This stool folds up and turns into a painting with a frame!

Solving the problem of having to deal with functionally designed collapsible stools that look pretty displeasing when folded, Wenjiao’s Painting Stool transforms… well, into a painting! The printed artwork comes with a wooden frame that opens out into an X, turning the canvas into a comfortable seat. While I wouldn’t want people resting their bums against my artwork, it’s a neat way to take any nice graphic and transform it into a stool you can sit on when you’re running low on furniture, and hang on the wall when you’re done!

The Painting Stool is a winner of the Red Dot Design Concept Award for the year 2019.

Designer: Shen Wenjiao

The Barrier-Free Braille Board refreshes the age-old braille-slate design.

Designed as an upgrade to traditional braille boards or braille slates, the Barrier-Free Braille Board helps you compose text in braille and easily write/punch it down on a piece of paper that’s sandwiched between a base-plate, and an upper plate that contains a sliding guide for punching the alphabets out. Like most braille boards, text on this board is written in reverse, but the Barrier-Free Braille Board has an extra plastic frame to hold the paper in place, so you can flip the paper over periodically to read what you’ve written. The overall design is made to be more ergonomic than off-the-shelf boards, while the sliding punch-plate acts almost like a cursor, letting you know where you’re at in the typing process, if you decide to stop midway.

The Barrier-Free Braille Board is a winner of the Red Dot Design Concept Award for the year 2019.

Designers: Yang Decai, Chen Dayu, Hao Taotao, Li Peijie, Tanzou Xinran, Yang Defa, Yang Xi, Yang An, Yang Changyuan & Zhu Zhifang

The quirky calendar designs of 20 A’ Design Gold Award-winning Katsumi Tamura

Lauded as the most awarded designer on the A’ Design Award roster, and even sitting on top of the World Designer Ranking with 13 Platinum Awards, 20 Golden Awards and as many as 44 awarded designs bringing his total to 218 points, Katsumi Tamura is a multiple award-winning Professional Designer from Tokyo / Japan specialized in Graphic Design. Tamura’s design awards go to his quirky calendars that don’t just sit on your desk, they adorn it. With a playful demeanor and an eye-catching appeal, Tamura’s calendars are functional works of art. Styled as everything from furniture to animals, to even buildings, Tamura’s calendars are designed to be interactive. They don’t just sit on your table for an entire year before being replaced with a new calendar. They add beauty and fun to your workspace, they encourage you to engage with them, examine them from all angles, and even show them off to other people.

With 44 A’ Design Awards among many other prestigious awards (including Red Dot, iF, and IDA Awards) under their belt, Tamura’s body of work really speaks for itself. His explorations with paper and the ability to turn something as mundane as a calendar into an objet d’art is remarkable. Tamura’s company good morning inc. has seen its fair share of exposure, courtesy these multiple awards. Scroll down as we dip into Tamura’s take on how to reimagine looking at dates on a piece of paper. Whether it’s Tamura’s laser-like focus in his domain, or Dr. Hakan Gursu‘s ability to span different design categories, A’ Design Awards provides a brilliant amount of diversity, catching projects from all walks of life, across countries, cultures, and design backgrounds. You can read more publications on the A’ Design Award by clicking here.

Click Here to submit your entries for the A’ Design Awards 2019-20 program! Last day to submit your work is the 28th of February!

Designer: Katsumi Tamura

The 2018 Tri-Leg Calendar by Tamura involves interlocking triangles that form a tripod-esque design that can either stack into one another, sit independently, or be propped vertically like a tall tower. The choice is yours!

The 2013 Town Calendar looks at architecture for inspiration, turning your days into a literal diorama.

The 2013 Rocking Chair calendar is one of my favorites! It uses the month-cards in a unique way where the passive cards sit where your cushion would be, while the active card rests against the structure to form the backrest, and face you as you look at it. You could try giving the rocking chair a push too!

The 2018 Puzzle Calendar uses various cuts in circular, triangular, and square-shaped cards to create a game where you can go wild by creating your own structural calendar. Just like each month is different, and your year is different from someone else’s, your calendar is unique too!

