The Magnificent 49

26 october 2013 / design / words asih jenie

The Red Dot Award for Design Concept has revealed its 2013 winners. Here’s a look at the Best of the Best concepts.

Since its birth in 2005, the Singapore-based Red Dot Award for Design Concept has been an outlet for design teams and designers to showcase their latest ideas without consumer constraints. Judged solely on merits of the concept, entries are presented anonymously to the jury, without name, picture or corporate logo, to prevent any possible bias.

This year the Design Concept award received a record-breaking 4,394 entries—a 20 percent increase from last year—from 57 countries in a total of 24 design categories. All told, 202 designs were given awards last night at the Red Dot Museum in Singapore, 49 of which were honored with a Best of the Best award for design excellence; 39 were also credited with an honorable mention.

“There is a 40 percent increase in entries submitted by companies and design studios,“ says Ken Koo, president of Red Dot Asia. “There are 109 design institutions, 295 companies and design studios participating this year among all other entrants. The odds of winning a Red Dot is 4.6 percent while only 1.1 percent of the entries win Red Dot: Best of the Best. Compared to other design competitions, Red Dot is by far the toughest to win.”

Out of the 49 “Red Dot: Best of the Best” laureates that beat those slim odds, the jury nominated three for the award’s highest distinction, the Red Dot Luminary: a multifunctional excavator from China; a collapsible emergency stretcher from Taiwan; and a contemporary hen house from New Zealand.

Read more about the 2013 Red Dot Luminary winner in our next issue of Surface Asia. In the meantime, scroll down for a quick look at the 49 Best of the Best concepts.


Sporty Supaheroe
Category: Fashion
Designer: Wolfgang Langeder (Austria)
Company: Utope


The wearable electronic system integrated into the Sporty Supaheroe cycling jacket includes LEDs, sensors, microcontrollers, an on-off switch, and a rechargeable battery. It is as soft as textile and encapsulated in a flexible skin. It is therefore safe, moisture resistant, and adapted for cleaning. The jacket reacts to body movements and directional changes of the wearer’s body via sensors.


Botiá – Nests for Food
Category: Green
Designers: Manuela Yamada, Natalia Chaves (Brazil)


Botiá – Nests for Food is a 100 percent biocompatible form of packaging for delicate food made with Botiá material. This new material was developed by the designers using coconut fiber and manioc flour. The packaging creates a nest of protection that aims to reduce fresh produce losses caused by bruising.


Maple Set
Category: Interior Accessories
Designers: Ian Murchison, Rohan Thakar (Canada)
Company: The Federal Inc.


Maple Set investigates an alternative emotional response to everyday kitchen knives. The project was undertaken as an exploration of unique materials and visual combinations for an industry stale with repetitive designs.


CIGA Design Single Hand Wristwatch
Category: Fashion
Designer: Jianmin Zhang (China)
Company: Shenzhen CIGA Design Co., Ltd.


A single hand and two dials are used to display the time on this unconventional wristwatch.



Double Warm
Category: Energy
Designers: Prof. Fangtian Ying, Yichen Huang, Wei Xu, Yiwen Ye, Nannan Lu, Peng Ye, Shengli Pang, Danyan Lin, Liying Yu (China)
School: Zhejiang University


Double Warm is a multi-functional and energy-efficient coal stove for use in developing countries. There is a water-storage volume surrounding the furnace, in which water can be boiled while the stove is being used.


Category: Mobile Lifestyle
Designers: Peter Gao, Qihu Xiao, Able Chen, Yue Yu, Feng Dong, Yuanyuan Xu, Chaoyang Yu, Yan Chen, Fiona Chen, Cuifeng Chen (China)
Company: ZTE Corporation


ECO-MOBIUS is a modular phone that the user can freely assemble and upgrade. Its modules can be easily replaced, and are assembled via sliding tracks.


Efficient Drawing Pin
Category: Workplace
Designers: Fan Yang, Xiao Wei, Shihe Wang, Lian Huang, Chaowei Liu, Lei Ning, Dr. Wendong Ren (China)
School: Dalian Polytechnic University


With its two spikes, a single Efficient Drawing Pin can hold a piece of paper at the angle you desire.



Fridge Magnet
Category: Communication
Designers: Yaxing Hu, Zhipeng Chen, Haibo Liao, Yigang Tang (China)
Company: Shenzhen Eagle Design Co., Ltd.


This Fridge Magnet with a QR code-scanning function provides information on the shelf life of food.



Growth-Oriented Crib
Category: Green
Designers: Shang Zhi, Ziv Zimmerman (China)


Growth-Oriented Crib utilizes an interlocking design that allows for the transformation of the crib into a bed, and the extension of the product’s life cycle.



