The A’ Design Award & Competition puts the spotlight on talented designers and design-oriented companies in the press. This design competition is focused on providing a fair and ethical platform for innovators to share their success and talents to a wider audience by bringing attention to some of the best designs and products.
Aside from all that, it’s really just a ton of fun seeing some of these incredible – and incredibly genius – ideas that these designers have come up with.
I can guarantee almost all of these designs will have you scratching your head wondering how it’s possible no one has come up with these brilliant ideas sooner. So sit back, get comfortable, and prepare to be amazed!
1. Spot Multifunctional Sofa by Vinicius Lopes and Gabriela Kuniyoshi. Everyone can go out and buy any old couch that appears to be decently comfortable, but do we really take the time to consider the functionality and convenience of it? Designers Vinicius Lopes and Gabriela Kuniyoshi say their invention is ‘a comfortable sofa that with the addition of several accessories to its structure can be used to study, work, place, and store objects, and recharge electronic devices. It offers more than one option of configuration, backrest length and number of arms can be chosen, for example, creating different combinations to suit several layouts and needs while adapting to both large and small spaces.’ Who wouldn’t want to trade up any old sofa for something like this?
2. Meditation Seat Ware Seat Ware by Gao Fenglin. Many people have begun to understand the benefits of meditation and try to incorporate it into their daily lives. Although the cross-legged posture has been around for centuries, designer Gao Fenglin points out that we rarely see cross-legged sitting furniture. This inspired the Meditation Seat Ware for cross-legged sitting to help people get into the meditation realm, and to retain our body’s energy.
3. Brooklyn Laundreel Laundry belt indoor by Tomohiro Horibe. Anyone who has thrown their clothes in the dryer only to accidentally shrink their favorite shirt understands the value of being able to air dry their washed clothes. Although we’d all like to just hang our clothes out to dry outside, pollution, limited space, and weather are all factors that can prevent residents from even having that option. So designer Tomohiro Horibe came up with another solution to replace your dryer and it is quite popular in Japan. It will not only save energy but prevent shrunken or damaged clothes.
4. “Wake Up” Boarding Time Tag by Ari Korolainen. Have you ever missed a flight? This product just might be perfect for you! ‘I got the idea for this product when I once fell asleep at the airport after a long trip,’ says designer Ari Korolainen. ‘Luckily, another traveler came and woke me up just before the boarding time. I would have missed my flight if this person had not noticed that I was asleep. I realized this must happen quite often at the airport, that it was a common problem that needed a solution.’ Korolainen shares that’s how the idea for “Wake Up” was born, specifically designed with travelers in mind. The tag features a clock face with movable pointers, which you can set to show the boarding time of your flight. You can keep the tag around your neck, arm, or around your luggage, anywhere someone walking by would notice it. That way, if you happen to fall asleep while waiting for your flight, someone can easily see the boarding time and the ‘Please wake me up’ message on it. Problem solved!
5. S13 Sideboard by Dren Begolli. ‘I [was] inspired for this model by the uses of […] 3D printers and CNC machines in furniture world,’ shares the product’s designer Dren Begolli. ‘My idea was to design a sideboard with a 3D pattern that gives to us the moving effect. The sideboard is a 3D pattern that gives the impression to us like it is moving. Proportionality, symmetry and other elements make this sideboard unique and with an attractive design. Although the contrast that I used in light and shadow and the material used in this model, also make this design prosperous.’ The sideboard is also available in different colors to ensure it matches your home decor!
6. Undefined Y Multi-Module Furniture System by Hsiang Han Hsu. This one is sure to spark your interest. ‘While thinking of the design concept of Undefined Y, We get inspiration from the cell structure and geometry of nature, and bring multi-modular design ideas into this product, through multi-modular features, we hope to increase various functions of products, and extend the lifespan of the product, so as to achieve the purpose of reducing the waste of resources,’ says designer Hsiang Han Hsu. He has created a product with multi-functional uses so it can serve multiple purposes as a piece of stylish and innovative furniture. Not only does this expand the lifespan of the product, but it can also reduce the waste of resources!
