James Dyson Awards: The Top 20 Projects

James Dyson Awards: The Top 20 Projects

I’ve been a witness to many squabbles between designers & engineers who can’t seem to look beyond form or function. While engineers are right in their place to comment on the practicality of a project, designers are equally correct in dreaming futuristic scenarios. To cultivate both the workability & alluring aspects of design, the James Dyson Awards encourages students from the world over to “design something that solves a problem.” In an attempt to please both the faculties and to prove my point, let’s look at this year’s Top 20 entries that are shortlisted for the grand prize!

0 Designers: Various

Whoa! Men To Pee and Wash In The Same Stand!

Whoa! Men To Pee and Wash In The Same Stand!

I’m not a man so I really don’t know how comfortable you guys are going to be with this thought…peeing and washing hands in the same urinal stand! What Designer Yeongwoo Kim has done is incorporated the wash basin just above the spot you take aim to pee. The reason cited is that you’ll save a water flush cycle, coz when you rinse your hand after the job (I hope you guys do that!), the same gray water can be used to cleanse the urinal basin. Tell me, how many of you guys will be comfortable with this? For once, my opinion doesn’t count, but I do find it funny!

0 Designer: Yeongwoo Kim

Satisfying Curious Children

Satisfying Curious Children

Oh!Why? is a set of interactive devices meant for children. The aim is to let them record their world around them and then sit down as a family to answer questions based on their videos and satisfy the biggest question “Why?” The set includes a camera and a digital book and both sync with each other. The book can be used by parents to leave IMs and it even doubles up as a nightlight. Interesting to see technology being used by tots at an early age, even if it is for parental communication….better than have no lines open at all!

0 Designers: Yi-Her Hsu, Kuan-Ju Pan & Yu-Chun Chou

Let’s Scale Some Lights

Let’s Scale Some Lights

The Weight of Light is a simple structure lamp featuring a unique way to operate the light. Mimicking the style of an industrial scale, the intensity of the lamp is controlled by shifting the “weight” up and down the “scale”. I adore its refreshing approach, the cute way it tips the scale and minimal look.

0 Designer: Liao Chan Guan Jing

Gripping That Milk Bottle Better

Gripping That Milk Bottle Better

As an able bodied person it’s hard to comprehend how simple things like opening a milk bottle and pouring from it can be a challenge for some people. This Milk Bottle Re-design takes into consideration, the use by people who are suffering from dexterity problems; however it doesn’t ignore normal usage either. The solution is one where less or even no clamping force / grip force will have to be applied in order to lift and pour the milk out of the bottle. And thus this new design.

0 Designer: Konstantinos Ladas

The Everlasting Baby Pram

The Everlasting Baby Pram

The new-age prams are a step-up from the old-gen and transform to become strollers but beyond that I don’t think any designer has come up with ingenious ideas to extend their useful life. Babyoom is what I’d like to call useful thinking, with all probabilities of becoming a cherished family heirloom passed down generations! From ages 0 to 3 it serves as a faithful baby buggy and car seat; from ages 3 to 6 it transforms to a children’s cycle; and beyond that it can be used as a shopping cart for all your shopping sprees.

0 Designers: Jeong Haedong & Bae Junseong

USB Gets A New Face

USB Gets A New Face

The USB interface is quite fascinating, it’s got an entire peripheral industry started to cater to its existence! We have USB hubs, compatible heads for car-charging, compatible plugs for wall sockets, etc. To cut this long route of buying compatible peripherals just for the sake of charging, why not include the USB seat into a normal socket plate? Let it sit pretty next to the 3-pin socket…just as we see in this picture!

0 Designers: Lv Jianhua, He Dawei, Zhou Hanxiao & Xu Yao

Snail Cooking Is A Faster Process That You Think!

Snail Cooking Is A Faster Process That You Think!

One of the Electrolux Design 2010 Finalists is the “Snail”, a micro induction heating system that relies on a high density sugar crystal battery for energy. It uses the power to heat up coils to conduct the magnetic induction process and heat the food in the utensil. It features in-built sensors that detect what you’re heating and adjust the settings for food type, time and temperature accordingly. What I like is that it can be stuck to any sized pot, pan or mug and moreover you can use 2 or more Snails at once, depending upon your meal and utensil-size.

0 Designer: Peter Alwin

Strollin into the Future

Strollin into the Future

Babies brush your shoulders off, you’re about to be rolling in the most pimp baby vehicle I’ve ever set my sights on. This project is called “Stroller Bumbel” and it’s a whole new look at transporting babies from place to place. Designer Ascanio Afan de Rivera asks why the baby stroller form has only gone a few steps from its origin in all its years of existence? Why oh why? Even when the original isn’t broken, there’s room for improvement. Or at least experimentation. Here’s a new one for ye.

0 Designer: Ascanio Afan de Rivera

What An Adorable Lamp

What An Adorable Lamp

I love Marc Haldermann’s floor lamp called Puu. It’s modern, a little mid-century, yet sophisticated and whimsical. It’s as if he read my mind and made this lamp. It’s all wood using the lampshade’s own weight to create tension on the cord. Looks like a tree, or better yet – chicken feet. I want it. Marc, make me one!

0 Designer: Marc Haldemann

Need A Light To Write At Night?

Need A Light To Write At Night?

As I hit my head to the pillow at night, a thousand things rummage through my head; my next proposal, next-day schedule, unfinished business and most of the times end up getting outta bed to write some notes for the next day. How sweet it would be if I had a notepad and the Write? Light! on my bedside table. It is a lamp that gives off a glow powerful enough to jot down a quick memo. And the way it works is darn cute; kinda like the inkwell and feather effect! Pick up the pencil to light-up; place it back to turn it off. Simple and awesome!

0 Designer: Jaeun Park of Frabrica (Italy)

Dog, Luggage And You On The Same Scale

Dog, Luggage And You On The Same Scale

The truth of the matter is that weighing dogs & luggage on a domestic weigh machine is cumbersome to the point of being impractical. So what’s the solution? How about a sleek scale that expands its base to accommodate anything from a small sized pug, to humans, to great danes & huge suitcases. Say hello to your bathroom friendly Scale Z! Besides its stunning physical attributes, this baby is capable of recognizing your feet (not from their stink!) and pull out your past records like weight, BMI etc, record the new readings and send it to your computer via Wi-Fi.

0 Designer: René Woo-Ram Lee

Don't Walk Under A Ladder

Don’t Walk Under A Ladder

The Safe-a-Stitious ladder, a playful design that alerts people to the old superstition “never walk underneath a ladder.” It looks like an ordinary ladder but when propped up against a wall, a number of nylon streamers sling out from it’s underparts warning all to beware. It’s a narrative that’s common place so no instructions are required. People universally get it and the design does well to point out how silly we all are. I’m not afraid. I’ll walk under it. I’ll bet you.

0 Designer: Alice Gallarate