Free a Bulb! Announcing the Winners of the LED Light Design Contest
Introducing a collection of truly unique LED light designs made with 3D printing technology!
Firstly, we would like to thank everyone who entered this competition, which called for original LED light designs that are free from the traditional light bulb image and can be enjoyed even when the light bulb is not switched on. We were thrilled with the response to the competition, as it attracted 78 entries in total and 40% of these were submitted from countries other than Japan, making it a truly global contest.
Recently, the panel of judges comprising of Chief Editor of Nikkei Design’s Kazuya Shimokawa, Designer Kentaro Kato, CEO of K’s Design Lab and 3D Consultant Yuji Hara, and CEO of Loftwork Inc. Chiaki Hayashi, got together to select the winners for the competition. The competition attracted many highly technical and creative designs rendering the judging process quite a challenge. The judges examined each and every entry, engaged into some lively discussions and selected the winners based on whether the designs could only be realized through 3D printing technology and how well they would transform from paper to three-dimensional form.
In the end, the judges selected one Grand Prize winner, and two Special Award winners which they felt were dependent solely on the power of 3D printing to come to life. The judges also picked two entries as Challenger’s Awards. These entries could not be reproduced using 3D printing, but were inspirational and talked to the judges in some way urging them to try and recreate the designs.
Here we are introducing not only the judges’ comments and winners’ comments, but the amazing and eye-opening winning entries as well.
▲The judges selecting the winning entries. Carefully sorting through and examining each and every entry.
Creator name:Justin Boyd
The ATOM – LED Light Fitting
Kazuya Shimokawa: This design is exquisite. It might be possible for the most experienced glass craftsman to recreate this by hand, but I’m interested to see how it can be recreated with a 3D printer. We had a pretty lively discussion about this design and that in itself is testament to the power of the design. I am really excited to see how well we can replicate the design as the creator intended.
Kentaro Kato: It’s a really interesting design. And like the name ATOM suggests, it’s a minimalist unit made up of a collection of many parts. The design is very now, and speaks of potential.
Yuji Hara: The design looks like it has been created by someone well versed in 3D printers. It challenges the conventions of lighting made with 3D printers to date. This design is incapable of being brought to life with metal molds, and so I would really love to challenge 3D printing technology to produce it.
I would like to thank the judges for seeing the potential in my design and its various uses – and perhaps, even, that this design could be produced for a commercial market because of its appeal to a wide audience and its homogenous form inspired by molecular structures.
I am both excited and curious to receive the 3D printed prototype, so that I can experience it in a real world environment and fully explore the design with a hands-on approach.
I look forward to posting more of my work in my Loftwork portfolio and being a part of the growing online creative culture that they are helping to nurture.
Kazuya Shimokawa: This design takes the shape of light as we know it. Anyone who looks at this will know that it is a light. While based on the traditional shape of a light bulb, the design tries to go that one step further than the current conventions. It’s a simple, yet powerful design.
Kentaro Kato: At first glance, it looks like a regular light bulb, but by tweaking the texture and how it’s made, it comes together looking like only something a 3D printer can put together. Unlike when using natural materials, the 3D printer can create new standards only possible through 3D printing by precisely controlling elements such as the thickness and spacing.
Chiaki Hayashi: To me the future has a sense of nostalgia about it. And this design is the epitome of that feeling. When we talk about the future we imagine things we have yet to see, but in actual fact it’s the things we already have paired with new technology that bring about innovation for the future. I felt that this design uses the 3D printer not to make something entirely new, but to make advances on what already exists.
I am so thrilled to be presented with this Special Award for the LED light design contest. I tried to create this design into an LED light cover that showcased its allures both when turned on or off, while still maintaining the same beautiful formation of the conventional light bulb. Despite being a digital design, the light cover has a lovely analogue appeal to it as it looks like it’s been woven by hand. In addition, it is possible to create various expressions by selecting the reflectivity and transparency of the material. I can’t wait to see how the 3D printer brings this design to life.
Creator name:Max Leegel Wight
Chiaki Hayashi: This is a time when, rather than beautiful designs, we are selecting designs and products that tell us stories. Until now, designing has been the work of a handful of product designers, but this entry really makes me feel that nowadays end-users can create their own designs.
Yuji Hara: I really love the concept of this design. The submission is a very rough sketch, so this is where my staff and I can showcase what we are capable of by bringing the design to life.
Kazuya Shimokawa: Japan is a country of character designs, and so it’s really interesting to me to see a non-commercial character like this. One day, I hope to see a Japan-made 3D character design.
Kentaro Kato: This design makes me believe that everyone can be a part of the creation process. There were times when character designs were frowned upon, but nowadays with the tendency toward incorporating stories and emotions into the design concepts, we are also entering a time when we can leverage characters in designs. I think it is going to become a new genre in creative works.
For the design of a 3D printed light shade, that was to specifically hang from the ceiling, I brainstormed ideas of a way to interact with not just the bulb of the light, but all the components, including the power cord the light is hung off.
After thinking this I pictured a glowing ape or Tarzan swinging from the cord. Swinging around the room and creating a great effect, casting light randomly and chaotically as in Alfred Hitchock’s experimental scene from Psycho.
Choosing an Orangutang and more specifically, an Orangutang with a baby clinging to its mother, then brings up a greater awareness of what is coming through the power cord and how we use it. The bulb, being made of LED’s, implies this already and hopefully this will subtly influence the user to not be wasteful with their electricity, as life and nature hang from its source.
Creator name:Komei Yamashita
Chiaki Hayashi: I think this is a design that could only be recreated with a 3D printer. I’m eager to see if the 3D printer can produce the moiré pattern.
Yuji Hara: I’m super excited about seeing this light turned on. The idea of making this into a light is brilliant. It’s so unique and it makes me think of all the other items I’d like to put inside a light!
From left: Chiaki Hayashi (CEO of Loftwork Inc.), Yuji Hara (CEO, K’s Design Lab/3D Consultant), Kazuya Shimokawa (Chief Editor of Nikkei Design), Kentaro Kato (Designer)