designjunction and Rado announce the shortlist for this year’s Rado Star Prize UK

For the third edition of the Rado Star Prize UK, a new generation of young designers from across the UK submitted a range of forward-thinking projects from the interior, industrial and technology design industries. The judging was presided over by a panel of high profile industry voices including: top British designer Steuart Padwick; Editor at Elle Decoration, Ben Spriggs; Editor-in-Chief at Clippings, Rose Etherington; Vice President of Product at Rado, Hakim El Kadiri and designjunction Event Director, Mark Gordon.

Responding to this year’s theme ‘Re:Imagine’, designers submitted innovative, cutting-edge design pieces in projects that ranged from asthma inhalers to re-purposed bicycles, hearing devices to educational toys. The theme was realised through the different ways in which design can improve life: by evolving existing product forms through materials, function, technology, end use or even re-use.

The ten finalists will exhibit their shortlisted concepts at designjunction 19-22 September 2019. The judges’ winner, to be announced at designjunction, will receive a £5,000 cash prize as well as a Rado timepiece. During the show, visitors will be able to nominate their favourite project from among the finalists. The winner of the public vote will also be awarded a Rado watch.

Shortlist:

Flohaler – Designed by James Plimmer

Every 10 seconds one individual in the UK has an asthma attack, with studies showing that 67% of asthma-related deaths are preventable through better asthma care. Along with this, it was noted that 70-90% of the time inhalers are used incorrectly, further amplifying the issue. With correct inhaler usage, 50% of medicine reaches the lungs. Over time, complacency when using a breathing actuator results in a risk to the patient’s health, with patients seeing as little as 7% efficiency when used incorrectly.

Flohaler, a PMDI (Pressurised Meter Dose Inhaler), has been designed to promote optimum posture by encouraging patients to lift their chin, straightening their throat to ensure maximum medicine inhalation into the lungs. Through doing this, enhanced airflow is achieved when using the device, maximising the amount of medicine reaching the lungs. Incorporating braille into the design, alongside a considered colour palette that enhances inhaler recognition for those with colour vision deficiency (Deuteranopia, Protanopia and Tritanopia) further enhances Flohaler’s functionality for visually impaired users, which affects 8% of the UK population.

Concertina Collection – Designed by Huw Evans

The Concertina collection is composed of both furniture and home décor items made by methodically processing English Ash and Cherry timber, emphasising a typically denigrated feature – bandsaw marks. Systematically cutting the timber produces a versatile, semi-fluid material which can be stretched and manipulated; covering a large surface area whilst limiting the quantity of timber required. This process has been developed through first hand research into the properties of timber, which unearthed the impacts of subtle changes in thickness, length and frequency of cuts on the material’s flexibility. Finishing only the exterior of the timber accentuates the inside faces in its raw form.

EMOSHI – Designed by Katy Thomas

Designed to improve a child’s hospital experience and reduce their stress and anxiety when staying in paediatric wards, emoshi teaches patients how to express their emotions in a playful way. emoshi contains a range of interactive activities to help children to learn the names and feelings of different emotions, allowing them to explain to hospital staff how they are feeling in order to receive the relevant care. With a minimal and brightly coloured aesthetic that easily appeals to young children, the emoshi pack includes an interactive book that helps children to understand eight key emotions; excited, scared, happy, okay, sad, confused, bored and poorly. Studies have proven that stress and anxiety can contribute to longer recovery times; and therefore emoshi aims reduce patient recovery times through allowing children to learn and develop key communication skills through play in order to reduce stress and anxiety.

TENSION Collection – Designed by Matthieu Muller

Taking inspiration from mechanical connections, functional principles and the re-use of the simple principle of an elastic band as a connector, TENSION is comprised of a mirror, a desk lamp and a pencil case. The collection is made using the tension in silicone elastic to connect parts of the stainless steel mirror, the Plexiglas and the brass desk lamp and the anodized aluminium pencil case. The band acts as the centrepiece of each product, defining its look and strengthening the identity of the whole collection. By removing the elastic, the parts can be stored or shipped as a flatpack.

