Winners announced in Toyota-sponsored competition
A simple but effective vertical storage system to keep bikes out of reach of thieves and a keyboard display that makes life easier for two-fingered typists have been named winners of a design competition on the theme of Intelligent Urban Living, hosted by the Royal College of Art and sponsored by Toyota.
The contest generated inspiration that gave a new twist to some familiar household objects and produced some radical innovations to make modern life easier and more environmentally responsible.
The new Toyota iQ, which addresses many of the challenges of modern city living with its compact dimensions and ultra-efficient performance, provided the springboard for RCA students and alumni to come up with new but eminently practical ideas for a great range of everyday items.
Three designs from each category – Living Room, Bedroom, Kitchen and Garage were – shortlisted and presented to a distinguished judging panel that included Lance Scott, creator of the original iQ concept, from Toyota’s European design centre ED2; designers Ron Arad and Sebastien Bergne; Design Week editor Linda Relph Knight; and representatives from Toyota GB Plc, the RCA and marketing agency Brandwidth.
Dominic Hargreaves’s secure storage system Out of Reach, out of harm was born out of his frustration at having three of his own bikes stolen. The rack and hoist arrangement can be installed on external or internal garage walls at home, at places of work or on public buildings. Extra security is provided by a smart cards system for locking and unlocking.
Dominic shared the top prize with Yusuf Muhammad, whose Yu Type is a compact computer peripheral that sits on the keyboard in the user’s eyeline, displaying words as they are typed. Designed to improve speed and accuracy, it avoids the need for less accomplished typists to keep switching their focus from keyboard to monitor.
Other concepts that made it to the final included: Twist + Cap (DaeKyung Ahn, Gianpaolo Fusari and Nicholas Reddall), a lemon squeezer with a soft silicon cap that can be rolled over the fruit to keep it fresh once the required amount of juice has been extracted, eliminating waste; Quicksnap (Graeme Davies), a quick-release, hygienic ice cube tray that avoids the problem of cubes flying out when the tray is twisted; Pack Lamp (Jonas Trampedach and Romain Jeantet), an environmentally friendly concept in which the lamp is formed from its own polystyrene packaging; and My iQ Cinema (Augustin Barbot), a 360-degree screen and four video projectors with wifi connection to provide a surround cinema experience as you sit in your car, parked in your garage.
Speaking at the awards presentation at the RCA in Kensington on 15 January, Lance Scott said: “For me the RCA is the place to come for cutting edge design. The judges felt there were two projects we wanted to reward with the top prize, they were innovative, original ideas which hopefully we’ll see in the shops in the future.”
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