Chul Min Kang, a student at Pratt Institute in New York, won a gold for the design of a Min.Chair for children ages 5-8. Yet to be produced and proposed in PE, the one-piece chair was developed using Alias Studio Tools and SolidWorks software for New York consultancy Bernstein Design Associates.
Duckimage Co. Ltd. of Taichung, Taiwan, was recognized for the design and modular assembly of a high-strength semi-transparent ABS construction fence for Productivity Architect Co. Ltd. of Taichung. The modular assembly includes x-type reinforced rhombic lines and h-steel piling. After installation was completed in August, a major typhoon failed to damage the fence, unlike the destroyed safety fences of nearby construction sites. A user can dismantle and repeatedly reuse the fence.
The Talking Tactile Tablet computer peripheral from Touch Graphics Inc. of New York won a gold. The $659 system allows a visually impaired person to explore and learn from graphical imagery. Touch Graphics started with an 8-mil-thick copolymer rigid white PVC sheet for the tactile overlay. Visual Marking Systems Inc. of Twinsburg, Ohio, silk-screen-printed the vinyl with ultraviolet-light-cured, water-soluble and nontoxic inks using a four-color in-line press. Touch Graphics vacuum thermoformed the sheets with a raised line and textured image. Neoprene rubber gaskets hold the PVC sheet in place in the closed position. The company used AutoCad software for the three-dimensional design, and the mold was produced on a three-axis computer numerically controlled mill. Touch Graphics' Steven Landau, Justin Hjortshoj and Nicole Rittenour designed the device.
The Think high-performance desk chair from furniture maker Steelcase Inc. of Grand Rapids, Mich., was recognized. As much as 44 percent of the chair can be recycled, and no hazardous materials are used in the manufacturing, the company said. Short-strand-glass-filled nylon is injection molded for each structural element including the base, back frame and arm supports. The seat foam is water-based polyurethane, and the back cushion is PET. Steel-leaf springs are mounted to a cast aluminum support for the functioning mechanism. Focusing on the high-value, midlevel pricing market, models of the 32-pound Think chair entered the market in late 2004 and cost $680-$1,200.
Jonathan Abarbanel, a product design student at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., was recognized for his concept of a public bicycle transportation system for Amsterdam, Netherlands. Residents and tourists would use bicycles provided by the city. Scicon Technologies Corp. of Valencia, Calif., used stereolithography to make the appearance models with Somos 14140 material from DSM Somos of New Castle, Del., and, for clear parts, Accura 60 plastic from 3D Systems Corp. of Valencia. Abarbanel was doing research on global positioning systems and bikes and became aware of an experimental 1960s Amsterdam public-usage initiative called the White Bike program. Adding GPS control might make the concept feasible.
A quickly opening dome tent, the two-second Quechua from Decathlon SA of Villeneuve d'Ascq, France, won a gold. A user throws the 2Seconds-brand tent into the air, and it opens automatically on its own, ostensibly before reaching the ground. Two fiberglass hoops help to reduce each part's diameter, making the tent easier to fold after use. An extra-strong polyester fabric is used for the roof, which is double coated and has waterproof seams. The tent costs about $62, measures 4.7 feet by 8 feet and can accommodate two people.
The concept design of the Intelligent Energy ENV motorcycle was a winner. London-based design firm Seymourpowell specified glass-reinforced polyester for the body with hollow-cast, aircraft-grade aluminum for the primary frame and swinging arm and machined aluminum for other components. Intelligent Energy Ltd. of London, which develops fuel cells, commissioned the ENV as the world's first purpose-built hydrogen fuel-cell motorcycle.
The wall-mounted AN110 digital projector from LG Electronics Inc. of Seoul, South Korea, was honored. The product targets the market for home theater systems. Materials include transparent acrylic, magnesium and aluminum. The projector has an automatic lens door, ventilator, auto focus and zoom and can be operated with a remote control. The $3,499 projector entered the market in September.
The Siemens Symbia medical imaging system, starting at $450,000, won a gold. Clinicians use the system to create three-dimensional images of a patient's anatomy and physiology. Grimm Bros. Plastics Corp. in Wapello, Iowa, thermoforms Symbia's major components using a specially formulated, translucent-mint-colored polycarbonate from the sheet division of RTP Co. in Winona, Minn., and fire-rated high-impact PS from Allen Extruders Inc. of Holland, Mich. The customer is the nuclear medical group of Siemens Medical Solutions USA Inc. of Hoffman Estates, Ill., a unit of Siemens AG. Designers included Ansgar Graw with Siemens; Russell Kroll, Phil Palermo and Robert Henshaw with Formation Design Group of Atlanta; and Klaus Thormann with DesignAffairs of Munich, Germany, a Siemens-owned design consultancy.
The Eva Solo Tea-maker for a Copenhagen, Denmark-based unit of Eva Denmark A/S won a gold. Tools Design of Copenhagen created the product. Asicomo A/S of Rodbyhavn, Denmark, manufactured the silicone parts. A conformal cotton knitwear or neoprene shirt, termed a tea-shirt, comes in a variety of colors and designs, keeps the tea hot and protects a user's hands.
The CityWing light-emitting-diode pedestrian floodlight from Philips Design was a winner. The micro-lens optic is formed of acrylic, although PC also is an option. Other materials include die-cast and extruded aluminum. The $240 floodlight entered the market in March 2005. Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV of Eindhoven, the Netherlands, is the parent firm.
Designs of signs, environmental graphics and media installations for Bloomberg LP's new corporate headquarters in New York won a gold. Pentagram Design of New York was the creative force. Oversized floor numbers of a custom-colored translucent resin are encased in floor-to-ceiling glass. Acrylic and translucent vinyl were used for room and door signs.
The installation was completed in April 2005.
Of the 108 winning 2006 IDEA entries, 35 came from international sources in 19 countries.