Students’ designs end in top three at Red Dot competition

Staff writer, with CNA

Thu, Oct 04, 2012 - Page 5

Two designs by Taiwanese students were selected among the top three at this year’s Red Dot Design Awards in Germany, their schools said on Tuesday.

The two designs were “Add Up,” a spare cash utilizer, and “Float Base Station,” a communications device. The two entries also each won a Red Dot: Best of the Best Award and have been nominated for the Red Dot: Luminary, the highest design prize in Germany.

The judges did not list the top designs in any particular order.

The entry “Add Up,” designed by Deng Pei-chih (鄧培志) and Hsieh Tsai-ni (謝采倪) of National Taipei University of Technology (NTUT), is a system that allows spare foreign currency to be put to good use. Small amounts of foreign coins and notes brought home from a trip can be used to add credit to mobile phone talk time, pay for Skype points or be donated to charity, according to the designers.

Deng said the idea was inspired by his mother, who works as a tour guide.

He decided to design a multifunctional system that would make good use of small amounts of money left over from travel, he said.

The “Float Base Station,” which was designed by Huang Hsin-ya and Huang Pin-jen of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, is aimed at solving communications problems in remote areas during natural disasters.

It is a device that can be airdropped into an area during an emergency and it is equipped with a type of balloon that can be floated aloft to pick up communication signals, Huang Pin-jen said.

Four other designs by Taiwanese students, all from NTUT, also received Red Dot Design Awards. Among them was “Water Lock,” a device that can automatically control the volume of water flowing from a tap.

More than 3,000 entries from 56 countries were submitted to the design awards this year. The Red Dot: Luminary prize will be announced on Oct. 19.