Unveiling the Winners of You Fab 2013
The laser cutter creates endless possibilities for paper! Announcing designs for the three categories of play, communication, and surprise.
You Fab is a design contest for items made with a laser cutter. This year—for You Fab’s second year—we called on creators from all around the world to design items made with paper and using a laser cutter. The contest ran for two months from May 15 to July 15, and we were thrilled with the response. We received 78 designs from all around the world, and we would like to extend a huge thank you to all those who submitted entries.
To judge the submissions, Designer Eisuke Tachikawa (NOSIGNER) and Yuichi Takeo from Takeo Co., Ltd., got together at Loftwork in Tokyo’s Shibuya. They were joined via live feed by artist and writer Johnny Strategy in New York and Tim Wong the co-founder of the Taiwan FabCafe in Taipei. They discussed the submissions and selected the winners based on if the design was;
・a stimulating idea that showcased originality,
・outstanding in terms of design quality,
・a creative hack using paper,
・communicated the appeals of Fab (digital fabrication) and paper,
・and was able to be made with a laser cutter.
Check out the winning entries and the judges’ comments.
N.B. Originally we planned to award only one entry with a Special Award, but due to the overwhelmingly high standard of entries, the judges decided to present a number of entries with Special Awards.
Category A: Toys
By layering a number of these, the regular patterns overlap with one another and create a moiré pattern. The appearance and color resemble fireworks (hanabi) in summer, and it is a toy that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. The laser cutter is used to produce the dotted pattern on the five different sized and colored pieces of paper. An eyelet is fixed to the center of each of the five disks. When you spin each of them around, the colors mix together and create a variety of patterns. If you spin them slowly, it looks like an animation.
Special Award (3 entries)
Ecologic paper kite. This form can be applicate on every type of papers with the condition that’s a paper not too fine. If the person want his own design, she can use old posters for exemple.
These are paper tiles that anyone can easily put together by hand to make a polyhedron or dome. The polygons are the same length. They are put together in the same manner, and can be assembled and pulled apart easily. No need for glue or buttons! Thanks to the pliability of paper, you can make completely balanced objects which are impossible to make using hard materials.
Naturally, if you use regular paper, the joints won’t hold up, so the choice of paper is really important. The prototype uses 1mm thick material that is used for the labels on jeans. Each side is 74mm long.
The box is hand made from reclaimed White Oak. Each tree is laser cut from matte paper and painted, before being assembled into the fold out forest. Each tree is connected by accordion fold paper at the base and a string of thread through the middle. A tree silhouette is laser etched on the cover of the box.
There are over 23,000 different species of tree in the world. Trees are the largest living organisms on earth and the oldest living organisms of all time. Trees and forests are extremely important for the health and survival of humans and animals. Not to mention, they are absolutely beautiful!
Category B: Greeting Cards
Paper has many characteristics, but the ones that I decided to focus on with this design are folding and writing. Writing in this card is designed to be really fun because the finished shape can fit together (or not fit together) depending on the way it is folded with the cuts in it. By cutting semicircles into it and bending alternate pieces from the middle and slightly changing the point of the bend a little each time, and you get a sequence of three-dimensional concentric circles that look like a celestial globe. Some ideas on how to have fun with this card include writing a message on the upright parts and another one on the flat parts, or drawing stars and planets on the upright parts so it looks like a little solar system.
Special Award (3 entries)
This card is made using reversible paper. The words “Congratulations” and “Thank You” in Japanese can just be made out when the cards are folded up, but when you erect the cards to a 3-dimestional state, the words (in Japanese characters) pop out and can be seen clearly on each card. Not only can you send the cards flat, but you can put them together and put a present inside and send them like a gift box.
Somewhere along the lines we started giving book gift cards instead of the old-style gift vouchers for books. Even though the shape and form has changed, the sender’s intentions remain unchanged. They want the recipient to read many books and be taken to many enchanting places as they read. I think sending a gift like that in a paper packet is boring, and so I designed these card cases. Behind the bookshelf is a little girl and a white bear. When you open the card, there is a book gift card behind the bookshelf with a place to put a message. The little girl’s elbow is sticking out over the shelf in the bookcase.
Flowers are used to express our emotions and circumstances. Buds represent beginnings and the fruit of our efforts, blossoms in full bloom can represent a heyday, and fallen blossoms are symbolic of loss or defeat. When flowers bloom they bring us joy, and when the blossoms fall, that joy is taken away. This card has pop-out petals and leaves (with perforated edges) to be placed on the cherry blossom tree to bloom as you like. This greeting card can express your feelings to fit the circumstance or season.
Category C: Party outfits or accessories (Surprise)
KATSURA is a wig made from paper. The paper selected is called Reversible Mermaid and a lace motif is etched onto it using the laser cutter.
Special Award (1 entry)
These are stencils that allow you to create your own skin accessories using tanning spray for a lovely golden glow without having to be exposed to UV rays. The stencils have an adhesive film on the surface and have been cut using the laser cutter. You can put them on our arms or back and make your own designs. You place the stencil on the area of choice and spray it with tanning spray and the design appears. It’s much quicker than getting a natural tan, and you can use it as a party accessory for the summer!
We received some amazing ideas that demonstrate some brilliant hacker minds. I really feel that the collaboration of something so analogue as paper and digital technology presents a great deal of enjoyment and potential.
I was very encouraged to see everyone using the idea of hacking paper and laser cutting. I feel more brighter about the future of laser cutting with all these creative ideas. They are truly unique and it is great to see people challenging the norm.
Eisuke Tachikawa (NOSIGNER)
Looking at all the submissions to You Fab, I am glad that we opened it up to not only designers. You don’t have to be an expert. Anyone with tools like Illustrator can become a designer. I think everybody has a chance to shine if they fully leverage their various skills in their creative works.
After seeing the entries of this design competition, I think the future of open design is very bright. We saw a lot of entries that draws inspirations from daily lives and demonstrate how they can provide a creative hack with their design.
I think this is very encouraging sign that designers or the general public can feel they are empowered to declare their own creative statements.
Photo: (Left to right) Mr. Takeo and Mr. Tachikawa in the middle of selection.
(Photo) Right: Tim Wong from Taipei. Left: Johnny Strategy from New York
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