Every year Dutch design students get a change to design a real product for lifestyle-store HEMA, known for its simple and colourful designs. “Exceptional simplicity is the essence of a strong HEMA design,” said management during the announcement of this year's winners of the competition.
The assignment for 2010 was to design a product that makes it easier and more fun to be out and about with children. In typical Dutch fashion, the winning design is an accessory for a bicycle that makes it easier to transport large or heavy cargo on a regular bike. The Vrachtpatser (freight heavyweight) was designed by René Bijsterveld from the Utrecht School for the Arts.
Second prize winner Toon Welling, is also from Utrecht School for the Arts. His macabre and very blunt take on “out and about” was to create a small coffin for pets titled, The Last Journey. Children can decorate the box allowing them to deal with their grief better and learn in playful ways that death is a part of life. The jury called the idea “beautifully simple and exceptionally sympathetic.”
The public also gets a chance to vote in the competition and this year they favoured a shopping basket that can be mounted straight onto the back of a bicycle, and filled with, for instance, picnic necessities. It was designed by Yantl Slaats from the Amsterdam School of Technology.
HEMA is now investigating whether it is possible to produce the winning objects.
A selection of objects from the Hema Design Competition will be exhibited in the Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam until 31st October 2010.
Images: top main the Vrachtpaster by Bijsterveld, small from top, second place winner Welling's The Last Journey, and the people's favourite, a shopping basket by Slaats. Click small images to enlarge.
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