2012 BraunPrize winners look towards the future of mobility
The winners of the 18th international BraunPrize were announced on Wednesday in Frankfurt, Germany and Gizmag was lucky enough to meet the young contenders and play a part in the final judging process. The prestigious industrial design awards attracted a total of 2,399 entries from 73 different nations, with six finalists making it to the final round. The award sought outstanding design ideas for better everyday living, and judging merit was given to submissions that demonstrated the use of innovative design, new technology and sustainability.
Young German designer Sebastian Reichel won first place in the Student category for his re-interpretation of the traditional walking stick. Dubbed Agil, Reichel’s design concept is a flexible walking aid that mimics the body’s natural walking process and thus offers the user the ability to walk naturally despite his or her discomfort or disability. The original concept for Agil was inspired by the Paralympics, and Reichel sought to create an advanced walking aid that would be accessible to the general public.
Made with a flexible polymer structure, the aid is able to adjust to the user’s body weight and height without any need to alter or modify the apparatus. Agil also features shock absorbent technology, creating an equilibrium for the natural walking process without added strain on the user’s shoulder, arm or side. Overall, Agil has been designed to help people enjoy walking again instead of just fixing a problem.
First place for the Professional and Enthusiast category was awarded to German designer Oliver Klein for his infant mobility concept. Dubbed Kanguru, the concept design is essentially a baby carrier and bicycle seat in one. The carrier offers a bi-functional solution for parents who live in an urban environment and who seek a practical, safe and ergonomic solution for traveling on foot and by bike.
The lightweight frame of the carrier has been specifically designed to be easily mounted onto a bicycle and positioned behind the rider. The back and head support provide protection for the child on board, while the central harness straps the infant into place and makes sure they're safely secured for bike travel. Furthermore, the harness can be adjusted depending on the size of the infant (ideally suited to infants between 6-24 months) while the straps can also be removed for washing.
“Kanguru is essentially the perfect carrier for parents who love to be flexible and move freely, offering a great amount of freedom and mobility with children” said Klein.
The runners-up in both categories included a First Aid Cover by Finnish student Jussi Koskimaki; a sustainable mobility concept named Mo by German student Dirk Hessenbruch; Rovey, a balancing desktop fan by Japanese designers Kazuya Washio and Yu Kawashinma; and Swyp, an interactive photo printer by U.S. design studio Artefact.
Be sure to check out the gallery to get a look at more of the design finalist concepts and pictures of the awards.