How a design competition turned this innovative hairdryer concept into a real product

I must admit I feel very passionately about concepts. It definitely is a part of my job description, but to be honest, I’ve always loved the ability to imagine products that achieved well beyond what was possible in reality. Now I believe that there are broadly two types of concepts – Firstly, concepts that aren’t meant to exist, they’re just meant to serve as a way of express an obscure idea. In a lot of ways, flying broomsticks or real-life edible chocolate frogs from Harry Potter fall into this broad category. Secondly, concepts that are meant to exist, but only when technology evolves to the extent that they’re feasible. Here, we’ve got less outrageous but more innovative concepts, like hoverboards, or transparent smartphones, which are just a heartbeat away from reality.

The former category of concepts are what I like to call “Design Fiction, or “Design for Fiction”, while the latter serve more as “Design for a Future Reality” and just need a bit of a technological, financial, or developmental push to be turned into real-world products. That’s where the SHAPL Design Contest comes in. Envisioned as a contest that takes great ideas and turns them into great products, the SHAPL Design Contest crowd-sources ideas from designers and gets a jury panel to weigh in, along with an audience of potential customers/consumers to vote for their favorite ideas. Winning design-concepts are then developed into real products that hit the shelves, and can be bought by people across the world. This, apart from giving designers confidence in their ideas, allows them to also experience the incredible world of product-development and see their products really enriching lives. SHAPL also casually throws in a design patent that gets awarded to the creator of the product, and cash prizes amounting to a total of $100,000 for all winners!

The Hairstyler Pro is the perfect example of a product-idea brought to life by the SHAPL Design Contest. Conceptually, it fits perfectly into the second category of “Design for a Future Reality” and is the kind of idea I’d happily cover as a design concept on YD, but the SHAPL Design Contest helped take the idea to the next step by actually building the product. The Hairstyler Pro is a U-shaped hairdryer radically re-imagines how hairdryers look, behave, and interact with the users. The Hairstyler Pro looks nothing like a hairdryer because it’s so much more than one. Designed to be a dryer that works in your hand as well as hands-free, and with an attachment that turns it into a curler, the Hairstyler Pro is the ultimate hairdressing appliance. The U-shaped profile bends and contorts to assume different shapes that give it its variety of functions. A curler attachment (which applies the same curling principles found in Dyson’s curler) uses spiral wind patterns to quickly and effectively curl your hair, and the hands-free mode lets you use both your hands to comb/style your hair while the dryer stands vertically on your dressing table, blowing air exactly where you want it to!

The SHAPL Design Contest is currently in its 3rd edition and entries are free for all, and open till the 17th of December 2020… that gives you a month’s worth of time to come up with a great idea for a product, design it, and tweak it till it’s a stellar concept! There are no strict rules or regulations pertaining to what category of product you can submit, giving you the freedom to create anything from consumer electronics to home-decor, and from fashion and personal-care to even child-care! If you’ve got a winning idea for a product just like the Hairstyler Pro, send your concept in! It’s much better than just sitting on an idea and never really seeing how much potential it really has! SHAPL oversees the production and prototyping of your concept, collaborating with you over the choice of material, CMF, etc. Go ahead and shoot your shot! (did we mention, it’s free?) Entries are open till the 17th of December 2020. Give your renders the limelight and opportunity they deserve, and your portfolio the street-cred it deserves! Scroll down to check out some of the past winners from the 2018-19 design contest!

The Total Prize Money is $100,000!

Click Here to Submit Your Designs Now! Last Date for Submission: December 17th, 2020 – Midnight EST.

Click Here to Submit Your Designs Now! Last Date for Submission: December 17th, 2020 – Midnight EST.