The 2012 Zoo Calendar takes your favorite animals from the zoo and transforms them into months on a calendar, turning your desktop into an urban attraction! We won’t judge you if you play with them while no one’s looking. We promise.

The 2013 Module Calendar is both fun and self-explanatory. It provides a framework for building your own vertical towers, much like LEGO. Create blocks or skyscrapers… the choice is yours.

The 2015 Arc Calendar was created for the YUPO corporation using their environmentally friendly synthetic YUPO paper, which is known for its remarkable color-representation properties. The calendar is printed on a single sheet and folded (no glue required) to form an arc-shaped design that introduces depth to create a foreground, middle-ground, and a background, making each month look like a 3D landscape.

The 2013 Farm Calendar builds on the success and the cute-appeal of the 2012 Zoo Calendar. It takes inspiration from various farm animals, realizing them into standing 3D prototypes with the month information etched on each animal’s torso. Don’t miss the adorable barn that comes with the set!

The 2018 Swing Calendar is perhaps the most inventive of the set, featuring an actual swing made out of paper. It relies on the same format as the 2013 Rocking Chair Calendar, but explores a type of furniture that is truly more eye-catching. And yes, you can interact with and push this one too!

The 2018 Windmill Calendar requires a bit of periodic assembly, with four fan blades that have the months printed on each of them. Rotate the windmill’s fan to make sure the active month’s blade is upright and easy to read. Give the fan a 90° rotation every month, and at the end of 4 months, just replace the fan element with another one that has the next set of months printed on it. It would make for a great desktop showpiece, wouldn’t it??

Click Here to submit your entries for the A’ Design Awards 2019-20 program! Last day to submit your work is the 28th of February!

What if a specialized medical gadget could guide you through CPR?

Slightly more than half of the American population claims to know how to perform CPR. That means there’s roughly a 50% chance that a bystander would know how to resuscitate you. CPR First Aider aims at being able to increase those chances. Not only does it help people who don’t know CPR, it helps people who do know CPR to perform it efficiently. The CPR First Aider is an extensive kit that includes a breathing mask that automatically delivers oxygen while assisting the patient to breathe along with a CPR module that has 4 legs and chest straps to ensure stable, sustained and effective pressure to the patient. An LCD screen on the top guides you through the procedure, while also displaying the patient’s stats blood oxygen concentration and electrocardiogram in real time. Designed to fold into a compact device, the CPR First Aider could easily be stored anywhere a fire extinguisher could be placed. If used correctly and on time, the CPR method could help save lives and prevent trauma from hypoxia. The award-winning CPR First Aider concept helps pave a way to that future.

The CPR First Aider is a winner of the Red Dot Design Concept Award for the year 2019.

Designers: Fang Di, Li Pengcheng & Yu Yuanyi

Cosmetic bottles that stack into each other for functionality as well as beauty

Place the Cubessence bottles on top of each other and they stack almost seamlessly. The trick is in the design of the bottle, that comes with an angular base, but a regular skirt around it. The bottle’s bases are placed at an angle to avoid the neck of the bottle below, but that doesn’t mean they sit at an angle when you place them on their own, because the side walls still extend downwards in a regular fashion. This allows each bottle to individually look slightly unique, but look beautiful together, as they vertically align, forming a totem-pole of sorts. This makes the Cubessence bottles both efficient to pack, as well as interesting to look at! A third benefit lies within this design too. The angled base reduces wastage. By making sure that one corner of the base is lower than the others, Cubessence makes sure the pipe within the bottle sits at this lowest corner, pumping out every ounce of the liquid to make sure the bottle is completely empty before you decide to dispose of it!

The Cubessence is a winner of the Red Dot Design Concept Award for the year 2019.

