A coffee capsule that dissolves instead of having to be thrown away; a bicycle with a cargo compartment; and a home dialysis kit that reduces the risk of error and infection are the three winning concepts from Singapore for this year's Red Dot Award: Design Concept.
Two of the winners are National University of Singapore industrial design graduates. Mr Eason Chow, 26, created the waste-minimising Droops Coffeemaker, and Mr Kwek Wenshu, 26, developed Safe.Lync, a contraption that simplifies the dialysis process for patients.
The people behind bicycle cafe Coast Cycles debuted a compact bicycle called Quinn, which has a storage compartment between the cyclist's legs.
Started by Germany's Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in 2005, the awards celebrate design prototypes and innovative ideas.
There are three categories in the competition, but the category that is held annually in Singapore is called Design Concept, which can apply to innovations in areas such as recreation, life science and fashion. This year, there were 4,680 entries from 61 countries vying for different awards in this category.
VIEW IT /EXHIBITION: FUTURE
WHERE: Red Dot Design Museum, 28 Maxwell Road
WHEN: Till Sept 25 next year, 11am to 6pm (weekday), 11am to 8pm (weekend)
ADMISSION: $4 to $8
The highest accolade for Design Concept was given to a car tyre concept called Boostrac by South Korean company Hankook Tire. The tyre is built to provide optimal performance in both general and desert driving conditions.
The three winning Singaporean entries got a mid-level recognition - a Red Dot Award - together with more than 200 other submissions.
Mr Chow's coffee-maker uses sugar-coated coffee capsules that dissolve - a less wasteful alternative to coffee-makers using plastic capsules. He says he has a lot of interest from customers around the world to purchase Droops, which is in its conceptual stage.
Singapore's winning concepts can be viewed at the Red Dot Design Museum Singapore at 28 Maxwell Road till Sept 25 next year.
Awards for Singapore
QUINN BY COAST CYCLES
Won: Red Dot Award in the Mobility category
What: The Quinn is a compact cargo bicycle that lets the rider carry a bag in a storage compartment between the wheels. This lowers the centre of gravity for better stability and allows the rider to keep belongings in sight.
Its design team is led by Coast Cycles founder Mr Jansen Tan, 34, and designer Mr Patrick Lau, 35, who wanted to address the problem of sweat patches forming on cyclists when they sling their bags over their shoulder while riding.
The bicycle is 1.5m long and 1m tall. It retails from US$998 (S$1,431; three-speed model) to US$1,799 (11-speed model).
It goes on sale in December at Coast Cycles (54 Siglap Drive) or www.coastcycles.com.
SAFE.LYNC BY KWEK WENSHU
Won: Red Dot Award in the Life Science Category
What: This contraption makes it easier for kidney dialysis patients to hook themselves up to a machine for peritoneal dialysis. Unlike hemodialysis, or dialysis using blood, this form of dialysis for kidney failure patients uses the body's abdominal lining as a filter.
A tube is placed in the peritoneal cavity, the gap between the wall of the abdomen and other organs. Patients hook the tube to a dialysis machine, which provides a special liquid to draw impurities from the body for four to six hours.
The device is partially made of soft silicone to provide better comfort.
DROOPS COFFEEMAKER BY EASON CHOW
Won: Red Dot Award in the Recreation Category
What: Instead of plastic, the coffee capsules in this coffee-maker are made of sugar. When hot water passes through them, they dissolve into the drink. The amount of sugar can be customised to suit different tastes.
The idea came to Mr Chow when he was interning at a design consultancy in Ireland, where everyone was drinking single-serve coffee from capsules. Dismayed at the waste generated by used capsules, he invented a machine to cut out unnecessary packaging.