7. Floating Stool by Venkatesh Kalidoss. Designer Venkatesh Kalidoss decided to expand our understanding of seating by creating a stool from a very different and unique perspective. Venkatesh decided to use a different mechanism to make his seating product unique; a seating mechanism which is ‘supported by air.’ Kalidoss writes: ‘The Stool Basically Works on Air Compression. When a Person Sits, the Air in the Cylinder Compress Acting as the Cushion. Hence Giving a New Experience to the User and Also Enhancing the Seating Comfort.’
8. Wee! Active Work Desk by Simonas Palovis. Why aren’t more designers trying to make workspaces fun? ‘Nowadays, our daily lives involve an unhealthy amount of sitting – children do it in schools, adults do it at work and both of them do it at home. Observing playgrounds is what inspired me – places, designed to keep children active,’ shares designer of Wee! Simonas Palovis. ‘Then I took the idea of a swing – such a simple and fun attraction – and created an active workspace with an unusual combination of furniture. WEE! is an alternative work desk concept that merges a traditional work desk and a swing into a single piece of furniture. The idea behind the integrated swing seat is that the user can stay relatively active while working and does so in a fun way. What’s more, you get two pieces of furniture, a desk and a seat, as one.’ Looks like we’ll never have to feel bored at our desks again! Weeee!
9. Goby High-End Hospitality Furniture by TONIK, Designed by Karim Rashid. This furniture wasn’t meant to be placed in your home, but we definitely wouldn’t mind coming across it the next time we’re out-and-about with friends. Says designer Karim Rashid, ‘TONIK was inspired by the American spirit: we come from different backgrounds, we relish deep discussions of differing opinions that bring us closer together, we work hard with a can-do attitude, and we care about being good stewards to our next generations. And we do it in comfort and style.’ Aside from the inspiration, Rashid was also motivated by the ‘hole in the hospitality market.’ The best part? The ‘one-piece, rotationally molded, specially formulated, high-impact polyethylene with ultraviolet light stabilizers (to reduce fading). The commercial-grade polyethylene material is also FDA-approved, making it ideal for restaurants, food courts, and entertainment facilities.’ The product is even certified for low chemical emissions!
10. EcoDining UV disinfection tableware case by Amos Zhu&Hana Feng&Willis Chan&ZhaoXiong. Another exciting winner in the design competition for anyone looking for eco-friendly alternatives, this design was specifically inspired by ‘the modern user’s expectations,’ which the designers describe as ‘healthy, environmentally friendly, and spreading the attitude of life.’ Customers can use this Ecodining UV disinfection tableware case when they’re eating out. ‘EcoDining is a new range of portable chopsticks and spoon case that provides UV disinfection functions. It provides a more convenient and more environmentally friendly choice.’
11. Tolumi Folding dressing table by Katarzyna Dzieciol. Any makeup lovers out there will be in love with this design competition winner. ‘When it comes to makeup, the most important thing is light. Before starting my work on this project I have been underestimating it terribly. I did not even realize how much I could improve the way I look by doing my make up in the right light,’ says designer Katarzyna Dzieciol. Instead of having to adjust the interior design of your room, or sit on the floor by a window which is inconvenient and uncomfortable, why not have a product that eliminates all those inconveniences?
12. Sun Lighting by Melika Sarraf. Speaking of lighting, here’s another design competition winner that was inspired by the proper lighting available to us, or lack thereof. ‘The lights are one of the most common subjects that we need in our life,’ says designer Melika Sarraf. ‘In my perspective, the lights bring shine and hope to carry on our life. This project is focused on the coordination of gestalt with interior design based on elements of basic and primitive visual items.’ For the design, Sarraf tried to make lights that would be suitable for any places such as cafes, libraries, galleries and houses.