Designer: Luo Haozhen

The remarkable simplicity of a fishbowl that lets you change the water without evicting the fish

You know one of those ‘kick myself for not having thought of it first’ ideas? This is a prime example. The function of the Harbour fishbowl is explained in one simple image above. The fishbowl comes with a smaller volume attached to its side. When you want to change the water, tip the bowl over so that the water gently spills out. The water level should gradually recede and the fish should find itself inside the smaller volume in the fishbowl. Now simply pour fresh water in and you’re done. That’s it! The fish doesn’t need to be trapped, baited, and pulled out of its bowl and put into a glass or plastic bag while you change the water in its fishbowl. It simply has its own safe space to reside in while you change the water in the bowl every week or so. So simple, so sensible.

The Harbour Fishbowl is a winner of the Red Dot Design Concept Award for the year 2019.

Designers: Ma Xiaoqi & Ma Zhe

This gaming controller’s layout adapts to suit the mobile game you’re playing

You could be one of the billion people playing Fortnite or Clash of Clans, or even Pokémon Go on your phone. The point is that even though all of them are technically mobile games, their controls are completely different and require different interfaces for effective gameplay. Some need complex joystick movements, some simple swipes and taps. LumiControl’s design brief was to design a controller to cater to them all.

The mobile joycon titled ‘LumiControl’ comes with two grips and an expandable design that fits your smartphone in between. Designed to cater to different phone sizes, the grip expands outwards and then promptly snaps around your phone, firmly gripping it from both sides. The controller connects to your phone, understanding the interface requirements of the game you’re playing, and adjusts its controls accordingly. Two touch-sensitive circles on the grips light up with the controls, allowing you to tap, slide, and maneuver your way through whichever game you play. The controller’s backlight adapts to the game you’re playing, allowing you to play anything from a racing game to a shooter to an MMORPG with the same device, while Making sure you’ve got an ergonomic set of controls that don’t cover your smartphone’s screen, making for more comfortable and immersive gaming!

The LumiControl Game Controller is a winner of the Red Dot Design Concept Award for the year 2019.

Designer: Wayne Wang

Here are a few picks from the winning designs of the Asia Design Prize 2019!

Conceptualized in 2017, and currently on the road to its fourth edition in 2020, Asia Design Prize has really evolved from an idea to a massive awards program that’s been supported by and organized with partnership from design institutions and professionals around the world. Asia Design Prize’s biggest success story is its judging procedure, an elaborate, accurate, and fair judging system that gives everyone from students to professionals, and even multi-disciplinary design studios equal preference, judging the quality of the idea and the project in the most ethical and fair way possible.

The Asia Design Prize’s judging procedure relies on its strong jury of 42 design professionals, design educators, and design journalists from 14 countries. Projects are presented to the jury members without revealing the designer’s name, nationality, organization, or any other personal information. The process occurs in two rounds, with different judges in each round looking at the work, resulting in an evaluation that’s fair and accurate. The chairman of the jury judges the top 10% of the awarded works to decide the grand winner of the Asia Design Prize for the year. At the end of the programme each year, ADP organizes an awards gala for its winners, where they receive their certificate and trophy, and also network with one another as well as with their jury panelists. Winners of the ADP award are also included in Asia Design Prize’s annual yearbook, a permanent place in the Asia Design Prize’s online exhibition, and even have their works featured in prominent design magazines and journals across the world, truly bringing attention and credibility to their work and their skill sets!

As the wheels begin moving for the Asia Design Prize 2020 competition, we thought it would be fitting to showcase some winning concepts from the last year. Cycle through to see some of our absolute favorites, but more importantly, use them as a barometer to measure the worth of your own design concepts, because come 2020, your work could win a prestigious award too!

Head to the Asia Design Prize website to know more! They’ve just announced their 2018-19 winners. You can find our favorites below!

Last Date to Register Early Bird Submission: September 30, 2019

01. TAC Air Purifier by Junku Jung

Air quality varies from place to place as much as allergies vary from person to person… so, it makes very little sense that we all have the same purification systems available to us! Designed with this in mind, the TAC air purifier provides custom air cleaning to suit you and where you live. Unlike other purifiers, it features unique filters, each dedicated to a specific type of allergen or pollutant. Live in a big city? Throw on the smog filter. Allergic to pollen? There’s a filter for that too. Simply layer the brightly colored filters to get just the right balance for you and your unique space!

