What makes the A’ Design Award stand out from others is its mission statement. It wants to find a common link between great design ACROSS all disciplines, and is committed to being a consortium or a common-ground for all sorts of good design. The A’ Design Award and Competition is more than just an awards program. It actively seeks good design, markets it, brings value to the project as well as the designer in the form of a wide range of value added services like a dedicated PR Campaign, a Gala Night with the world’s biggest design patrons and designers alike, a proof-of-creation document for your work, and even a platform to sell your design on.
The A’ Design Award’s perks aren’t just limited to winning designs, but also to participants. Your participation entitles you to a proof-of-creation document, inclusion in A’ Design’s Business Network, and the Design Fee Calculator service that lets you accurately price your design services for clients.
Judged by a grand jury of 209 elite designers and educators, here are a select few of A’ Design Award and Competition 2019’s winners. We’ve hand-picked some 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 make the most of the opportunities that the A’ Design Award promises!
YD Handpicks: Winning Designs from A’ Design Awards 2018-19
01. RoType Flexible Keyboard by Royole
The RoType is a neat, rollable keyboard. Unlike those hideous flexible silicone/TPU keyboards that you now find on novelty gadget shops, the RoType is slick, professional, and classy. With a miraculously transparent keyboard that embraces and becomes the surface you place it on, the RoType feels sort of like typing on air. The keyboard uses a special film which contains a hidden circuit. With a transparency of 92%, and a thickness of a dazzling 0.04mm, the RoType flexes, stretches and curls multiple times without deformation. The flexible hidden circuit allows you to type by simply touching the keys, giving it an incredibly feathery UX… and when not in use, rolls right back into the RoType’s robust metal case, which is practically 1/10th the size of a regular keyboard!
02. Hexa Passenger Drone by Maform Design
We’ve all secretly waited for drones to be powerful enough to lift humans, haven’t we? While VTOLs are still somewhere in the near future, the Hexa passenger drone is a pretty plausible concept that demonstrates how a drone that lifts a human could look. With 18 propellers arranged in two circles (12 outside, 6 inside), the Hexa has a flight time of around half an hour. Where would one be able to travel in that much time? Maform Design thinks the Hexa isn’t a transportation device but an experience device. Designed to give you the experience of piloting a vertical take-off and landing vehicle, Hexa’s all about allowing riders to experience the thrill and adrenaline of drone flight! Maybe with advancing battery technologies we’ll see the Hexa turning into a proper short-distance transport solution!
03. Right Angle Screwdriver by Qian Xiaowei and Ye Xinmin
Designed for portability, and to get into those tough-to-reach spots, the Right Angle Screwdriver is a neat multi-tool with interchangeable heads and the ability to maneuver itself into difficult spots thanks to its novel design that allows the screwdriver to bend 90°. The miter-joint not only lets you reach screws in recessed places, but the 90° bend even gives you the power to unscrew or screw with much more torque. The size of a pen, the Right Angle Screwdriver is an ideal piece of EDC for the tinkerer, and its multiple heads just extend the product’s versatility!
04. The Barisieur by Josh Renouf
The Barisieur is a concept that’s definitely garnered its deserving share of interest. Featured on YD as a conceptual one-of-a-kind product years ago, the Barisieur has developed a lot over time, becoming the award-winning product it is today. What is it? Basically the best alarm clock ever made, because rather than jolting you out of sleep with an alarming noise, it gently and effectively awakens your senses by brewing you a fine cup of coffee! The alarm is hooked to a water heater which transfers the water to a pour-over coffee filter that decants your brew as you awake to the aroma of coffee. Paired with a small vessel of milk on the side (and a tray for storing your sugar), the Barisieur proposes perhaps the most effective way to get you out of bed. With a hot cuppa!
05. Twig Dumbbells by Ji Hoon Lee
When you think about it, a twig-shaped dumbbell is rather ironic, right? The word twig is often used to describe skinny or scrawny arms or legs, while on the other hand dumbbells, well, they help bulk up arms. The Twig dumbbells are an innovative dumbbell design by Ji Hoon Lee. With a handle and three prongs on each side, the weight of these dumbbells can be changed simply by switching the prongs.
The prongs or branches of the Twig are individual weights. Different prongs come with different weights and you can simply switch them to make each individual Twig heavier or lighter… although they’re sure to always look visually light, thanks to their twig-like form. Wait! That’s probably the idea! To get you to psychologically lift more by fooling your eyes into thinking you’re lifting tiny, weightless branches! Pretty clever!
06. Sidekick Notebook by Tan Mavitan
The Sidekick is quirky, but has logic to it. An A5 notebook looks small on your desk, but open it and it doubles in size, becoming an A4, and occupying precious real estate on your desk. The Sidekick has no such problem. Its unusual shape and diagonal spine allows it to open into an ‘L’ shaped notebook that can easily sit at the corner of your keyboard, or your mousepad, or even tablet. The notebook won’t serve well for sketching, but makes a good note-taking pad, offering both landscape and portrait writing areas. Take notes, make doodles, or probably even sketch on it if you can, the Sidekick is that one notebook you won’t buy and put away only because you’ll love keeping it on your table to occasionally take notes, and to perpetually show off.
07. Tsutsumu Card Holder by Hirotaka Satoh
It’s incredible what one can achieve out of a single piece of leather. The Tsutumu card holder is made from a stamped piece of leather. That’s literally the only production process it went through (aside from the branding being stamped into it too). No glue, no stitches, no rivets. Just pure leather. Basing itself on the Japanese culture of wrapping valued items carefully (google Furoshiki), the Tsutumu comes flat-packed and can easily be folded into shape. Its design ensures it holds its shape while holding cards within it too!
Elegant, simple, stylish, and differently vibrant, the Tsutumu cases wrap around your cards in a way that looks beautiful and unusual. The leather ages with time, gathering a beautiful patina, but the case itself lives on for years and years!
08. Kurio Modular Shelfing System by Markus Hofko
Designed like a breadboard that you plug electrical elements into, the Kurio Modular Shelfing System comes with a universal base-platform that you plug planes into, to make shelves. Based on the size and quantity of items you want to keep on your shelf, you can build any layout you choose by simply plugging pieces together. Made from aluminum, the Kurio doesn’t use additional fixtures like screws or glue, just good old mechanical joineries that allow the planes to be pulled apart and rearranged whenever you choose!
09. Symphony Number 7 Chair by Chen Ting-Hsiang
Similar in spirit to the Butterfly Chair by Eduardo Garcia Campos, the Symphony 7 Chair is inspired by the softness and sweetness of the 7th Symphony by Beethoven. The rocking chair is made from a pipe frame, and comes with leather cushioning, combining comfort, strength, and an incredibly organic skeletal design that makes for a great silhouette. The chair looks even beautiful when paired together with another of its kind, creating a beautiful symmetry!
10. Grid Table by Mian Wei
Made entirely of interlocking wooden pieces, the Grid Table takes inspiration from Chinese wooden structures called Dougongs (Dou Gong). Dougong is essential to the timber frame structure of traditional Chinese building, as it binds the roof, girders and pillars together to distribute weight evenly. The Grid table brings that approach to table-design, with its top-heavy-yet-stable construction that does a great job of distributing the table’s weight, while also turning the Dougong construction technique into an artform, with its wonderful, Jenga-esque geometric aesthetic!