Jungle Island, Lakes & Mountains, Island, Auspicious Clouds
Category: Home Furniture
Designer: Bo'hang Zhang (China)


Jungle Island, Lakes & Mountains, Island and Auspicious Clouds are items of furniture designed under the SEND HOLY brand. The designs carry forward the essence of Taoist culture, and interpret contemporary Chinese family life in new ways.



Category: Mobility
Designers: Prof. Haibin Du, Prof. Haiquan Hu, Yan Zhao, Ban Du (China)
School: Luxun Academy of Fine Arts


KAMA is a multifunctional excavator that can automatically change its tool head to undertake different types of work efficiently.




Category: Illumination
Designers: Yiwu Qiu, Yuan Gao, Xinyi Wei, Yiwen Ye, Yi Zhao (China)
School: Zhejiang University


Lighting-Up is an illuminated broom that makes it easier to clean dark corners.



Luggage Sitter
Category: Productivity
Designers: Prof. Fangtian Ying, Yiwu Qiu, Nannan Lu, Shengli Pang, Yuchen Zhang, Luhua Meng, Yuebo Shen, Yichen Huang, Wei Xu, Yingbin Shuai (China)
School: Zhejiang University


Luggage Sitter allows you to lock your suitcase to an armrest or railing when you need to take a nap or use the airport’s bathroom.


Magnetic shower
Category: Washroom
Designers: Xiaoneng Jin, Prof. Ren Peng, Weijia Qi, Chi Kuai, Anqi Yao (China)


The Magnetic Shower has a moveable showerhead that will be especially beneficial for these who suffer from lumbar spondylosis and arthritis.




Medical stretcher
Category: Life Science
Designers: Qinfu Zhang, Fang Nan, Hai Zhong (China)
Company: ThinkPower Design Co., Ltd.


This emergency medical rescue stretcher has been designed for use in high-rise residential buildings. It tilts for a reduction in span, which allows it to be rolled into small elevators.




Category: Skin
Designers: Ke Li, Feng Ye, Min Wei, Pengcheng An (China)


The touchscreens on smartphones do not respond to the touch of the thumb the way keypad phones do. As such, it is more difficult to type accurately when you are on the move – for example, during a bumpy bus ride. E-ink and screen-float technology could bring a three-dimensional revolution to mobile phones. Messizon shows how. Rather than a touch-phone, it is a touchable phone.


Portable Wind Solar Complementary System
Category: Energy
Designers: WanLan Luo, Xiong Xiong, Wenjun Zhang, Cheng He, Tao Peng (China)
Company: Chengdu Iding Industrial Design Co., Ltd.


The Portable Wind Solar Complementary System harnesses wind energy and solar energy to generate power. This portable equipment has been designed for use mainly during outdoor activities.


Standing Carton
Category: Life Science
Designers: Prof. Fangtian Ying, Yujie Hong, Lei Shi, Xinlin Yan, Cheng Zheng (China)
School: Zhejiang University


Standing Carton is a cardboard box for medical supplies that can be transformed into an infusion holder in several steps.




Sunshine Lamp
Category: Illumination
Designers: Prof. Fangtian Ying, Wenjie Xu, Hanyang Zhang, Yuxiao He, Yong Wang, Yangjie Xu (China)
School: Zhejiang University


The solar-powered Sunshine Lamp contains solar panels at one end and a compressible cover at the other end. The cover can be expanded to reveal a light source or closed to block it.


Waterwheel Washing Machine
Category: Green
Designers: Ronghao Jin, Tao Huang, Ce Zhong, Yixin Zhang (China)
School: Southwest Jiaotong University


Waterwheel Washing Machine combines the traditional Chinese water wheel with the modern spinning washing machine. For people who live near water but do not have an electricity supply, it helps with the laundry in an economic and zero-carbon manner.


Avionics 2020
Category: Interaction
Designer: Denis Bonnet (France)
Company: Thales Avionics


Avionics 2020 is the natural evolution of the cockpit concept for which Thales has become so well-known: ODICIS. Unveiled at the last Paris Air Show, the ODICIS concept illustrated the technologies and innovations that Thales predicts will be needed on commercial aircraft in the next twenty years. The Avionics 2020 cockpit demonstrates the use of these concepts based on the manufacturing technologies available now and which can be made flight-ready on commercial aircraft in the next seven years.


Fare Well
Category: Service
Designers: Francoise Hugont, Prof. Guillaume Foissac, Pierre Cloarec (France)
Company: ENSCI – Les Ateliers


In France, public utilities play an important role in many key moments of life (birth, marriage, and so on), however the stage of death seems to be mostly ignored. There is no place or ritual for public/civil funeral ceremonies, and bereaved people often find themselves alone, facing a plethora of complex procedures and forms. Fare Well explores how just a few design proposals for improvement might allow public services to find their place.