02. Paprika Stool by Yoshioishikawa

The Paprika Stool has a pretty neat idea behind it. Stools, or furniture in general, occupy space even when they’re in retail, or being transported from factory to the shop. What if you could design a stool that’s deflated when transported, and inflated to be a stool only when purchased? The stool is, in principal, like a balloon with 3 legs. Made out of fabric, it remains soft and comfortable on the outside, and is filled with PU foam on the inside just minutes after it’s been purchased, so a customer can take home a soft, solid stool back home that they can sit on. The stool saves money by making logistics simpler and more efficient, and can easily be manufactured in different sizes by filling PU foam into a larger stool cover, much like filling cotton into a cushion cover or a mattress, or polystyrene balls into a beanbag!

03. Pencil Sharpener by Di Lu

If you’ve ever sharpened a pencil (and if you haven’t, what planet are you living on?), then you know how easy it is for the shavings to fly all around your desk or workspace. Unless you’re hovering over a waste bin, that discarded lead and wood can mess up your work. Designed with this in mind, this pencil sharpener by Di Lu serves as an extra collecting-vessel to gather shavings so they can be easily discarded. Simple, right?

04. Molt Chair by Taylor Cheng

Inspired by the Ming Dynasty, the Molt Chair combines western furniture design with ancient Chinese cultural values. The angular floating armrests and the chair’s front take inspiration from the thrones of Chinese emperors, while the side view looks more like the stylings of a modern rocking chair.

05. Slim Smart Washer 3 by American Standard

Designed to retrofit onto existing toilets, the SSW3 aims at easing the transition from toilet paper to a water-based cleaning system. A simple lever on the side lets you work the SSW3’s controls, pulling up for a bidet-style front-wash, or pushing down to trigger the rear shower. The system neatly integrates into existing toilets, and requires no electricity to function!

06. Veark CK01 by Daniel Ronge

Designed as a unibody tool, with a knife handle that borrows from tool design, the Veark CK01 gives knives the reverence they deserve. The knife is by far a chef’s most favored and most important tool, which is why the CK01 has such an industrial-tool-aesthetic. The CK01 blades are all manufactured in Solingen, Germany, the holy grail of knife-manufacturing and bladesmithing in all of Europe. The drop-forging technique results in each knife handle having its own individual texture, each one unique like a fingerprint, and a hardness of 58 on the Rockwell scale. And the unibody design has more to offer then just great looks: The open handle design invites your thumb to rest on the blade and pinch grip the knife like a pro. The metal blade also provides a counterbalance that allows you to maneuver the knife with ease. A singular body also means the knife is easier to maintain, with no place for food, dirt, and dust to get wedged into. A simple rinse makes the CK01 as good as new!

07. Leaf Hair Dryer by Yejin Choi, Jinah Kim & Juhyuk Yun

With an aesthetic that definitely seems new for its category, the Leaf folding hair dryer explores a completely organic, novel design direction. The standing hair-dryer occupies little to no space on your desk, docking on its contact-charging plate when not in use. The dryer’s air-barrel folds inwards, integrating with the handle to become almost monolithic, but when you fold it out, it assumes a leafy aesthetic, thanks to its white outer shell. Just lift it off its charging dock, unfold it, and begin using it for the silkiest, smoothest hair ever!

08. Hougyoku by Kenichi Ken Mizuno

Combining aspects of pottery and jewelry making, Hougyoku resembles a bird nurturing its egg. It’s a result of traditional and modern pottery techniques developed in the Japanese pottery-town of Seto. Integrating the two into a single form, the bird and egg are represented as positive and negative forms, denoted by the color schemes. The Hougyoku can be used as a sculptural element but also as a place to store small keepsakes.

09. Coat+ by Baoliyuan, Wangaihong, Maqianqian

This regular jacket has an inner expansion mechanism for pregnant women! Realizing that fashion should be more accommodating for women in their maternity period, the designers decided to reinvent the coat so that it fits women who are as well as who aren’t pregnant. It doesn’t make sense having to buy separate clothes just because you’re expecting a child, only to throw those clothes away after the child is born, right? Coat+ is a coat that women can wear all through their lives! An extra fabric attachment zips to the coat allowing you to expand it… when you don’t need the expandable attachment, you can wear it as a scarf!

