iF Design Award 2021

Design in Special Times

Special times call for special measures and concepts.



Day by day, creative minds develop ideas for living in the 'new normal': solutions and products that enrich our leisure time, our work environment, and the time we spend together, making them more attractive and more sustainable. This 'CreatiFe Power of Design' is also apparent in the choice of this year’s international iF DESIGN AWARD winners.

The best of these projects won a 2021 international iF DESIGN AWARD and, in cooperation with renowned museums around the world like Vitra Design Museum, Designmuseum Danmark, YANG DESIGN, the Design Museum London, Design Museum Everywhere (USA), Design Museum Den Bosch and MAK Vienna, are being offered a digital stage: 24 hours of design.

For more about the iF DESIGN AWARD 2021 winners and categories, VISIT HERE.

Winners include:

Female Brace by PDR

Pectus carinatum affects millions of children globally, and its treatment involves extended compression of the breastbone to allow correct alignment. Current frames have been unchanged for 80 years and are anatomically unsuitable for female users. Uncomfortable, activity-limiting, and difficult to wear, current devices are difficult to disguise, driving feelings of isolation and stigmatization. Female Brace, designed specifically for the teenage female form, fits discreetly beneath clothing and uses contemporary materials and mechanisms to create a more comfortable and clinically effective solution.

Aux Magazine by Public Service Design Practice

Aux is an educational music magazine designed as a direct response to C19 and specifically for the general prison populace. It is currently serving over 2,500 learners every week across seven prisons in the South East. Aux is built with choice, nurtures relationships and driven by music. When I realised that the UK prison population would be spending almost 24 hours a day locked up in their cells because of C19, I knew I had to do something. Aux is a weekly 44 page, full-colour A4 magazine, printed on recycled paper, and delivered via carbon-neutral process. A magazine that appears to be recreational but is actually education.

Traits by Wolf In Motion

Traits is an application for sketching in real-time onto video footage. It makes collaborative design possible for any spaces that can be filmed. Local communities are rarely asked to engage in the design of their space, sometimes leading to poor design decisions and frustration. Placemaking tries to address that issue but lacks simple and inclusive tools that allow for delivering high-quality outputs that will be taken seriously by decision-makers. With its innovative approach, Traits solves that issue and gives an opportunity, at a crucial planning point, for local communities to take part in the design of the public space.

Tumbler by Industrial Facility

A fitting volume, able to soften the view with the best technology. Based on the proposal by Nathan Rogers, «from the spoon to the city», Sam Hecht and Kim Colin designed the Tumbler luminaire bringing its characteristic, highly elegant indoor minimalism to the noisy universe of the city. Tumbler bears resemblance to a home lampshade yet is intended for urban use, with a suitably sized tapered section with rounded edges. It provides modularity and great quality of light to adapt to the needs of both public and private spaces.

AI-Powered Music Production System by SSTM Designs

The biggest frustration in music creation is never finishing ideas. SSTM is a hardware and software ecosystem product, designed to help music producers create and complete songs. AI-powered software is actualised via a tactile touch interface with ergonomic encoders and velocity-sensitive pads. SSTM intuitively structures, suggests and finesses radio-ready songs, using Spotify playlists, user's local library and third-party integrations like Splice. A studio centrepiece and creation hub, it integrates seamlessly with any music equipment, software or workflow.

Virgin Galactic Spaceship Cabin Interior by Virgin Galactic Limited

The cabin of the world's first commercial spacecraft is designed to transform earthbound humans into astronauts. Millions of people would surely love to experience space, yet fewer than 600 have ever had that opportunity. And despite the benefits of space-based research, there are still just a handful of scientists who have reaped its benefits. When pushing the boundaries of the possible, you need a deep collective commitment to reinvention, involving everything from engineering and manufacturing to materiality, usability, aesthetics, all the way to how you communicate and collaborate.