13. Minimbike. The art of fitness. Exercise bicycle by ozestudi. Not all of us have enough space available to us to create a home gym, and we all know exercise equipment can appear bulky and out of place in a home. Minimbike strays from the mechanical and impersonal stereotypes that make up the vast majority of this type of exercising bicycles. Minimbike is ‘a beautiful product to be placed in our daily spaces, which integrates technology, ergonomics, functionality and efficiency,’ says designer ozestudi.
14. E Scooter Electric vehicle by Diavelo. Are you living in an area where a car isn’t practical, yet you need a faster way to commute than just plain old walking? Or maybe you’ve always wanted a Maserati sports car but can’t afford the real deal? Well, good news! Diavelo has put the DNA of Maserati inside a luxury electric scooter for a convenient urban mobility. ‘The electric Maserati scooter is inspired by the design features of the Maserati cars. There is a lot of the car’s design DNA build into the electric scooter,’ states Diavelo. ‘Power, technology and innovation. A real unique product inspired by the combination of the style of Maserati cars and the concept of a trimaran design. Easy to carry: enjoy a drive anywhere you like. The electric scooter is very easy to operate and very light to carry around.’
15. Little Pocket French fries box by Dong Jiang-UESTC. French fry lovers, rejoice! Someone has finally designed a more convenient way to eat your fries and trusty ketchup! ‘People always like to squeeze the ketchup on a paper tray, and eat with french fries directly. However, there are organic pollutants, heavy metal oxide on the printing paper tray,’ warns designer Dong Jiang-UESTC. ‘This is a french fries box design. The “little pocket” on the front can guide the user to squeeze ketchup in it, rather than on a paper plate, and it provides a sanitation, environmental protection and healthy way to eat!’
16. Bee Delivery box by Sattar Sa’adatmand. The box is specifically designed in the shape of the bee’s abdomen and was inspired by the process of pollination. These Bee Delivery motorcycles then travel across the city and deliver the packages. On the design, Sattar Sa’adatmand says, ‘The box, as a product, is function-oriented and to use it is ergonomically perfect. The size of the trunk is totally generous and easily accessible.’
17. Hop On Mobility Vehicle for pedestrian streets by Marc Samson. This Hop On Mobility Vehicle is supposed to help revitalize city center shopping and “dining out” pedestrian streets, and improve the tourist experience. Samson calls his design, ‘a modern way of helping people to go from one store to another or to their preferred coffee shop located on a city pedestrian street.’ It also would be a zero-emissions vehicle since it’s an electric platform on wheels that you can step on and off as you wish.
18. Lify Herbal Brewer by Lee Kong Wai Connie, Mazing Lee. There are so many coffee machines out there these days, but not nearly enough options available to tea drinkers. Not only were the designers inspired by traditional Chinese herbal tea drinking culture in Hong Kong and Southern China from hundreds of years ago, but research shows that younger generations are becoming more health conscious so they were inspired by this as well. The designers were motivated to develop a ‘modernized solution of brewing Chinese herbal tea with convenience and create a personalized user-centric healthy lifestyle experience.’ Lify is the world’s first connected single serve wellness drinking device that delivers personalized herbal drinks. ‘It requires no prior preparation and knowledge in brewing a perfect cup of herbal tea,’ says the designers.
19. Air Touch Air purifier by Sijin Jiang and Team. Instead of purchasing any old air purifier, this product is specifically designed to add visualization and interaction better than any other air purifier you’ve seen before. ‘As the process of purifying the air goes on, the absorbed particulate matter will turn the filter elements grey [making] the previous beautiful landscape is fading away into a dusky sky,’ writes Sijin Jiang and Team.