Category: Recreation
Designers: Matthis Hamann, Roman Gebhard, Florian Wuebert, Matthis Hamann, Claudia Weedermann, Haneul Yoo, Christian Moser (Germany)
Company: LUNAR Europe

Home fitness equipment typically looks chunky and heavy, and leads a shadowy existence in the guest room or basement. The VELA cycle trainer challenges current design expressions with a functional, yet avant-garde aesthetic. Projections around the bike create an immersive training experience and give performance feedback during training. When it’s not being used, the cycle becomes a sculpture that reflects the user's passion for their lifestyle through unique design.


Category: Productivity
Designer: Anurag Sarda (India)


Leglock redefines the kickstand and offers swift bicycle parking with its integrated stand-and-lock design.





Maybe Chair
Category: Home Furniture
Designer: Andrea Borgogni (Italy)


Maybe Chair is more than just a chair; it is "more chairs in one." It was designed for large-scale production, flexible customization, and adaptability to different usage scenarios.



Infographic Coins
Category: Service
Designer: Mac Funamizu (Japan)


Infographic Coins is a set of coins whose values can be recognised intuitively. They incorporate pie chart shapes, which are widely used by people of various ages around the world to indicate a proportion of a quantity. It is possible to instantly figure out how much each Infographic Coin is worth.


Apron Tool Bag
Category: Workplace
Designers: Geunwon Lee, Seung Han Lee, Hea Jin Lee (Republic of Korea)


This tool storage bag unzips into a work apron in which tools can be carried for convenient access during repair work.



Closed Watch
Category: Closed Watch
Designers: Min Gyeoung Baek, Hyun Ju Park, Seon Il Kim, Mi Jang (Republic of Korea)


In order to safely descend the slopes, it is crucial for a mountain climber to know what time the sun will set. Closed Watch informs its wearer in intuitive way.



Comfort Cast
Category: Life Science
Designer: Kyuho Song (Republic of Korea)


The tradition of writing consoling messages on a friend’s plaster cast is reinvented for the digital age by Comfort Cast. This smart cast device connects to social networks and the ubiquitous (U) healthcare service system, and displays digital messages on an e-ink display.



Curling Pan
Category: Domestic Aid
Designers: Jee Won Lee, Juan Lee (Republic of Korea)


Made with shape-memory alloy, Curling Pan transforms from a flat cutting board to a frying pan when it’s placed on the stove.





Eye Ring
Category: Education
Designers: Yong Jeong, Soyoon Choi, Hanbyul Choi (Republic of Korea)


Eye Ring is a page scanner that converts printed text to braille. When not in use, it can be worn like a ring.



Free Hole Spray
Category: Productivity
Designers: Slgie Kim, Bich-Na Bae, Heyin Jo (Republic of Korea)


Free Hole Spray is a spray bottle with a six-way nozzle head and a silicone spray button that blocks all the nozzles outside the intended spraying direction.



From Cradle To Play
Category: Productivity
Designers: Jeongeun Choi, Saehee Jang, Prof. Danbee Lee (Republic of Korea)


From Cradle To Play is an object that grows and changes with the child it serves. It can be transformed from a cradle to a rocking horse to a wheeled horse as the child grows up.



Janus Fabric
Category: Skin
Designers: Minki Kim, Jisu Lee, Hyemin Kim (Republic of Korea)


Janus Fabric is a textile with an integrated heating or lighting system. The base material is variable – fabric, leather, film, or whatever the user desires. Janus Fabric can be used in many different applications. The application of Janus Fabric is designed in three steps: choose a base material; decide whether to apply a lighting or heating system; make a product.


Category: Entertainment
Designers: Jinho Kwon, Hyeonwoog Yoon, Minhyun Choi, Seunghun Shin (Republic of Korea)


Observer is a camera equipped with a remotely controlled multicopter robot. It hovers around its subject, shooting video and photos from a safe distance while extreme sport activities are enjoyed.



Rolling Static-Cleaner
Category: Domestic Aid
Designers: Junho Sin, Jisu Yoon, Juwon Seok, Hyelynn LEE (Republic of Korea)


Rolling Static-Cleaner is silent cordless cleaner with a ball tip that traps fur and dust effectively using electromagnetic force.



Smart Kitchen TV
Category: Entertainment
Designers: Kyoung-Joung Kim, Bo-Yeun Park (Republic of Korea)
Company: LG Electronics Inc.


