CLEVELAND — A garden planter for schools and a sound amplification device for an iPhone that looks like an old-fashioned ear trumpet won top honors in the product design competition at TopCon 2014, sponsored by the Society of Plastics Engineers' Rotational Molding Division.
The Learning Garden Bed won first place in the Professional Division for The Kitchen Community in Boulder, Colo., which is the philanthropic arm of the The Kitchen restaurant group. The curvy vegetable gardens are designed to be hands-on learning environments and play spaces for schools and community areas. The firm has installed 172 Learning Gardens so far. Jamie Wirkler, product manager, attended the Cleveland conference to accept the award and $3,000.
Artist Jen Lewin conceptualized, prototyped and designed The Learning Gardens with The Kitchen Community. The components are molded by several different companies.
Second Place, and $1,500 went to Tom Fish, creative director at Little Tikes Co. in Hudson, Ohio, for a Pirate Bed.
Honorable mentions in the Professional Division went to Ahuha Yuvraj Singh, director of Frontier Polymers Pvt. Ltd., in Amritsar, India; Tom Fish of Little Tikes for a swing set and Larry Moody, president and partner of WaveMaster Docking Systems Inc. in Tampa, Fla. Each won a $1,000 prize.