The new Toyota iQ, which addresses many of the challenges of modern city living with its compact dimensions and 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.
Launched during the London Design Festival earlier this year, the contest asked RCA students to create innovative design for urban living, using Toyota’s new premium city car as a template for excellence.
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 vertical 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 (read here for more information).
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.
The winning designs will be displayed in a special exhibition at the Royal College of Art in early 2009, and then toured around the UK.
Kristina Hofman’s Hide and Seek Curtain allows urban dwellers to either hide things from view or emphasise what they want to see.
- DaeKyung Ahn, Gianpaolo Fusari and Nicholas Reddall offer a new take on a kitchen staple: Twist + Cap – a lemon squeezer that prevents waste.
- David Weatherhead’s Cold Block is an alternative design solution that allows the user to keep food in cold storage without using electricity.
- Pack Lamp is an environmentally friendly lighting concept that aims to cut down on unnecessary packaging material, by Jonas Trampedach and Romain Jeantet.
- Dominic Hargreaves had three bikes stolen in quick succession – resulting in Out of reach out of harm, a design solution for preventing bicycle theft.
Augustin Barbot’s My iQ Cinema offers a home entertainment system with a difference – utilising the user’s own garage.
- iQ Luggage Furniture, designed by Filip Krnja, aims to make storage a little easier, by making travel containers part of the furniture.
- Receipts tend to be small and easily misplaced. To overcome this, Kyu-Seon Lee has designed Bookkeeping Cushion, a filing system inside a scatter cushion.
- YuType, a computer peripheral that allows two fingered typists to increase their speed and accuracy, is designed by Yusuf Muhammad.
- Simple but oh so effective: Quicksnap, by Graeme Davies, is a quick-release ice cube tray that prevents cubes from jumping out when the tray is twisted.
- Designer Elizabeth Beaumont has created Bloom, a set of interactive wall tiles that move independently from each other and change from 2D into to 3D structures.
- ThermoCon by Yuko Kanemura, is a thermally efficient textile that uses recycled materials to reduce heating costs, increase space and minimise environmental impact.
|Pack Lamp by J. Trampedach and R. Jeantet||Quicksnap by Graeme Davies||Out of reach out of harm by Dominic Hargreaves|
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.”
|Bloom – Interactive wall tiles by Elizabeth Beaumont||Bookkeeping Cushion by Kyu-Seon Lee|
(Source: Toyota, Royal College of Art)