A’ Design Award 2021–22 Winners Prove Creativity Makes The Future Extraordinary
By Mikelle Leow, 16 May 2022
The A’ Design Award and Competition is one of the world’s leading and most influential design accolades. Acknowledging that brilliant ideas can come from anywhere, the award celebrates exceptional design in all forms and disciplines—offering a stage for talented, budding creators and veterans alike to be heard globally.
Each year, concepts, products, services, and other design projects are judged by an international panel of prolific designers, esteemed academics, and members of the press to evaluate excellent design practices that are of service to society.
Aside from international recognition, credibility, and publicity, Laureates will be presented with accolades they can leverage to further their careers. Winners will receive a prestigious A’ Design Award trophy, a framed design excellence certificate, participation and space allocation at the winners’ exhibition both online and in Italy, features from the press, a manual sharing how they can utilize their newfound prestige, inclusion in the World Design Rankings, and gala-night tickets for two to the award ceremony, among several other benefits.
DesignTAXI now has the winners for the 2021–22 edition of the A’ Design Award, and you can revel at some of the best designs from the past year after the scroll.
It’s also a good time to share that early registrations for the upcoming run are now open, and you can nominate your best works for the internationally renowned competition here.
Chengdu NBD Centre Architecture
by Wai Tang and Kelvin Chu (Platinum A’ Design Award Winners for Architecture, Building and Structure Design Category in 2021)
“Located close to Jiaozi Park, Guixi Ecological Park, and the Jinjiang River, the Chengdu NBD Centre is one of the first of many iconic projects in the Jiaozi Park business district and an important fulcrum of a world park-like business district in Chengdu,” explain Wai Tang and Kelvin Chu. “Our goal was to create a new Cultural Icon for Chengdu and a place of destination with a green, low-carbon public realm for the city.”
Three distinctive sections form this structure: the underground retail space, which also connects to public transportation networks; the sunken civic plaza, where retail and cultural highlights abound; and the main towers, which house cultural offices and exhibition spaces.
Kerloso Wine Packaging
by Langcer Lee (Gold A’ Design Award Winner for Packaging Design Category in 2021)
“Many amazing Moai stone statues stand on the distant Easter Island. These stone statues look strange and spread all over the island, and how they were built is still an unsolved mystery,” notes Langcer Lee.
The designer has envisioned “the scene that sailors saw when they boarded the land for the first time. They pulled away the grass and saw Moai, volcanoes, the blooming red lily of the valley, smart brown deer, and vultures. The seal is decorated with the contents of the ancient documents found on Easter Island, which records the mystery and beauty here.” Burn marks at the top add an enigmatic touch to the whole look.
Better Bodies Hi Brand Identity
by Takahiro Eto (Platinum A’ Design Award Winner for Graphics, Illustration and Visual Communication Design Category in 2021)
“Better Bodies Hi is a workout studio. They needed to create an environment where users after work could gradually prepare their body and mind towards exercise. Therefore, they designed a typeface that transforms in three stages,” reveals Takahiro Eto. “As users move from the reception to the workout area, the typeface of the sign gradually changes to a thicker and larger. The typeface gradually guides and encourages the user to work out.”
“For a long time, I have been wondering if it is possible to create a typeface whose skeleton also changes when its weight changes. Also, in general signage projects, the typeface used is limited in order to give a sense of unity to the space, but I was wondering if it would be possible to change the typeface to match the function of the space. These two ideas became the inspiration for this design.”
Object Splash-Proof Partition
by Akira Nakagomi (Gold A’ Design Award Winner for Furniture Design Category in 2021)
“We decided to develop a product that focuses on both aesthetics and function, like an art piece, in order to turn the negative image of partitions for [COVID-19] into a product that adds color to our lives,” describes Akira Nakagomi. The goal was to make the partition less of an afterthought long past the pandemic.
