The 3D-printed ceramic humidifier made by the research team led by Professor Sang-Min Bae won the silver prize at the 2017 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA). Professor Bae’s ID+IM team was also listed as winners of three more appropriate technology designs at the IDEA. The awards, sponsored by the Industrial Designers Society of America, are one of the three prestigious design awards including the Red Dot Design Award and the iF Design Award in Germany.
The silver prize winner in the category of home and bath, Humicotta is an energy-efficient, bacteria free, and easy to clean humidifier. It includes a base module and filter. The base is a cylindrical pedestal with a built-in fan on which the filter is placed. The filter is a 3D-printed honeycomb structure made of diatomite. When water is added, the honeycomb structure and porous terracotta maximize natural humidification. It also offers an open platform service that customizes the filters or provides files that users can use their own 3D printer.
Professor Bae’s team has worked on philanthropy design using appropriate technology as their main topic for years. Their designs have been recognized at prestigious global design awards events, winning more than 50 prizes with innovative designs made for addressing various global and social problems.
The Light Funnel is a novel type of lighting device designed for off-grid areas of Africa. It helps to maximize the natural light effect in the daytime without any drastic home renovations. It consists of a transparent acrylic sphere and a reflective pathway. After filling the acrylic sphere with water and placing it on a rooftop, sunlight passes into the house through the water inside the sphere. It provides a lighted environment nine times brighter than without it. Also, once installed, it can be used almost permanently.
The Maasai Smart Cane is made using wood sticks purchased through fair trade with the Maasai tribe. GPS is installed into the grip of the birch-tree cane, so that cane users can send a signal when in an emergency situation. All of the proceeds of this product go to the tribe.
S.Cone is a first aid kit made in collaboration with Samsung Fire and Marine Insurance. The traffic cone-shaped kit is designed to help users handle an emergency situation intact and safe. The S.Cone has unique versions for fires, car accidents, and marine accidents. For example, the S.Cone for fires is equipped with a small fire extinguisher, smoke mask, and fire blanket. The cap of the S.Cone also functions as an IoT station connecting the fire and gas detector with smart phones.
Professor Bae said of his team’s winning design products, “By making the data public, any person can design their own humidifier if they have access to a 3D-printer. We want it to be a very accessible product for the public. The Light Funnel and Maasai Smart Cane are designed for economically-marginalized populations and the elderly. We will continue to make the best designed products serving the marginalized 90% of the population around the world.”