2003 Annual Design Review Concepts Design Distinction

Posted inID Mag


A collaborative effort for the Solar Decathlon Competition by the departments of architecture, industrial design and mechanical and electrical engineering at Virginia Tech, the Solar House is intended to improve spatial quality and derive all its energy needs from the sun. The one-bedroom house is designed with sliding modular units that transform the space into an office as needed. Translucent panels along the east and west walls provide insulation and light, while a structural skylight in the ceiling has an experimental 3M film composite for retaining solar energy. A control system automatically balances the ratio of artificial and natural light. Duane Smith lauded its “social impact and complex interaction of mobile elements.”

CLIENT | DESIGN Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.: Faculty: Professors Robert Schubert, Robert Dunay, Michael Ellis, James Jones, Michael O’Brien, Matt Lutz and Mehdi Setareh; Students: Yousef Nawas, Dave Miller, Jason Kovac, Ross Marks, Aaron Emmons, John Rozada, Aaron Allen, Greg Morris, Tor Severtson, Jun Xu, Brooke Zheng Xu, Zachary Weber, Jason Miller, Jesse Christophel, Alok Mallick, Zachary Brock, James Mazaferro, Stefanie Bachetti, Nicole Hall, Serge Ambrose, Tom Miller, Travis Arey, William Ngutter, Tony Colosi, Andrew Reichard, Chollaporn Ounkomol, Christen Robbins, Nicholas Duncan, Benjamin Scott, Rob Fisher, Matt Swope, Emile Freeland, Megan Gregares, Jan Wehby, Indhava Kunjarana, Brett Miller, Susan Fioravante, Mike Babcock, Sandra Smith, Charity Campbell, Chris McGaha, Chris Grunau, Randy Reams, Seth Martin, David Losh, Shannon Donovan, Anna Davis, Steve Hansen, Brian Murphy, Shelly Brooks, Nils Steika, Joe Barker, Sean Brady, Teaque Clare, Linda McCormick, Elena D’Alessandro, Clay Moulton, Ardeshir Aliaskari, Collin Farrill, Rory Willis and David WaruirSOFTWARE Autocad, Flovent, Energy 10, F-Chart, Power DOE, PV-Desin Pro, 3D Studio Max


According to designers at Kennedy and Violich Architecture, the design of the Electroluminescent (EL) Plywood Desk builds upon the structural advantages of plywood as a strong, affordable material, while showing how digital and physical materials can integrate the efficiency and long life span of solid-state lighting with flexible computer circuits. Very thin el sheets are sandwiched between plywood layers, giving each piece of wood a unique, luminous signature. Robert Probst liked “that in an innovative way, the designers brought together a low- and a high-tech product,” because it humanizes the technology and makes it more friendly to the body. Smith lauded the “intelligent adaptation of materials and cross-over of relatively simple technologies.”

CLIENT | DESIGN Kennedy & Violich Architecture, Boston: Stephen Belton, Sheila Kennedy, Veit Krugel, Benoit Michaud, Eric Olson and Bill Yen, design teamMATERIALS | FABRICATION Plywood, thin film electronics, Universal laser cutter, vacuum table clamp, table saw, drill, router, random orbit and belt sanders, planes, chisels, saws and other hand toolsSOFTWARE Autocad, MicroStation, Rhino


This modular system of electrical kitchen appliances earned praise from jurors for its pure form and universal design features. “It gives you flexibility, but also homogeneity,” remarked Smith. “It revisits the kitchen from the ground up, with beautiful styling that solves a problem.” The problem, according to designers at Pearl Creative of Ludwigsburg, Germany, is that modern electrical appliances differ only in terms of aesthetics; they don’t necessarily meet all users’ needs. Pearl’s solution was to create space-saving aluminum devices with stackable, front-operated components based on the cube. The three different styles-Spike, qk2 and de la lounge-take inspiration from both the Bauhaus tradition and the automotive industry to target three types of consumers: respectively, sporty, high-tech and retro. Probst liked the clean solutions, noting, “You can easily apply the aesthetics to a different line and have several different versions in the market.”

CLIENT | DESIGN Pearl Creative, Ludwigsburg, Germany: Tim Storti and Christian Rummel, designersSOFTWARE Adobe Photoshop, Lightwave, Rhino 3D


Both jurors liked the well-rounded conceptual approach to cleaning in “Project F: Fabric Care Futures.” Designers from Whirlpool Europe’s Global Consumer Design team, deep design and designkoop, all of Italy, and San Francisco-based design raw collaborated to develop five ideas for future washing machines. The results stemmed from a simple question: What does clean mean? One proposal, Pulse, takes cues from age-old washing techniques but uses modern materials, forms and processes, such as the alternative purification method phytodepuration. Probst praised the collaborative design effort, noting, “It uses design as a tool to link with many other areas, like biology, psychology and architecture.” Smith agreed: “This is really a change in lifestyle that addresses ecological issues and how you interact with your appliances.”

CLIENT Whirlpool Europe, Comerio, ItalyDESIGN Global Consumer Design, Whirlpool Europe, Biandronno, Italy: Richard Eisermann, Alessandro Finetto, Gigliana Orlandi, Monica Dalla Riva, Ruben Castano, Giuseppe Netti, Patrizio Cionfoli and Tory Dunn, design team; deep design, Milan, Italy: Raffaella Mangiarotti and Matteo Bazzicalupo, principals; designkoop, Milan: Johannes Kiessler, Claus-Christian Eckhardt and Andreas Hopf; design raw, San Francisco: Tad Toulis and Roman GephardMATERIALS | FABRICATION ProLab, acrylic, PVC, styrene, aluminum, mapleSOFTWARE Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, Alias/Wavefront, Ashlar-Vellum, Freehand, Max 3D, ProEngineer


A conceptual project by IDEO Japan for Diamond Design Management Network of Tokyo marries electronic functionality with emotional expression in the creation of wearable technology. Designers from several Japanese companies worked with IDEO to develop e-Fashion: their 20 ideas for conceptual products include Hole in the Body, a camera pointing from the front of a shirt that sends an image to an LCD panel on the back; Silent Talk, which displays spoken words as text on headgear; Laptop Keyboard, pants that incorporate a touchpad keyboard in the fabric; and Pulse Necklace and Bracelet, jewelry that throbs in response to the wearer’s rhythms. “It’s using the right materials with the right technology for the right purpose,” Probst said. “It’s a knockout.”

CLIENT Diamond Design Management Network, TokyoDESIGN IDEO Japan, Tokyo: Ricca Tezuchi, Chiho Sasaki, Kazushige Miyake and Etsuyo Yamada; and designers from IAMAS, Toshiba Corp., NTT Intercommunication Center, Atelier Nakamura, Olympus Optical Co., Kokuyo Co. Ltd., Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Akiko Hamada, TDK Corp., Shiseido Co. Ltd., Apex, Seiko Epson Corp., Ricoh Co. Ltd. and Fijutsu Ltd.

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