Smart Kitchen TV is a concept that converges LG Electronics’ smart TV and projector technology. It brings the kitchen to life with smart media.



Up & Down Box
Category: Up & Down Box
Designers: Hoeyeong Jung, Byunghyun So, Hyomin Lee, Jaekeon Ryu, Jooyoung Lim (Republic of Korea)


The typical bottle crate can hold 30 bottles, but a lot of empty space remains. The Up & Down Box can hold 20 more by accommodating upside-down bottles between the upright bottles.



Category: Interaction
Designers: Seungkwan Kang, Eunsun Kim, Jihyung Im, Siyoung Kim (Republic of Korea)


UPtv offers functions beyond the offerings of IPTVs, such as its own movie, sports, and fitness services. In movie mode, DVD cases are shown on the screen for a "realistic" movie selection experience. Information about the movie is also displayed. When a selection has been made, an animation sequence shows a DVD sliding out of its case. Then, the movie begins.


USB bumper case
Category: Mobile Lifestyle
Designers: Jihye Park, Hahae Kim, Prof. Danbee Lee (Republic of Korea)


USB memory sticks are easily misplaced due to their small size. USB Bumper Case combines a smartphone case with a USB stick so our data is always at hand.



Nest – Rehoming Spent Laying Hens
Category: Habitat
Designers: Lyn Garrett, Emma Fox Derwin Matthijs Siljee, John Wells, Stacey Kenny (New Zealand)
School: School of Design, College of Creative Arts, Massey University


Nest is a contemporary kit-set hen house and supporting care system designed to encourage those living in populated areas within New Zealand to keep ex-commercial (or ‘spent’) layer hens as domestic pets.


Category: Domestic Aid
Designers: Jokin Arregui, Monse Garcia (Spain)
Company: Series Nemo


CookPlat is a concept for a portable Pyrex vitroceramic cooker that uses magnetic induction technology. Thanks to its modular design, it is easy to carry and use in any environment.



Ching Chair
Category: Home Furniture
Designers: Ta-Chih Lin, Yi-Fan Hsieh (Taiwan, R.O.C)


Ching Chair combines two materials that are familiar in Taiwan: bamboo and cement. The design redefines the significance of and relationship between the materials, and aims to express the beauty of the combination.



Category: Protection
Designer: Ta-Chin Danny Lin (Taiwan, R.O.C)


Lenify is a collapsible emergency stretcher that was designed to eliminate the chance of secondary injuries from the lifting of patients up and onto the stretcher.



Category: Home Furniture
Designers: You-De Chen, Chin-Hua Lin (Taiwan, R.O.C)


Mor’tised is an aluminum high stool assembled with joints that recall one of the combinations possible in the traditional burr puzzle. While the core value and wisdom that shaped the stool are based on the Chinese mortise joint, Mor’tised speaks of new possibilities.



Category: Third Age
Designers: Prof. Li-Chiao Chu, Yun-Ci Wu, Chi-Hung Lin (Taiwan, R.O.C)
School: National Taipei University of Technology


Unbent addresses the difficulty that some shoppers (such as the elderly) can have with bending over to place or pick up items from their shopping trolleys. It contains a jack mechanism that raises and lowers the floor plate of the trolley.


Category: Interior Accessories
Designer: Salih Berk Ilhan (Turkey)


Ropo is a self-balancing dustpan and broom set that will never fall over. A lightweight water tank in the bottom compartment of the dustpan allows Ropo to stay balanced. After sweeping, the user can snap the broom and the dustpan together and put it away as a single unit. The rocking weeble wobble feature adds fun to the task of cleaning.


Long Distance Wheelchair
Category: Mobility
Designer: Andrew Mitchell (United Kingdom)


Long Distance Wheelchair helps athletes sustain effort over marathon distances. It was designed around the needs of the rider using modern material technology and lightweight components. It lifts the barrier of equipment being a limiting factor, providing an inspirational and aspirational look at the future of sports equipment for disabled athletes.


SKYNEX, integrated air travel service
Category: Service
Designer: Chris Holt, John Boult, Allen Tsai, Myungjin Song, Jennifer Gomez, Tien-Fang Yu, Jinwoong SEO, Sandra MILEIKYTE (United Kingdom)
School: Brunel University


SKYNEX represents the vision of air travel in 2030 by bringing users a hassle-free experience from home to destination. SKYNEX consists of numerous service features to assist users during their journey. The service system is integrated into users’ personal smart devices providing touch points over ticket booking, airport navigation, flight information tracking, and digital wallet. SKYNEX also accommodates a door-to-door baggage handling service as well as digital tags for users to track their luggage in real time. "

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