A “smart” bowl designed for the visually impaired by a doctoral student at National Cheng Kung University has won a prestigious German iF concept design award this year, the university said in a press release on Tuesday.
Tai Kuang-chin (戴廣欽), who designed the “Heat Conduction Bowl,” was quoted in the press release as saying he was inspired by observing the needs of visually impaired people in their daily lives.
Tai has been a volunteer at the Taiwan Foundation for the Blind for several years.
“I was pleased to hear I had made the list of winners and especially appreciate the help of the visually impaired,” Tai said.
Tsai explained how his bowl works: “When blind people pour tea, they have to put their fingers at the edge of the bowl to know how much to pour. However, if they pour hot tea, they cannot use their fingers.”
Tai’s bowl, which has metal inlays with heat conduction rods, allows the visually impaired to know the level of hot water by touching scales on the outside of the bowl without burning themselves.
The iF product design awards cover all areas of product design, with entries judged on design workmanship, choice of material, environmental compatibility and functionality, the university said.
The awards have been held since 1953 and are recognized as a benchmark for good design. They are presented for many different fields, including product design, communication design, packaging design, materials and concepts.
This year, about 15,000 products from all over the world were entered into the contest.
The awards ceremony will take place on May 31 in the German city of Hamburg.