Chun Jiang Hua Yue Ye Wedding Banquet Restaurant
by Wei Zhang, Platinum A’ Design Award Winner for Event and Happening Design Category in 2021
“This is a wedding banquet hall with an oriental artistic conception of music and poetry drama,” Wei Zhang shares. “In the form of a 270-degree multimedia drama, the scene is divided into different chapters, and each chapter and scene is named [after] the three most famous Chinese poems. There is a full moon, a clean river, and a flatboat.”
The Ring Retail Development
by Lead8 (Platinum A’ Design Award Winner for Interior Space and Exhibition Design Category in 2021)
“The interior design [of this ecological retail destination] intertwines retail, nature, culture, and experience,” explains Lead8, “coming to life with a 42-meter-tall botanical garden, interactive sports and culture, and a creative tenant mix... The power of biophilia and nature is front and center, pushing the agenda forward for retail design.”
The Pompadour Packaging
by Ivie China (Gold A’ Design Award Winner for Packaging Design Category in 2021)
“From the late 18th- to mid-19th [centuries], the barbershop was not just a place for gentlemen to procure a haircut or a shave. It was a space where fraternities were formed,” quips Ivie China. “The Pompadour was envisioned to capture that unique experience of going to a classic English barbershop. The Pompadour is the gentleman’s pocket companion. It is a fragrance that reminds him of a time when men were afforded a luxurious den of sorts.”
The leather box is reminiscent of checkered floors and seating at barbershops, and the product sheet revives the memory of old newspapers. The bottle reenacts classic barber poles—and its stripes even rotate when the packaging is being opened.
DC 3 Stool
by Sergio Fahrer (Platinum A’ Design Award Winner for Furniture Design Category in 2021)
“With a sculptural design, the stool concept refers to the aerodynamic lines of the monoplane that inspired it, the DC 3,” which is “a low-wing twin-engine monoplane that was a game-changer for the aircraft market in the 1950s and 1960s,” describes Sergio Fahrer. “The DC 3 stool resembles the structural ribs of the monoplane’s wings.”
Blockazo Chocolate Bar for Sharing
by Tridimage (Gold A’ Design Award Winner for Food, Beverage and Culinary Arts Design Category in 2021)
“Blockazo is a one-of-its-kind, one-kilogram chocolate bar specially designed for sharing and breaking up into big chunks,” notes Tridimage. “The inspiration came from the construction industry and concrete, since this huge chocolate bar is like a big building that needs to be demolished to be consumed.”
Scratch Cave Cat Scratcher
by Gloguu (Gold A’ Design Award Winner for Pet Supplies and Products for Animals Design Category in 2021)
“Modular-designed pieces [are] composed for an imaginative cave space, allowing various ways for play,” notes Gloguu. “The arched surface is like [a] tree-trunk in texture and radian. The cat can lie on the top lazily… run out of the ‘cave’, or leap from a ‘hill’.”
The designer directs focus to the space-saving qualities of the cave, which make cleanup easier too.
Double Skin House
by Nobuhito Mori (Silver A’ Design Award Winner for Architecture, Building and Structure Design Category in 2021)
“There is a traditional Japanese partition, the shoji, which is a way of ensuring light and privacy. The shoji consists of a thin wooden frame covered with translucent paper, which softens the incoming light and blurs the interior,” says Nobuhito Mori. “Inspired by the shoji, the designer [has] created a modern light filter that is resistant to wind and rain and can also be used outside.”
This translucent screen “softens incoming light and blurs the visibility of both passersby and inhabitants,” Mori adds. “At night, the lighted façade [becomes] a large light to illuminate the streets.”
Magpie Table Lamp
by Sha Yang, Kaifeng Zheng and Yang Ma (Silver A’ Design Award Winners for Lighting Products and Lighting Projects Design Category in 2021)
The magpie is a symbol of hope and happiness, and designers Sha Yang, Kaifeng Zheng, and Yang Ma aspire for this lamp to radiate the same kind of positive energy.
The lighting product arrives in three forms. The first, depicting a nesting magpie, exudes the softest glow and is the most space-saving, making for an ideal nightlight. The second imagines the bird studying its surroundings, and its greater illuminated surface area carries a wider radius of light. Finally, the third portrays the magpie preparing to take off.
