The award-winning Heat Conduction Bowl designed by Taiwanese student Tai Kuang-chin. (Photo courtesy of National Cheng Kung University News Center)
A "smart" bowl designed for the visually impaired by a PhD student at National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, a city in southern Taiwan, has won the prestigious German iF concept design award 2012, the university said in a press release Tuesday.
Tai Kuang-chin, who designed the Heat Conduction Bowl, was quoted in the press release as saying he was inspired by observing the needs of the visually impaired people in their daily lives. Tai has volunteered at the Taiwan Foundation for the Blind for several years.
"I was pleased to hear I had made the list of winners and especially appreciate the help from the visually impaired," said Tai.
When people with visual impairments pour liquid, they have to put their fingers at the edge of the bowl or cup to know how much to pour, said Tai. But if they pour hot tea, they cannot use their fingers. Tai's bowl, which has metal inlays with heat conduction rods, allows users to feel the level of hot water by touching scales on the outside of the bowl without burning themselves.
The iF product design awards cover all areas of product design, with entries judged on design workmanship, choice of material, environmental compatibility and functionality, the university said. The awards have been given since 1953 and are recognized as a benchmark for good design. They have been presented in many different fields, including product design, communication design, packing design, materials and concepts.
This year, some 15,000 products from all over the world were entered into the contest. The awards ceremony will take place May 31 in Hamburg.