Last Date to Register Early Bird Submission: September 30, 2019

The product around your product: Winning Packaging Designs from A’ Design Award 2019

Your product’s packaging is arguably the first thing the consumer sees, as a part of the product experience. It forms the first ever interaction between product and consumer, and a successful interaction means a consumer will pick the product up off the aisle and add it to their cart. Bad packaging design can adversely affect a product’s success or its performance, while a well packaged product allows it to stand out, prompting someone to pick it up and decide to purchase it. Packaging Design is more than just a box with artwork… it’s the product around the product, and deserves as much attention while designing as the item within it.

Packaging Design forms just one of the various categories of the A’ Design Award and Competition, which spans the popular categories like Architecture, Lighting, and Consumer Electronics, as well as the obscure, lesser known categories like Cybernetics, Prosumer Products, and Safety Apparel Design. The A’ Design Award’s ultimate goal is to be an umbrella that covers good design across all disciplines, which is why it has 100 different categories for submitting design projects, and over 200 jury members (comprising academics, design professionals and press members) from all around the world collectively judging the works. Winners of the A’ Design Award don’t just win a trophy and a certificate, but receive an entire PR Campaign dedicated towards pushing their career, clout, and even their projects to newer heights. A’ Design Award’s winners and even its participants are included in its annual award book and business network, while additionally contributing to their country’s overall design ranking that paints a holistic picture of how design-centric and design-forward each country is.

The A’ Design Award is currently accepting entries for the 2020 edition of the award program, so go ahead and give your work and career the push it deserves!

Here are some of our curated picks of Packaging Design winners from the A’ Design Award & Competition 2019. If you have a potential packaging design project that you think is worthy of an award, click here to register & participate in the A’ Design Awards 2020. Hurry! The regular deadline ends on 30th September!

01. Awanama Sake by Ryuta Ishikawa

With the kind of sheer finesse you’d expect from a handle on a samurai sword, the Awanama Sake bottle is just a canvas for its beautiful texture. Designed to stand out from the category of sake, Awanama wants to introduce its unpasteurized sake as a new brand of rice-wine that’s authentic and deserves universal recognition. The bottle comes with a heavily textured black exterior that catches the eye, while also remaining opaque so as to shield the sake inside from external light. Made from glass, Awanama’s bottle surely knows how to attract with just how intricately detailed the texture on it is, practically hypnotizing one into wanting to pick it up!

02. Eco Freshness Tag by Zeyuan Zhang

Designed so you never end up having stale poultry, the Eco Freshness Tag lets you know when your eggs have gone bad. Yes, you could submerge your egg in water to see if it sinks or floats (if it floats, throw it away), but then again, you could also just look at the color of the tag, which alters over a period of 10-14 days. A green tag indicates the egg is fresh and ready for consumption, a yellow tag probably means you should consume the egg right away instead of waiting, and when the tag turns red, just ditch them eggs!

03. Raimaijon Pasteurized Sugarcane Juice by Prompt Design and Cordesign

The ingenuity of the Raimaijon sugarcane juice bottle is that when stacked, it literally looks like a sugarcane stalk! The slightly warped cylindrical bottles nest one on top of another, while the label gives it its green color. When you stack 2 or more, the bottles begin looking like sugarcane stalks, complete with nodes between them! What a wonderful way to use the bottle to trace back the product’s origin story! This would make for a pretty eye-catching installation on a storefront, would it not?

04. New Hope Seed Brand Gift Box by Yung-Li Chen – Fineherbsoap Co. Ltd.

When you buy one of Fine Herb’s soaps, you’re doing much more than just buying soap. You’re buying a plant too! The organic natural soaps come in white vessels with a small seed taped to the bottom. Take the soap out and water the seed and it eventually grows into a herb. You can then put some soil into the vessel, turning packaging into a planter for your Zinnia seedling! And don’t worry, the planter is made from mixed pulp of 100% recycle paper and lavender grass seeds, making it eco-friendly and biodegradable too!

