyone! You can create as many render images as you want (or even a video), exploring the product in different angles, or even up close if your material is detailed. Also, don’t forget to show us what the material looks like on Keyshot’s iconic Material Ball!

The YDxKeyshot Material Design Challenge will be judged by Janis Sne – 3D Sportswear Designer at RKTFT Studios and Nike, Preeti Jesudoss – Senior Creative Head at Asian Paints, and Sarang Sheth – Editor-in-Chief at Yanko Design. To participate, upload your renders on Instagram (a few renders of a product, and one of the material ball) and tag + follow the @yankodesign and @keyshot3d accounts while also using the #YDxKeyShot hashtag. You can get your hands on the material ball 3D model and a free trial of the latest KeyShot 11 rendering software by downloading it on KeyShot’s website. To unlock the trial, use the Trial License Code KSYANKO22 during installation. Participants in the KeyShot x Yanko Design Challenge must be above the age of 18.

Here’s all the information you need:

The Design Brief
Design/Build a material for KeyShot.

How to Participate
Step 1: Download the Material Ball 3D Model and the KeyShot 11 trial.
Step 2: Upload your design to Instagram + Follow @yankodesign and @keyshot3d
Step 3: Tag @yankodesign and use the hashtag #YDxKeyShot in the caption.

Contest Opens: 20th June 2022, 06:30am PST
Contest Closes: 10th July 2022, 11:59pm PST

Gold Prize: KeyShot 11 Pro subscription + KeyShot Web. Material will be added to KeyShot Cloud certified materials list and render will be showcased on KeyShot Blog, Social Media, and Startup Window. Free access to Will Gibbons Animation Masterclass.
Silver Prize: KeyShot 11 Pro subscription. Material will be added to KeyShot Cloud certified materials list and render will be showcased on KeyShot Blog, Social Media, and Startup Window.
Bronze Prize: KeyShot 11 Pro subscription. Material will be added to KeyShot Cloud certified materials list.

You Have to Use KeyShot to create your renders.

Click Here to Download the Keyshot Material Ball 3D file

Click Here to Download a free trial of KeyShot 11 (Use the Trial Code KSYANKO22 after installation)

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The Design Intelligence Award is back with a prize fund of $750,000. Here’s how you can participate.

Ask yourself. Is a design good if it won an award? Or is it good if it positively impacted people? The latter sounds like the most obvious option, right? Well, that’s the objective of China’s premier awards program, the Design Intelligence Award. Established in 2015 by the China Academy of Art, the DIA Award doesn’t just discover good design… It develops it. Working in part as an award program and in part as a product accelerator, the DIA Award celebrates innovation and entrepreneurial imagination. The free-to-enter award program has a two-round judging and evaluation process, with the aim to help develop products that uniquely benefit humanity. In doing so, the DIA Award also aims at creating a platform to accelerate international trade, increase connectivity, and open up commercial opportunities. After all, good design is only impactful when it reaches and benefits more people, right? To that end, the award program has even set up a prize fund worth ¥5 million RMB, or $750,000 USD to help incubate great ideas into great designs.

The Design Intelligence Award’s judging process occurs in two stages – a preliminary, and a more hands-on final one. During this time, an elite panel of 550 multidisciplinary design experts evaluates the entries based on three criteria/layers – 1) The fundamental layer emphasizes the “Principles of Design”, covering functionality, aesthetics, technicality, user experience, and sustainability. 2) The advanced layer emphasizes the “Direction of Design”, spanning contribution to humanity, industry, and the future. 3) The top layer emphasizes the “Impact of Design” in regard to social influence and industrial development.

Based on these criteria, the DIA Jury Panel selects 30 outstanding projects that are innovative and positively impactful. Winners get access to the DIA’s prize fund of ¥5 million RMB ($750,000 USD) with the winner alone getting ¥1 million RMB. Although that isn’t the end of it. All winners are invited to the DIA Award Ceremony to engage face-to-face with global representatives from various industries such as design, academic circles, media, etc. The award also organizes a set of expert lectures known as the D-WILL, sponsored by Zhejiang Modern Intelligent Manufacturing Promotion Center and Design Innovation Center of China Academy of Art, with the intent to spearhead innovation and connectivity. With “Meet design, Meet future” as its initial intention, the Lecture invites education experts, industry elites, and pioneers to share their achievements and insights in their personal research and careers with younger generations. Finally, winners get featured in the media as a part of a coordinated PR push to help get their work noticed by everybody. In fact, you can scroll down to see a few winners and honorable mentions from last year’s Design Intelligence Awards.