Anonymous Camera by Playground

Anonymous Camera lets you capture anonymized photos and videos in real-time, without the need for editing your footage later. This makes sure that investigative journalists, activists or researchers never even store compromising footage in the first place, better protecting their sources. Powerful real-time machine learning made accessible through an easy to use and beautiful interface make it an essential tool to ensure safety and integrity. In times of Cambridge Analytica and Clearview, as our identities are being increasingly weaponised, Anonymous Camera can become useful for anyone who doesn't want to inadvertently collect personal photos for big data.

Orbital Vision Tidal Turbine by Designworks / BMW

Designing renewable energy solutions to achieve a cleaner planet. Solar and wind energy are widely known, yet both suffer from unpredictability. On the other hand, our ocean's tidal currents are as predictable and accurate as a Swiss watch. Orbital Marine Power's Tidal Turbines deliver constant amounts of clean energy that municipalities can plan around. This design is a vision of an evolved format of Orbital's technology, striving to balance powerful tech and optimized performance, with minimal visual and physical impact to the surrounding environment.

FOCI Biofeedback App by Tinylogics LTD

The FOCI app pairs with an emotion-tracking wearable, to boost our focus for brainwork. Distractions steal our attention from what really matters. We know what is really possible when we are in deep focus. With the FOCI app, you can get to know every focus, distraction, stress and moment fatigue while you work: keep track of your day with the focus journal so you can review how you do at the end of the day. Examine your own personal emotional-behavioural pattern to make targeted improvements to your focus. Going beyond boosting awareness, it affords an immersive experience in biofeedback training (tech-assisted meditation) to help condition your brain to focus better.

SUGILOO Chair by Michael Anastassiades

The rigorous style of Michael Anastassiades defines the new SUGILOO bentwood chair with wood or upholstered seat and an optional wooden backrest. Strictly contemporary in its pure and essential form: the light structure is achieved by the meeting of curves that, like the stroke of a pencil on the sheet, sketch the seat, backrest, and armrests. A minimalist and refined tribute by the well-known designer Anastassiades to the DNA of Gebrüder Thonet Vienna with whom he shares a love for detail.

Atlantis by Wolf in Motion

Atlantis is a simulation tool designed primarily for scientists to visualise sea turtle movements gathered to design conservation programs. It replaces tedious data analysis while improving the visual quality of technical presentations. Atlantis helped discover feeding behaviours that were previously thought impossible, bringing evidence to expand no-fishing zones around Cape Verde. In addition, the engaging nature of Atlantis has developed into a virtual reality educational tool used with over 3,000 students and in a prison. It helped raise awareness around turtle poaching, the effects of plastic pollution, and the state of the ocean.

New Normal by Jasper Morrison

These frames question and redefine the ideal form of eyewear. Morrison has received high acclaim for creating products that blend into daily life and for realising designs that continue to be cherished and appreciated over time. His attitude of exploring designs that better accommodate the user resonated with JINS' mission to 'create new standards' resulted in this collaboration, the 'ultimate basic' for the future – refined eyewear with an air of simplicity that can be worn by anyone.

Meet the jury

A different mix of experts is invited as jurors each year. This ensures the independence of the jury and brings in fresh perspectives. Design is changing and so should the jury. This year they worked for the first time with a newly developed digital iF jury tool for the first time with a newly developed digital iF jury tool, with which a detailed assessment of each entry is recorded and made available to the participants. Their intercultural background boosts the expert discussions and thus ensures the independence of the jury groups.

Click the link to learn more about the members of the 2021 iF jury panel who carefully selected the winners of this year's iF DESIGN AWARD.

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Background Image: Future Systems Simulator (FSS) by DCA Design International, one of the User Experience category winners.

A highly reconfigurable modular flight simulator in which pilots can explore the potential impact on future flight decks from near-term changes, such as smarter, more autonomous engines and revolutionary technologies, such as electric, fuel cells and hybrid propulsion. Independent of any airframe or manufacturer, the FSS builds reassuringly on familiar aircraft controls. Pilots interact with information presented on up to 4 large reconfigurable touchscreens and two smaller side screens. By repositioning or removing seats, screens, side sticks, and thrust levers, it can represent anything from small single-seat aircraft to the largest jumbo jets.