RIT Students Double Up at International Design Competition

Designers recognized for two separate concepts at iF Concept Design Awards

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Students Yu Liu, Yakun Zhang and Danwei Ye are congratulated by Ralph Wiegmann, CEO of iF International Forum Design, after being named as a “Best 100” at the 2012 iF Concept Design Awards for two separate projects. The award competition is one of the most prominent product design competitions in the world.

Rochester Institute of Technology students are constantly busy designing their future—and it’s paying off. Two separate concepts from a team of design students have been named a “Best 100” at the 2012 iF Concept Design Awards.

Industrial design graduate students Danwei Ye and Jason Liu along with computer graphic design graduate student Yakun Zhang are being recognized for their concept designs of a backpack accessory called “The Backbone” and a bike lock called the “Acoustic-Optical Lock.”

“As students, we are honored to be recognized with one of the most prestigious awards in the design industry,” Liu says. “This recognition is opening so many doors for us as well as showcasing the creativity of RIT students to the design industry.”

The students were presented the awards in Hamburg, Germany, in May. The iF product design award is one of the most prominent product design awards in the world. Award-winning entries are recognized in 16 different categories and are allowed to carry the iF label—a label that signifies design excellence.

“It’s a snapshot of the type of design work RIT students are capable of producing,” says Stan Rickel, chair of the industrial design program at RIT. “It illustrates the high level of excellence of the RIT students. The work is excellent.”

The acoustic-optical lock system uses a radio transmitter in the key and a radio receiver in the lock. When the button is pressed, the lock makes a sound and emits a light, making it easy to locate a bike in dark situations. The competition’s website says: “This is designed to make life a little easier for people who want to enjoy a low-carbon lifestyle.”

The backbone is an accessory designed to fit underneath a backpack against a user’s back to allow the attachment of small separate containers at different points. iF added on its website: “It is stylish, made of high performance plastic and is multipurpose.”

The competition drew 15,000 entries this year from all over the world. An international jury of 56 design experts selected the “Best 100.” The entries were judged on degree of innovation and creativity, quality of design and marketing, practical aspects and degree of elaboration, functionality, application, material, sustainability, social responsibility, universal design and safety.

For more information on the awards, go to iF Concept Design Awards’ website at www.ifdesign.de.