Shape Grammars Book
by Jannis Maroscheck (Gold A’ Design Award Winner for Generative, Algorithmic and Parametric Design Category in 2021)
“Shape Grammars is a study on generative shapes, asking: how can unique pieces be mass-produced? 12 production systems that can generate an unlimited number of individual graphic shapes were designed and programmed.”
“The result is a designer’s handbook which, in addition to 150,000 generated shapes, shows some potentials and limitations of generative design,” remarks Jannis Maroscheck.
Bavvic Creative Building Blocks
by Maciej Sokolnicki (Gold A’ Design Award Winner for Toy, Games and Hobby Products Design Category in 2021)
A casual get-together between two friends evolved into the generation of an idea, recounts Maciej Sokolnicki. “The basic [principle] was to do something with the wooden leftovers from furniture and window production.”
The Peacock Wine Cellar
by Kyle MertensMeyer (Platinum A’ Design Award Winner for Interior Space and Exhibition Design Category in 2021)
“The Peacock Cellar’s use of ancient craftsmanship combined with contemporary fabrication technologies creates a beautiful and intentional joining of past and present. The blue tone of the cellar comes from one thousand individually handcrafted blue glazed clay tiles, glistening like the peacock's feathers. The symbolism of the peacock showcases both elegance and strength,” says Kyle MertensMeyer.
Kaisa Clouds by the River Real Estate Sales Center
by YHDQ Design (Silver A’ Design Award Winner for Interior Space and Exhibition Design Category in 2021)
“As a sales center with [a focus on] parent-child activities, the designer tries to present the sales space from the perspective of children,” details YHDQ Design. “Orange and white are the main colors of the space, which are [infused with] bright and cloudy scenery.”
OCT Happy Hour Wayfinding Signs
by updesign (Silver A’ Design Award Winner for Graphics, Illustration and Visual Communication Design Category in 2021)
“The project is designed for the demonstration area of a large park-themed residence with Corbusier’s modernist architectural style,” shares updesign. “Corbusier architectural language is well extracted and expressed in the wayfinding-sign design in this project.”
“The whole rough, bold appearance is [accented] by exaggerated crude concrete components and exposed unfinished structures and facilities.” Further, “cool shadows of heavy metal materials produce artistic 3D visual effects, conveying a powerful sense of minimalism.”
Kujdane Holiday House
by Yaser Rashid Shomali and Yasin Rashid Shomali (Silver A’ Design Award Winners for Architecture, Building and Structure Design Category in 2021)
This cabin “is expressed with a centralized glass core which runs vertically through the heart of the building. This distinctive element serves to create a vertical connection between the sky and the ground plane, allowing residents to feel the passage of snow and rain through the interior of the house,” describe Yaser Rashid Shomali and Yasin Rashid Shomali.
“Wood is, of course, the element of choice to evoke that warm, cozy, cabin vibe and is complimented with cool-toned interior details for balance,” they continue.
The Sun House Sustainable Social Building
by Po Wen Cheng (Gold A’ Design Award Winner for Sustainable Products, Projects and Green Design Category in 2021)
“Organic architecture that combines technology, design and [is] human-centered,” Po Wen Cheng describes of this sustainable social building which has a solar-panel roof and exterior, and interiors fitted out with recycled cypress timber.
“In keeping with the concept of recycling, up to 90% of the interior materials were made from recycled cypress timber, which the owner spent four years collecting. The design team recreated different sizes of discarded timber into ceilings, flooring, furniture, partitions and wall decorations, giving each recycled piece a new value in this space.”
Nave Air Conditioning System
by Yael Issacharov (Bronze A’ Design Award Winner for Building Materials and Construction Components Design Category in 2021)
“NAVE is a terracotta tile system combined with water flow, used to cool indoor spaces in desertic environments,” explains Yael Issacharov. “The cooling method is based on a local traditional cooling solution, and answers a local need… The system operates on minimal energy and water consumption and is used for green building.”
As seen above, prizewinners come from all walks of life and design disciplines, and you could be one of them. As early submissions are now welcome, you can register your projects for the A’ Design Award and Competition here.
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