Have an innovative idea for a product or service? Want to win up to ¥1 million RMB ($147,000 USD) to help develop it into a tangible life-changing design? Click here to enroll for the 2022 Design Intelligence Awards FOR FREE!

Movable “Huo-Yan” product series by BGI Genomics Co., Ltd. (GOLD WINNER)

Designed as a response to the pandemic and an emerging need to rapidly turn vacant plots of land into testing labs and isolation wards, the Movable “Huo-Yan” features a series of negative-pressure inflatable tents that can be transported to a site and quickly deployed on the spot. These tents are designed to then serve as nucleic acid testing laboratories or isolation wards, allowing scientists and the medical community to rapidly respond to any outbreaks that need intervention.

New Urban Rail Train Without Catenary Power Supply by CRRC TANGSHAN Co., Ltd. (SILVER WINNER)

Any astute observer will immediately notice what’s different about the train in that picture above. No, it’s not its edgy aesthetic, but rather, the absence of a catenary power supply, or that wire that connects the train’s engine to the power line on top. Developed by CRRC TANGSHAN, this new train concept runs on wireless power instead, relying on an inductive power supply network that charges the train without any cables or wires.

WAVE by d’strict holdings, Inc. (SILVER WINNER)

If you’ve spent any amount of time on social media, chances are you’ve seen videos of this building somewhere on the internet. Located in Gangnam in the heart of Seoul, the ‘WAVE’ is a public media artwork realistically expressing consistently crashing waves through an anamorphic illusion technique on a giant L-shaped LED display. Sure, you could use the display to show advertisements, as they do in Times Square, but go ahead and tell me that you’d rather stare at billboards than a VR anamorphic piece of artwork!

T-dot Smart Bluetooth Braille Keyboard by KunYoong IBC (SILVER WINNER)

Designed to be perhaps the first portable keyboard for Braille users, the T-dot is small enough to be carried around your neck. It opens up almost like a reverse tripod, folding open in a T-shape on a desk. Once connected wirelessly to a device, keys running along the T-shape allow the visually impaired to type out in Braille and have the text automatically transcripted in any language you choose. This accessible tool effectively allows the visually impaired to type without having to navigate around a traditional QWERTY keyboard. A tiny thumb-stick at the center of the T-dot also makes it easy for users to navigate around pages and on machines.

X-Craft AR Headset by Rokid (BRONZE WINNER)

Designed by the makers of some of the earliest available AR headsets, the Rokid X-Craft is the world’s first explosion-proof AR headband equipped with a 5G module. Designed to readily attach to various safety helmets and hard hats, the X-Craft is specially designed for complex and high-risk environments such as oil & gas, electric power, aviation, rail transport, and other industries that could benefit from augmented reality. The glasses come equipped with an AI algorithm and AR technology which enables frontline workers to update information automatically and increase overall efficiency.

Have an innovative idea for a product or service? Want to win up to ¥1 million RMB ($147,000 USD) to help develop it into a tangible life-changing design? Click here to enroll for the 2022 Design Intelligence Awards FOR FREE!

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Justin Bieber and Vespa joined forces to design a scooter with a monochromatic white finish and flame decals

Vespa joined forces with mega pop superstar Justin Bieber to design a scooter draped in an all-white finish with built-in smartphone fittings.

After launching a teaser video for a collaboration with mega pop superstar Justin Bieber, Vespa has finally released the final model of the long-awaited Justin Bieber-designed scooter. Wrapped in a monochromatic white finish, the Justin Bieber X Vespa collab is modeled after the brand’s Piaggio Sprint base.

Designer: Vespa X Justin Bieber

The collaboration with Vespa has been a longtime dream, Justin Bieber says, “The first time I rode a Vespa was somewhere in Europe, probably either London or Paris. I just remember seeing a Vespa and being like, ‘I want to ride one of those.’ And I had such a great time, just the wind flying through my hair, the freedom. It was fun.”

Treading on his own experience riding the iconic scooter, Bieber coated his design in optic white livery on the exterior panels and rims for a sleek look to go with the scooter’s feathery light frame. Then, he added his own bad boy flair with a flame decal that’s etched across the scooter’s body.

The Justin Bieber X Vespa scooter design is also available in 50, 100, and 100cc guises. Located right between the two handlebars, a full-color digital display syncs with the rider’s smartphone to play music and adjust the LED light’s brightness and color tones. Additionally, Bieber’s collaboration includes gloves, a driving bag, and a matching flame-printed helmet for riders to scoot in style.

