Taiwanese Students Stand Out In iF International Design Awards

Taiwanese Students Stand Out In iF International Design Awards
Photo Credit: 中央社影片截圖

What you need to know

Taiwanese students have won ten out of 33 awards in the iF Public Value Student Awards in Germany. The awards recognize innovative projects and ideas devoted to the service of public interests.

Translated and compiled by Bing-sheng Lee

Taiwanese students have won ten prizes among 33 awards in the iF Public Value Student Awards, which recognizes innovative projects and ideas devoted to the service of public interests, including improving living conditions and offering solutions to pressing issues. On February 23, the students were officially honored at the awards ceremony in Munich.

The competition, held for the first time this year, was organized by iF International Forum Design, a Germany-based organization providing design-related services and holding international design contest exhibitions.

Signal light system wins first prize

“Signal Light," a project designed by students from National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, won the first prize and a prize money of EU$2500 (approximately US$2,750). The project is a system that indicates the capacity level of each train car, allowing passengers to follow the light and form a line in front of cars that still have room for more passengers.

Photo Credit: Screenshot from iF World Design Guide website

Photo Credit: Screenshot from iF World Design Guide website

CNA reports, Liu Dong-shen, one of the designers of “Signal Light," says inspiration for the project came from his commuting experiences. He found that when an MRT train approaches a station, most passengers do not know which car is fully packed and have a hard time finding the car that has more space before the train departs. He also added that it is very dangerous for passengers to rush towards less-packed cars within the short amount of time the train pauses at a stop.

He and his partner, Chen Wei-ling, came up with the idea of using cameras implemented in carriages and infrared systems installed on train doors to count the number of passengers in each car and sending the statistics to the signal lights control system on the platform.

If a car reaches a capacity level of 90%, the signal light will turn red; 65%, yellow, and 10%, green. The colors of the signal lights can help passengers find the right car to get in and optimize the efficiency of the public transportation system.

Designs improving public good gain recognition

Other designs that were awarded prizes include a tsunami warning system and a guiding system for the blind, also invented by students of the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology.

Focus Taiwan reports, “Right Way,” the tsunami warning system, is a roadside sign system that immediately switches to an evacuation alarm to guide people towards safe locations upon receiving a tsunami warning.

The system offers people latest updates on tsunamis and helps them make decisions to find shelter.

The designers, Ma Hui-chuan and Cheng Yang-jang, say the design concept was inspired by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 2011 tsunami in Japan.

Ma says “Right Way” combines the functions of general traffic signs with emergency evacuation signs aimed at helping people find shelter when a tsunami occurs and easing their fear and anxiety.

The guiding system that also won an iF Public Value Award is called, “Blind Guider." The system was designed and developed by Lee Yin-kai and Wang Chih-hao, along with Ma and Cheng, to help the visually impaired keep track of where they are going while on the move.

“Blind Guider” uses radio frequency identification technology to announce street names and directions as the user is walking.

If the orientation modules installed in guide tiles on streets are touched by a white cane, the location-related information is emitted over earphones and gives users audible directions.

Photo Credit: Screenshot from iF World Design Guide website

Photo Credit: Screenshot from iF World Design Guide website

Ralph Wiegmann, managing director of iF International Forum Design, hosted the awards ceremony and said he highly regards the students’ participation and is impressed by the ideas presented in the competition, even though it was the first time the organization held the Public Value Awards.

Wiegmann hopes that all the students honored in the event can continue to keep in touch with iF and work together to realize the design concepts.

Edited by Olivia Yang

Sources:
CNA
“iF PUBLIC VALUE AWARD and iF PUBLIC VALUE STUDENT AWARD celebrate premiere” (iF)
“Taiwanese students win iF design award” (Focus Taiwan)


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