Last week, internationally renowned design site Core77 announced the winners of the Core77 Design Awards. There were 17 categories of design including soft goods, social impact, furniture & lighting, transportation, and DIY, to name a few. I was honored to be the jury captain for the DIY category. Along with my jury members — artist and Renga Arts proprietor Joe Szeucs, photographer Geneva Bumb Shanti, and multimedia artist Todd Barricklow — we carefully evaluated each of the 63 entries and chose one winner, two runners up, and six notables. We were really inspired to see the level of creativity in the DIY design category. Check out the winners, along with their short descriptions for inspiration. Pictured above is the winner, the QMB Quad Micro Bar, in it’s fully open mode, and pictured below is the Micro Bar in its two-seat and folded up configurations. Congratulations to the winner and a hearty thanks to all who applied. Keep on making!
DIY Winner: QMB Quad Micro Bar by Joe Warren in Nahcotta, Wash., for Bolder Designs Inc.
In response to the Smaller but Better trend, I looked at how social seating might be improved by finding a way of making traditional tables and chair into a single flexible multipurpose solution. QMB combines a round bar height table with four fold-out stools to create a new type of seating experience. The main structure is CNC routed, using a single sheet of .75 finished plywood then assembled using hinges and standard fasteners. The fold out stools give the user the option to open up only the seats that are needed, then easily fold away the stools when finished.
DIY Runner Up: Dr. Wagon by Kunal Chawla, Megan Chiou, and Alfredo Sandes in Stanford, Calif., from the Stanford University Transformative Learning and Technology Laboratory
Dr. Wagon is a toy that helps kids learn basic programming. It comprises of a series of programming blocks and a wagon-shaped robot. The programming blocks include basic functions (“turn right”), conditions (“if close to a wall”), and loops (“repeat 10 times”). These blocks can be connected in various ways to control the robot’s behavior. For example, if you connected the blocks, “if close to a wall” + “turn right,” the robot would turn right if it was near an obstacle. Dr. Wagon brings programming from the digital world to the physical world in a fun and accessible way.
DIY Runner Up: Chameleon Bag by Kathryn McElroy in New York, N.Y., from the School of Visual Art, MFA Products of Design
The Chameleon Bag combines RFID technology and RGB LEDs into an interactive messenger bag with a reactive front panel. I combined a Boarduino microcontroller, an RFID reader, and 49 RGB LEDs to create delightful animations and patterns across the bag’s front flap as the user places different RFID tagged objects into the bag. It also functions to remind the user if certain objects are missing from their bag.
DIY Notable: Ampliflier Dock by Timothy Wikander in Eden, Md., for Instructables.com
Amplifier Dock is a passive amplifier and docking solution for iPhone and iPod touch that utilizes the shape and material of an ordinary ceramic bowl. Designed for disassembly, Amplifier Dock is comprised of maple hardwood, wool felt, and steel hardware components.
DIY Notable: FlipBooKit by WackyStuff Inc. in Venice, Calif.
FlipBooKit is an affordable DIY kit that allows anyone to make either a manual or motorized flip book from a video or set of photographs, creating a one-of-a-kind tactile kinetic art piece.
DIY Notable: insectOrama by Stefan De Pauw in Borgerhout, Belgium
InsectOrama is a set of drawing templates. Children (and adults) can use them to draw imaginary creatures. Contrary to most drawing templates insectOrama doesn’t contain completed shapes but only parts: heads, bodies, paws… Of course insect parts but as well pieces of other animals and humans. By using a pencil one can trace an endless series of creatures onto paper and afterwards color them.
DIY Notable: Waste Less Chair by architecture uncomfortable workshop in Budapest, Hungary
Convertible chair made of an oak log. The problem was the waste of the leftover wood after beam production or any building or furniture element production. This chair is kind of a symbol of that problem not a solution. We created the project because we want to bring new kind of thinking methods into furniture design and architecture, methods which are not easy but very enjoyable! We dont like used paths. As we are architects we have an architectural way of thinking when we create an object like this, we dont like to make forms, the true concept forms itself. We have a carpenter workshop where we manufacture our items by ourselves.
DIY Notable: Happening Light by Hongseok Kim and Doyun Kim from Kookmin University Industrial Design in Seoul, Korea
Nowadays, almost every industrial products have been produced ‘completely’. Possibilities are vanished and all the products seem to be similar; we cannot put our will or intention into them. In this situation, a user only can ‘choose’ his item. However, ‘Happening light’ takes and freezes the ‘Action’ performed by user. Before meeting a user, ‘Happening light’ is just an ordinary glass bottle covered by fabric. But when the user hammers it, ‘Happening light’ truly completes the light. Which means that the user can have his unique light glowing with cracks he made on purpose.
DIY Notable: Free Universal Construction Kit by Golan Levin and Shawn Sims in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
The Free Universal Construction Kit is a matrix of nearly 80 adapter bricks that enable complete interoperability between ten popular children’s construction toys. By allowing any piece to join to any other, the Kit encourages totally new forms of connection between otherwise closed systems—enabling radically hybrid constructive play, the creation of previously impossible designs, and ultimately, more creative opportunities for kids. The Kit offers adapters between Lego, Duplo, Fischertechnik, Gears! Gears! Gears!, K’Nex, Krinkles (Bristle Blocks), Lincoln Logs, Tinkertoys, Zome, and Zoob. The adapters can be freely downloaded as 3D models in .STL format, suitable for reproduction by 3D printers.