20. Wallful Wall poster by Lin Xu. Are you the kind of person that’s constantly getting bored of the interior of your home and itching to grab a new can of paint? Or maybe you have no choice because your kids just keep doodling on the wall? Wallful Wall poster by Lin Xu aims to tackle difficulties in re-painting walls by using ‘modern technology to help renovate and provide personalized interior schemes.’ Xu describes Wallful Wall as an intelligent wall poster design, ‘which can be controlled by an APP on any smartphone to change wall color and automatically adjust brightness. It also allows doodling and writing on the wall. Doodles and writing can be erased and saved.’ Could these design competition winners get any more mind-blowing?
21. “Mosquito Catcher Mosquito killer” by Gong Qian. Mosquitoes are always a cause for concern not only because they cause an unenjoyable itch but they can also carry epidemic diseases. ‘Nowadays, most mosquito repellent products for domestic use contain large amounts of chemicals and it has harmful to humans if we use it for a long time,’ says designer Gong Qian. So Qian focused on creating a mosquito product that could pass as decoration or art in the home while masking the idea that it’s a mosquito killer. ‘Biting humans mainly depends on the CO2 emitted by humans,’ says Qian. ‘Mosquito Catcher has four CO2 simulators at the top of the product to mimic human CO2 to attract mosquitoes. At the same time, the wavelength of 360-400nm light produced by ultraviolet lamp can also attract mosquitoes. ‘ The mosquitoes are then attracted to the pot, which inhales them through the built-in suction fan all the way to the bottom until they dry up.
22. ButterOnce Corn Butterer by Joseph McMahon. It may seem like such a simple design, but that doesn’t make it any less genius! ‘While waiting in line at a family bbq to butter on ear of corn off the grill, I saw everyone struggling to get the butter actually on the corn and not fall into a puddle on the plate,’ explains designer Joseph McMahon. ‘I thought I can come up with an easier, better utensil. I went back home and started making molds and using melted plastic to create a shaped knife that matched the conical shape of an ear of corn. The ButterOnce knife is engineered with a stainless steel curved blade to hold a pat of butter in place while spreading/melting butter on an ear of corn allowing it to fully adhere to the entire corn cob.’ Family BBQs just got a whole lot better!
23. “Tilted Plate Reduce oil intake” by Wei Jingye, Wang Ruilin and Jin Siyu. ‘Obesity is often caused by excessive intake of oil and a series of complications are caused. Eat more oil will increase the risk of heart disease and cerebral apoplexy,’ says the product’s designers Wei Jingye, Wang Ruilin and Jin Siyu. ‘The plates can not only replace the dishes but also separate the food from oil. […] The plate is no different [from a normal plate shape-wise]. The plate is mounted on the bottom of the plate with a certain angle of inclination, and the bottom of the plate is flat. On the basis of satisfying the basic function of the plate, the oil and water are automatically separated from the dishes.’ And just like that, these plates are able to reduce your fat intake! Brilliant!
24. Nimble One-Finger Package Opener by Simon Lyons. Designer Simon Lyons was inspired by a single problem people kept mentioning: trying to open plastic food packaging in the kitchen when living with arthritis. ‘Nimble is a one-finger safety cutter used to open parcels and envelopes, cut open plastic packaging and cut wrapping paper and sticky tape when wrapping presents,’ says Lyons. ‘It can also be used for crafts and cutting out coupons too.’ Although inspired by people with arthritis, this product is inclusively designed for disabled and non-disabled people. Nimble’s blade is also safer than using knives or scissors, it has orientation bumps inside the sleeve to help people with visual impairments determine that it’s being properly used and the sleeve form is fluted to expand to fit different finger sizes. It’s even yellow for increased visibility!
25. Coin Collection Cart Mobile Cart by Oval Design Ltd. Doesn’t everyone have bundles of small change at home they just can’t be bothered to take out and actually use? The Coin Collection Cart is a creative solution to encourage the public to channel back rarely used coins back to the circulation system, thus minimizing the effort of minting new coins. ‘This is the first of its kinds in the world, engaging two 10-tonnes vehicles equipped with automatic coin counting machines to serve the community in the neighborhood,’ states Oval Design Ltd.
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