Beetles haven’t done much for mankind (don’t think we didn’t notice you scuttling about selfishly) but all that may be about to change thanks to Australian designer Edward Linacre. He studied the Namib beetle which lives in one of the driest places on earth and used its survival mechanism as the inspiration for Airdrop – a self-powered device to irrigate crops which extracts water molecules from the air. Today the Melbourne student was given the James Dyson Award which sets the brief: “Design something that solves a problem.”
Edward will get £10,000 to help roll out the project and a further £10,000 goes to the Swinburne University of Technology where he studies.
Sir James Dyson said: “Biomimicry is a powerful weapon in an engineer’s armoury. Airdrop shows how simple, natural principles like the condensation of water, can be applied to good effect through skilled design and robust engineering. Young designers and engineers like Edward will develop the simple, effective technology of the future – they will tackle the world’s biggest problems and improve lives in the process.”
The runners-up were RCA student Michael Korn’s Kwick Screen, a portable, retractable room divider for use in hospitals, Se Lui Chew’s device to help blind people find friends in unfamiliar surroundings using social media and mobile technology, and Michael Prywata’s Amo Arm, designed to help amputees avoid re-innervation surgery, was highly commended.
- Retracing and recreating historic reggae record sleeves with photographer Alex Bartsch
- David Wilson directs deeply moving film B.E.N. about using AI robots to tackle loneliness
- Art and About: Charlotte Trounce celebrates the architectural beauty of museums and galleries
- Riikka Laakso’s screenprinted zine is a tribute to Moomin author Tove Jansson
- Sandy Van Helden’s illustrations of contemporary culture
- Bompas & Parr explores the strange world of sploshing (NSFW)
- Kodak returns to its 1970s symbol, joining the retrobrand bandwagon
- Kodak unveils the Ektra: its first ever smartphone
- Working Not Working reveals the top 50 companies creatives would kill to work for
- William Knight's socially conscious portfolio of graphic design
- Juan Aballe’s photographs of pastoral landscapes filled with wanderlust
- Exclusive first interview with new UK Vice.com editor Jamie Clifton