Determined to be more than just a trophy and a name, the A’ Design Award and Competition wants to be the international standard for good design and innovative and creative work. Judging thousands of entries over a wide variety of categories, the A’ Design Award 2018 saw a jury of 212 members of the international design community get together to award design projects across a myriad of categories for their exemplary work, and that’s not all. The A’ Design Awards and Competition, as I’ve said before, not only recognizes good design, but gives it the good exposure it needs and deserves. Their mission statement has always been to provide growth and support to not just the designer, but to the design itself too.
We’ve hand-picked fifteen of our favorites from this year’s list of winners spanning categories such as Product Design, Lighting Design, Architecture, Furniture, Medical, and Social Design. Scroll down below to have a look at what’s making the waves this year in the design circuit! And don’t forget to register below to participate in the Competition next year to kickstart your design journey!
YD Handpicks: 15 Winning Designs from A’ Design Awards 2017-18
01. Meditation Seat by Gao Fenglin
Gao Fenglin’s Meditation Seat can only be sat on in a certain way, directing the user’s behavior and encouraging a seating position that keeps your back upright, and your legs folded inward. Designed to promote physical and mental fitness, the Meditation Seat actually makes sitting healthier!
02. Minimbike by ozestudi
Minimbike’s sculpted organic balanced design stems from the need to be aesthetic and not overtly functional. Not weighed down by concerns like shock absorption or aerodynamics, the stationary bike’s form is just purely desirable, inviting you to come and use it!
03. Dab ECG Holter Patch by Adam Miklosi
Small but effective, the Dab ECG holter patch sits on your chest, constantly monitoring and recording your heart activity, while truly being as invisible and distraction-free as any good medical wearable must be. Sitting on the skin via a gel patch, the Dab is reusable, unlike most disposable ECGs and charges separately in its own wireless charging dock. A perfect embodiment of Rams’s design advice that good design should be as little design as possible.
04. Croz D.I.Y Digital Camera by Calvin Sio
The Croz camera helps bring a do-it-yourself quality to consumer electronics, something we see little of nowadays. It comes with a bare-bones aesthetic that’s the result of stripping away everything unnecessary (even a fully molded outer casing) in exchange for the lens module, a circuit board, battery, viewfinder, and a cleverly designed laser-cut piece of acrylic bent into shape to form a transparent cover that lets you peer right into your camera’s innards, bringing a sense of curiosity and involvement in the photography process.
05. Joseph Felt Chair Seating by Lothar Windels
Quirky, clever, and wrinkly enough to project a semblance of comfortability, the Joseph Felt Chair is entirely made from sheets of felt layered together and folded before being fastened together with stainless steel fasteners. The chair looks playful, has an intriguing appeal where you can literally see the folds forming the chair, and definitely looks inviting to both adults and children!
06. Solar Egg Public Sauna by Futurniture and Bigert & Bergström
A symbol of youth, nourishment, and vitalization, the egg was perhaps the most perfect form for the Solar Egg Public Sauna. With stainless golden mirror sheeting on the outside, and a faceted form, the sauna mirrors the serene landscape around it, but looks as golden as the sun does (a fitting metaphor, because it’s so hot on the inside). The inside has a wooden construction with a heart-shaped sauna stove at the center, radiating heat, and making for a fitting design detail for something that looks like an egg on the outside!
07. PIXIO Magnetic Сonstruction Set by Ivan Khalus and Oleh Berezovskyi
Designed to be used like pixel-based play dough, the Pixio are magnetic pixels that snap together, creating complex shapes and figures like Lego, but without the hassle of plugging and unplugging pieces, or the pain of inevitably stepping on a loose lego piece sometime later in the day. With an appeal that can only be described as Minecraft in real life, and an absolutely delicious set of available colors, the Pixio is a perfect tool to let your mind roam free!
08. Cocoon Lounge Chair by Tim Kwok
Part recliner, part rocking chair, part hammock, the Cocoon must be an absolute stress-busting treat to lie on! Comfortable, thanks to its netted base, the Cocoon slowly rocks to and fro, giving you the relaxed posture of a recliner/hammock, with the meditative rocking of a rocking chair. A guaranteed 11/10 would want to sit on this.
09. Tab4 Home Assistant by Lenovo Design Group
Our love for the Tab4 stems from its clever design strategy. Using one product (stone) to hit two proverbial birds, the Tab4 is a smart speaker and a tablet, designed to be used together or even independently. Given the rise of smart speakers in homes today, Lenovo’s smart speaker is a sure-shot hit, since it comes with a free screen/tablet too. And it’s a hit for Lenovo, because it means being able to bolster tablet sales in what I can only describe as an Android tablet sale slump. Clever, eh!?
10. Kulms Stackable Chair by Daisuke Nagatomo and Minnie Jan
The chair’s clever two dimensional design remains stable, thanks to the fact that it rests on three points, remains easy to produce, because you can easily shape wooden ply into 2D curves, and is made to be stackable, allowing it to do something most plastic chairs consider an advantage over their wooden counterparts. Useful, easy to produce, aesthetically simple, yet with loads of character, the Kulms chair could be easily spotted from the opposite end of a room.
11. Jal Lamp by Mos
Designed to look like a martini-esque hourglass with an ambient lightbulb in it, the JAL Lamp’s beauty arises from its simplicity and its ability to be whatever you want it to be. The glass comprises two conical containers in the hourglass shape, that can be used to store anything, making the lamp a rather versatile piece of decor (rather than ‘just another lamp’!). The bulb can be oriented either way, allowing you to use the lamp in any orientation that you’d like. A nice combination of simplicity, elegance, and a minimal beauty that one would associate with Scandinavian or Japanese design.
12. Print to Build Furniture Joint by Gellert Olle
Putting his desktop 3D printer to good use, Gellert Olle designed the Print To Build, a joinery set that could be used to fasten two pieces of plywood together in a variety of orientations, creating furniture that comprised literally two types of components. Just wood and plastic. The resultant furniture is basic, but clean looking, and flat-packs so efficiently, it would probably occupy less than 10% of its space when assembled.
13. EXEO Gaming Controller by Sushant Vohra
The EXEO’s a personal favorite for bringing modularity to games in a way that completes experiences, allowing you to play multiple types of games and build the motion-sensing controllers you need for it, rather than simply play with that boring old Joypad. Designed around three components, a gun, a baton, and a puck, users can create much more complex weapons/instruments, from steering wheels to archery equipment, allowing for a gameplay experience that’s MUCH more authentic than a standard joypad or remote.
14. Karekla Chair by Phebos Xenakis
Made out of hard plywood, but designed to be ‘comfortable’, the Karekla Chair comprises a seat made from plywood with vertical cuts in them. Sit on the seat and the plywood members bend to your weight to assume the curvature of your body, feeling less like a hard wooden surface and more flexible and comfortable like wickerwork. A curved metal rod sits underneath the vertically cut plywood seat to provide a support for it, preventing it from bending more than the desired amount. Get off the seat and it returns to its flat position again!
15. Braille Ebook Reader by Brian studio
With the ability to turn text to braille in real-time, the Braille Ebook Reader is truly the Kindle for the visually impaired. Sporting a large dot-matrix panel with individual dots dynamically raising to form braille patterns, a scanner on the back that actually scans book pages, and controls that enable the visually impaired to configure and fine-tune their reading experience, the Braille Ebook Reader scans and saves bodies of text from newspapers, books, and magazines, allowing the blind to read from readily available printed material. What’s more, it even connects to the internet to access and download ebooks for reading too!