The innovative ideas of the K-Design Award 2018 Winners!


The concept is always the skeleton of a good design. Without the skeletal framework of a concept, a design lacks mass and substance. The K-Design Awards were initiated to reward that concept, and the design it resulted in. At the end of its seventh year, we look at the winners of the K-Design Awards… Designs that are a combination of form, function, and purpose. Past winners of the K-Design award include everybody from independent designers, to students, to even the likes of large studios and companies like Dell, Elago, LG, etc… with companies, studios, designers, and students all looking to validate products as well as the ideas behind it that often live longer than the products themselves.

The 2018 winners below showcase a beautiful blend of progressive thinking and an execution that makes you fall in love with the product as well as the concept behind it. Scroll down to take a look at some stand-out concepts, or head to the K-Design Awards website to have a look at all the winners!

YD Handpicks: 10 Inspirational designs from the K-Design Award 2018

01. IO Walking Wardrobe by Fanshizhong, Xiangli, Zhangmolong

The IO Walking Wardrobe is simply a stunning idea. It takes the compartments of your wardrobe, and turns them into individual pieces of luggage. You can literally carry your wardrobe with you by pulling the compartments out, securing a cover on it, and wheeling it to wherever you’re traveling! You never need to stress out packing because your suitcase is literally embedded into your wardrobe. Just shift a few things around, pull the piece of luggage out and you’re ready to go!

02. OwnTone by JongHoonYoon

OwnTone doesn’t capture color swatches. It captures moods in the form of gradients. By blurring out products, spaces, and scenes, the OwnTone is a camera that captures the blur of a memory into a gradient that has a distinct flavor of what you tried to capture. A meadow, a sunset, a beach, the OwnTone takes them and turns them into an interwoven tapestry of hues!

03. Hooked by WMJ, GHL

Coffee person? Tea Person? How about a juice person? The Hooked was made for all! With its nesting design and a rather innovative infuser/juicer module, the Hooked lets you brew coffee or tea when you use the module as a filter, and juice citrus fruits when you flip the module over, turning it into a juicer head. The main container double into a jug/carafe (with a filter at the lid) and along with it even come two glasses you can consume the beverage of your choice from! Wait, you can infuse fruits, mint, and cucumber into water with it too!

04. Octagon Wireless Charger by Jungjun Park

Using a wireless charger usually means leaving your phone on a charging surface and not touching it or lifting it off the pad. The Octagon isn’t like that. With its innovative shape, it lets you charge your phone by placing it on the Octagonal charging pad, and even lets you interact with your phone by tilting it in a wide variety of ways, both landscape and portrait! Go ahead and watch videos or facetime with friends and family while your phone is charging!

05. Wasp Hunter by Jaewonchoi

The K-Design Awards this year saw a lot of drone-based concepts. A few stand-out ones involved getting a drone to do something dangerous… something a human couldn’t do or shouldn’t risk their life to do. The Wasp Hunter was one such concept. Built to eliminate wasp and hornet nests, the Wasp Hunter flies near the hive, unaffected by the wasp’s stings. it fills all the hive’s holes and exits with a fluid, preventing the wasps inside from escaping, barring one last hole, through which it injects pesticide, effectively destroying the hive safely, without hurting the environment or risking human life.

06. Rollink by Chi Jing NI

The Rollink inkpot comes with an innovative reservoir that you can fill up simply by tilting the inkpot forward. The reservoir ensures you never dip your pen directly into the inkpot, something that gets especially messy when the inkpot is running low on ink. Simply tip it over, allowing the reservoir to fill, and all you have to do then is dip the pen into the reservoir without dirtying the nib of your pen. It also ensures you don’t waste any ink because you can’t access the bottommost part of the inkpot.

07. Handle Lock by Ziqiang Xu, Yiran Bao

Locking your bike has never been easier. The Handle Lock just swivels and fixes itself in the vertical position, not only rendering the bike un-maneuverable, but also jamming itself into the tire-spokes. It’s simple because it reduces the bike-locking procedure to simply one action… rotating the handles. What’s more, it uses a part of the bike to serve as the lock so you don’t need to worry about an external one!

08. Mutual Help Lifebuoy by Wei Liu, Xiaofei Cui

An incredible idea that NEEDS to see the light of day, the Mutual Help Lifebuoy isn’t designed to save individuals… it’s designed to save groups of people. The Life rings can be used by single individuals as flotation devices, but where it becomes interesting is when two or more life rings come together. Designed with seatbelt-inspired clasps around the rings, these innovative life-rings can lock with one another, allowing people to stay together and preventing separation. The connected rings form an infinitely expandable matrix that can even serve as a raft, allowing more people to be saved with a smaller number of life rings. It also makes work easier for rescue teams as they can easily locate and rescue large groups of people at once!

09. The Present by HaByeongjae, Leejaeheum, Chi-Eun, Kimjisu
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The term ‘testing positive’ can be pretty ambiguous as to most people, it isn’t a clear term. Besides, the same term could be used for something as life-threatening as a disease, or as life-affirming as pregnancy. So The Present helps make things easier to understand. Essentially a pregnancy test with a tiny detail included to make things clearer, The Present comes with a display window that shows a plus sign for a positive pregnancy, but what’s really pleasing is the ribbon-esque design detail on top of the window that makes the plus sign and the display window look like a gift or a present, which truly is a heart-warming metaphor for a baby!

10. Triangle by TaeWan Kim

The crutches are a walking aid for a physically disabled person, but walking isn’t the only thing they need help with, so the Triangle is a crutch with a difference. Designed to easily be used as a walking aid, the Triangle crutches come with a hinge that let you fold the arm-rest inwards, allowing you to then combine the two crutches into a make-shift chair. The Triangle’s long term vision helps it solve not just the problem of walking, but also the problem of needing to sit (because the patients can’t stand), allowing for a well-rounded user experience that comes from a well-observed user-scenario. Brilliant!

Visit the K-Design Award website to view the entire Winners’ Exhibition.