Bike Scavengers – Designed by Qiang Huang

Bike Scavengers tackles the problem of the over-production of shared bikes for cycle hire schemes versus the low utility rate by using disassembled components remade into functional products for personal use. Vast piles of impounded, abandoned, and broken bicycles have become a familiar sight in many big cities, especially in China, occupying public space, land resources and contributing to waste. Bike Scavengers encourages others to repurpose abandoned hire bikes, giving others the opportunity to be upcycling practitioners and to take social responsibility. Bike Scavengers products could not only be a functional commodity but also be a provocative piece reminding people how bike sharing affected us and in what way we could protect our living environment and future.

The Willow Chair – Designed by Peter Kovacs

The Willow Chair is designed to preserve cultural heritage, made using reclaimed willow from cricket bat manufacturing. The re-imagination of a traditional craft product, this experimental chair concept was developed by adopting and adapting the traditional Sussex trug making techniques for the contemporary environment. The design leverages centuries old craft skills, reclaimed materials and contemporary production methods to preserve the disappearing craft ethos. It encourages more sustainable manufacturing whilst sparking a deeper connection between the object and user. The concept intends to resonate with customers by creating a future heirloom instead of ending its short life in a landfill.

Worthy – Designed by Tomi Laukkanen

Electrical waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the world and small electrical equipment is a major contributor. Worthy aims to tackle the problem of e-waste by exploring ways to revive the repair economy. Worthy is a product family of rechargeable and easily repairable electrical products. It includes an electric toothbrush, a shaver and a hair trimmer, each of these products have similar parts inside. By simplifying the repair process and tools required, Worthy focuses on empowering consumers to understand their products and their different parts through storytelling by allowing them to assemble products themselves. This creates an opportunity to learn about the components so that in the future repairing is seen as a worthy thing to do.

Jules – Designed by Sarah Willemart

Inspired by an abandoned valet clothes stand, designed to hang garments that are not dirty enough to go to the laundry basket but not clean enough to go back in the closet, Jules is a piece of furniture that re-imagines the traditional valet for modern lifestyles. Beyond enabling us to organize mess, the valet dedicates a space for a mundane daily task and turns it into a special moment, encouraging the user to be more mindful. With changing lifestyles, we live in more compact ways and need our designed environments to reflect this through versatility. Jules is a hybrid between a traditional valet and a chair; a chair during the day and a valet during the night.

Inmergo – Designed by Rocco Giovannoni

Inmergo is a novel and patent-pending audio technology which takes inventive steps to avail the use of optimised liquids and gels as sound mediums. Inmergo was born through research on human hearing capabilities, particularly inspired by recent design efforts on bone conduction technology. This has been associated mainly with devices which let the user hear outer sound while simultaneously listening to music, at the expense of sound quality.

It generates an omnidirectional surround effect and gives richness and vibrotactile feedback to the low-end enhancing a more immersive perception of sound. It has also been proven to be a successful form of Hi-Fi audio solution inclusive to people suffering from hearing loss or dysfunction in the middle and outer ear or with cochlear implants, being awarded the Helen and Hamlyn Design Award 2019 for Disability. The project has been supported by several consultations and institutions such as Imperial College, UCL Ear Institute, NHS, Action on Hearing Loss and Goldsmiths Music Mind and Brain.

Piani – Designed by Liam Arteona

Piani is the world’s first one bodied keyboard piano. Legs and pedals are combined in one form and are foldable for the ultimate portability for musicians. The lightweight and compact design is easily carried, with no need for separate pedals, piano stand or keyboard. Piani is a reinvention of the piano keyboard, with one body and closer to the sound quality of the upright piano, whilst breaking the conventional idea of how a piano keyboard should be. Piani would bring a new trend of the piano keyboard. It will contribute musical variety to the urban music scene, seeing musicians collaborate with other musicians with different instruments. The way musicians carry Piani will be iconic as well as they travel with the object as if they would carry a piano on their shoulder, and casually travel around the urban scene.

For more information visit:
www.radostarprize.rado.com/uk
www.thedesignjunction.co.uk

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