IHA reveals winners of 2018 Student Design Competition

Health, safety and hydration were key themes of the winning entries of the 2018 International Housewares Association (IHA) Student Design Competition.

This annual contest challenges students to redesign a current housewares product to meet the needs of the future – or to create a concept for a new product. Projects are selected for their innovation, understanding of production and marketing principles, and quality of materials.

The first place prize was shared by Lauren Emmerson and Anastasia Miller of Arizona State University for their Domi Care At Home Pap Test; and Ben Kaufmann of Carleton University for his BIO Water Distiller.

1.Domi Care At Home Pap Test aims to reduce the anxiety surrounding the pap smear test (a screening procedure for cervical cancer) and give women confidence and control over their health without interfering with their work/social life. Women can perform the test in the comfort of their own homes, and then access the results and discuss them with their doctors through the Domi Care app.

1.Bio Water Distiller is designed to remove toxins, bacteria and heavy metals from drinking water. It was created for the Canadian market, where more than160 remote communities must have potable water delivered because of the contaminated water supply. The distillation system uses a standard five-gallon water jug and adapts to a gas and electric stove, hot plate or wood stove, allowing the user to choose the lowest-cost energy source.

The first place winners will each receive a $2,500 cash prize and an all-expenses paid trip to Chicago for the International Home + Housewares Show, which is sponsored by IHA and takes place from March 10 to March 13. Their winning product concepts may be seen by 60,000 attendees and 2,200 exhibiting companies from more than 145 countries.

Joining Lauren, Anastasia and Ben at the show will be two second-place and two third-place winners, who will share $5,500 in prize money. The five winning schools will receive grants totaling $3,000.

Second-place awards of $1,750 each were received by Andrew Ferrier of Carleton University student for his Botany Child-Proof Cannabis Container; and Caleb Blankenbaker of University of Illinois at Chicago for his Arome Coffee Bean Roaster.

2.Botany Child-Proof Cannabis Container provides a holistic approach to marijuana storage, with a focus on child safety, two-way humidity control and portability.

2.Arome Coffee Bean Roaster is an electric air roaster that functions like an air popcorn popper. The aim is to make roasting coffee beans safer and more energy-efficient than traditional roasters. The shape allows the user to comfortably pick it up and pour the roasted beans into a grinder or jar once they are roasted to satisfaction. With included Bluetooth wireless connectivity, the user has complete control over the roast curve, allowing for precise control over the heat throughout the process.

Third-place awards of $1,000 each went to Cody Moore, a graduate of Savannah College of Art & Design for Sift Filtration Systems; and Brandon Rodriguez of Cleveland Institute of Art for Novus Home Brewing Beer System.

3.Sift Filtration Systems uses donated clay molds and locally sourced materials to create filters that can purify water in villages across the developing world. The filter is placed in a bucket of water, from a lake or other water source, and is connected to a hose which delivers a steady flow of filtered water into a collection vessel.

3.Novus Home Brewing Beer System is a pod-based system of products that aims to ‘eliminate any intimidating and confusing aspects’ of the home brewing process. It is designed to allow the novice brewer to ‘create fresh craft beer with precision, customisation and ease, as part of a community of friends and other brewers’.

Now in its 25th year, the Student Design Competition attracted a total of 217 entries from 29 schools, including universities in Canada, India and Israel.

Vicki Matranga, IHA’s design programme’s co-ordinator and manager of the Competition, said: “IHA’s programme has become known as the gold standard for college-level competitions. Many US professors assign the programme annually to industrial design students because it is a real-world exercise, and every entry receives feedback from two industry professionals. Students must identify user needs and opportunity spaces in the marketplace, research competitive available products, test models with users, and consider production issues.”

This year’s winners were chosen by a 14-strong jury, including an IHA board member and company president, design managers at consumer products companies, a major retailer, design consultants, two former winners and three educators.


Joint third-place award winner: Novus Home Brewing Beer System, designed by Brandon Rodriguez of Cleveland Institute of Art

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