While it’s not the first collaboration with a brand, this project with Vespa marks Bieber’s first-ever automotive collaboration. It makes sense that his first automotive collab was with Vespa as Bieber describes, “I love Vespa, and to partner with such a classic brand is so cool. Being able to express myself, whether it’s through art, music, visuals, or aesthetics, being able to create something from nothing – it’s a part of me. Ultimately the goal in creating and designing is always to put your own unique spin on things.”

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Google announces new radar software that reads and responds to human body language

Google’s Advanced Technology and Products division recently announced a new round of research that aims to refine the radar technology of Soli, sensor-integrated software that responds to human behavior and movement.

Proxemics is the study of human use of space and how changes in population density can affect behavior, communication, and social interaction. More specifically, proxemics inform branches of design that deal with ergonomics and space mediation. On one hand, proxemics aid in the configuration of floor plans to harmonize instinctive human behavior with spatial experiences. In a different light, proxemics further develop technology to respond to our behavior and needs with human-like responses. Google’s Advanced Technology and Products division (ATAP) recently took to proxemics to refine the Soli sensor, a sensor with embedded radar technology that uses electromagnetic waves to pick up on even subtle human body language and movements.

Designer: Google’s Advanced Technology and Products (ATAP)

Used in modern appliances like the Nest Hub smart display and Google Pixel 4, Soli’s radar has contributed to sleep-tracking and contactless, remote control technology. This new round of research spearheaded by Google’s ATAP team finds the sensor data gathered by Soli being used to enable computers to recognize and respond to our daily movements. Leonardo Giusti, head of design for ATAP, says, “We believe as technology becomes more present in our life, it’s fair to start asking technology itself to take a few more cues from us.”

In response, the team at Google hoped to develop Soli to capture the same energy as your mom turning the television off and covering you in a throw after you doze off on the couch. The integrated radar software is designed to detect a user’s proximity to computers and personal smart devices, turning off as we walk from its screen and turning back on once we’re in front of it again. In addition to proximity sensors, the radar technology recognizes changes in body orientation, which signals to the device whether a user will soon interact with it.

While we may not wake up swaddled in a warm blanket, this new round of research finds computers and smart devices acknowledging and responding to when we are in front of the screen and when we walk away from it or doze off for a bit. Noting the process behind this, Lauren Bedal, senior interaction designer at ATAP, explains, “We were able to move in different ways, we performed different variations of that movement, and then—given this was a real-time system that we were working with—we were able to improvise and kind of build off of our findings in real-time.”

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A new airborne gondola line will connect Paris to its residential suburbs as soon as 2025

The city of Paris announces an approved proposal for a new aerial gondola line that would transport 11,000 passengers from the city’s suburbs to Paris’s main metro line.

Every city has its woes with public transportation. With its debut in the United States going back as far as 1895, the underground subway system has defined rapid transit for decades. As increasing rates of densification and urbanization morph the face of our cities, our public transportation must accommodate the larger crowds and higher demands.

Designer: Atelier Schall, Doppelmayr France, Île-de-France Mobilités, Spie Batignolles, and Egis Rail.

Moving from the underground to the high heavens, the city of Paris finds promise in an airborne mode of transit. Aimed for completion by 2025, the new transit system is called the Cable A Gondola, an electric-powered gondola line that will connect the suburb of Villeneuve-Saint-Georges with the Créteil Pointe du Lac station on Paris’ Metro line 8.

As cities find new ways to provide sufficient public transportation to larger crowds, the issue of sustainability arises. As gondolas prove to be inexpensive and eco-conscious players in the public transportation game, more and more cities are integrating them into their urban fabric. Following their proposal for a new 4.5km gondola line, the French city will pay $149 million to connect 11,000 passengers to Paris’s metro system and Créteil on a daily basis.

Connecting the hilly residential avenues of Créteil to Paris’s cityscape, gondolas are able to connect hard-to-reach areas that previous modes of transit could not. Since many are electric, gondolas are also quiet by design and do not produce much pollution during operation.

Gondolas also indicate an inexpensive alternative to other urban infrastructures like bridges, railways, and tunnels. Considering the gondola’s many advantages, the new Paris proposal would function primarily as a transportation filler. Parisian suburbs will have a direct line to the city’s metro system in a way that was previously unprecedented.

In a city like Paris, the approval of the gondola proposal signals a new dawn for public transportation. As Brent Toderian, chief city planner of Vancouver from 2006 to 2012, describes, “In recent years, the conversation has moved from gondolas being a kind of novelty to a conversation where they’re being considered as a logical and viable transit technology.”

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