The 15th Acrylic Creative Design Contest Awards ceremony was held by KMC, Lucite International’s operation in Taiwan, on 21 May. Almost 400 people from across the country, including 250 students and teachers and 150 manufacturers, joined in the celebratory event to honour the ideas and creative solutions that resulted from the last year of working on the contest brief set by KMC. Bella Wang, Specialist in KMC’s Downstream department, shared the story with us.
The Acrylic Creative Design Contest has become well known among the business, academic and design circles in Taiwan. It is now considered somewhat of a benchmarking event and one that provides key standards for evaluating an individual’s design capabilities. Each year, many students and teachers look forward to joining the contest and this year it was even bigger, with participants from the regular collection of colleges being joined by high school and vocational education students. Bella said: “All of the students performed well in terms of showing off their creativity and highlighting the features of acrylic. Among all of the 750 works that were submitted, many were created using a combination of acrylic and other materials. Some entries were a re-thinking of items that we use every day, while others were creations with higher added value and had features that extended the idea of creativity as far as one could imagine.”
For this year’s contest, 54 designs were selected as the nominated works, which were then prototyped for entry into the final competition. The contest culminated in three individual works being selected for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards, five for merit awards, three for manufacturers’ special awards, and 15 were given highly commended awards.
The exceptional first prizewinner was the “Bamboo Hanger” by Jin-Yi Lin from Fu-Hsin Trade and Arts School, who used imitation design method. As the Bamboo symbolises integrity and longevity, the product reminds people to be honest, noble and forever true to themselves each time they hang their clothes.
Hong-Jie Chen, Rou-Yu Chen and Yong-Chang Zhang from Yunlin University of Science and Technology won the second prize. The team designed “Swirl” – a shade for floor or hanging lamps created by heating and curling acrylic sheet. The third prize went to Yi-Yan Wu from National Taipei University of Technology for the “Crystal Fruit Fork”. The design is a combination of an acrylic fruit fork and an LED light base, which makes the product not only functional but decorative as well.
Bella continued: “This was our fifteenth time of running the Acrylic Creative Design Contest and, as in previous years, we were delighted with the level of participation. The main criteria for entering is that contestants must be students – we set this requirement in order to stimulate more creative application ideas by introducing acrylic and relevant fabrication techniques to people while they are young or in the early stages of becoming a designer. As students are normally inexperienced in making prototypes, we hold workshops here at KMC during which senior designers and fabricators from our partners share their practical and technical experience with the students while manufacturers provide the relevant materials and tools. This comprehensive look at the prototyping process and the way that it is managed has the ultimate impact on the final outcome of any design idea so it is particularly important for students to get fully involved in this element of the program. From the contestants’ perspective, the Acrylic Creative Design Contest is so much more than just a competition… it really is a great platform for students to learn about how they can use acrylic to shape solutions for the future.”