05. Cedea Luxury Mineral Water Bottle by Nick Pitscheider and Sharon Hassan

Designed as an homage to Cedea, the goddess of water and life in the Dolomites’ Ladin Culture, the bottle pays homage to the Northern Italian culture and its lore, with two water bottles, one representing the ruby red of roses, and one capturing the stunning blue of the sky. What’s genuinely remarkable is the bottle’s construction, that’s designed to perfectly refract light in a clever way. The bottle’s bases are colored either red or blue, while the rest of the bottle is completely transparent. Look at the bottles head-on, and you see clear water in them, but look at the bottles when they’re below your line of sight, and the glass’s refractive property makes the entire bottle look either blue or yellow. Its lens-like effect aside, the bottle looks absolutely beautiful too, with its gently swirling form highlighted by the twisting vertical lines that give the bottle a delicate spiral asymmetric shape, resembling the natural shape of Cedea, the Goddess of Water and Life.

06. Dinosaur Ice Cream Box by Mengying Zhang & Zhicheng Chen

A fun way to make kids enjoy the experience of eating ice-cream (enjoy it even more, rather), the Dinosaur Ice Cream Box comes with an embossed dinosaur fossil shape at its base. Fill the tub with chocolate ice cream that represents the soil, and your kids turn into archaeologists who have to dig through the ground with their ice-cream spoons to hit the fossilized treasure at the bottom! When you reach the end of the box, the remnants of ice-cream look like stray pieces of soil near the dinosaur’s carefully preserved fossil. Now if only there was a way to use this box to get kids to eat more of their veggies!

07. Small Bag Candle Packaging by Liangfang Fang and Jinxi Chen

Just an elegant way of packaging a candle, Liangfang Fang and Jinxi Chen’s solution involves a small, flat piece of paper that’s pinched and folded, with a neat tape on top. What’s really worth appreciating is its simplicity and its minimal elegance… and the fact that it literally looks like packaging for a chocolate, because those candles look absolutely edible, don’t they?!

08. Ooops! Use Toilet Paper by 2Republic BTL Reklámügynökség Kft.

While the designer’s name may certainly be a handful, the Ooops! toilet paper is intentionally designed to be a handful too! Unlike most toilet papers that come packed in sets of multiple rolls, and require to be unpacked and mounted on a toilet-paper-holder, the Ooops! toilet paper comes in a pack of 3, and can literally be used inside the box! The packaging comes with a handle, allowing you to easily carry it around, within the shopping mall, and also inside your house, from the store room to the loo, where you can just place the package right beside your toilet. The package comes with an opening on the top, which you can use to pull out as much toilet-paper as you need. Designed to be used without a toilet-roll-holder, the packaging dispenses the paper directly from itself. The rolls inside the box are center-fed, which means there’s no cardboard tube at the center of the roll… it’s paper right from start to finish. That doesn’t just give you more toilet paper per roll, it also means you can pull the paper out like you would from a tissue-box. Easy peasy!
Impressed? Inspired? Go ahead and grab a spot for your own designs at the A’ Design Award and Competition 2020! Click here to Register Now! Hurry! The regular deadline ends on 30th September!

Colani would have loved this vertebrae-inspired chair

The Beel Chair’s unique biodynamic aesthetic literally takes inspiration from the part of your body that rests against it… the spine! Mimicking the shape of two vertebral bones, connected together by a spinal column, the Beel chair offers comfortable sitting and healthy posture, while being flexible, thanks to the backrest’s design.

Designed by Selami Gündüzeri, the Beel is reminiscent of the design aesthetic championed by German design stalwart Luigi Colani, who passed away at 91 today. Always one to shun the use of straight lines because everything about our world is dominated by curves, right from its shape to its orbit, to every creature within it, Colani was a strong proponent of embracing nature’s curves and of practicing organic design not just for visual fulfillment, but for ultimate ergonomic comfort too. Selami’s Beel chair is perhaps a perfect example of that philosophy.

The Beel Chair is a winner of the A’ Design Award for the year 2019.

Designer: Selami Gündüzeri