Inaugural Global Grad Show Progress Prize goes to physiotherapeutic jewellery

Dubai Design Week’s Global Grad Show features selected work from graduates of the world’s leading design and technology schools. This year it also included an award, the Progress Prize, that was selected by a broadly constituted jury intended to reflect the assortment of partners necessary to take a project from prototype to market. The inaugural Progress Prize, which comes with a pleasing $10,000, has been won by MIKO+, a collection of jewellery that also acts as a wrist brace.

MIKO+ was designed by Ewa Dulcet and Martyna Świerczyńska, Domestic Design graduates of the School of Form in Poznan. It’s a family of seven pieces made from gilded pink brass and mineral acrylic composite, using traditional smithing techniques. They look good and will surely have a conventional market as unusual and stylish bodywear.

But along with their aesthetic qualities these pieces also have a physiotherapeutic function . Each item provide support for the wrist, where pain caused by mechanical injuries or RSI-type afflictions such as carpal tunnel syndrome might require braces or splints. The transition from medical functionality to lifestyle product is seamless.

The Progress Prize is an international award that celebrates the next generation of design and is awarded to one Global Grad Show exhibitor each year. The winning design is selected by a jury (see below) the multidisciplinary nature of which is intended to reflect the varied assortment of partners necessary to take a project from prototype to market.

Three projects were highlighted as honourable mentions:

Nonliving Stakeholders A really interesting programme that encourages people to include disposable packaging and other objects as stakeholders in the relationship among humans, objects, and nature since they have been utilised and victimised by humans. Designed by Sungmy Kim at Parsons School of Design, New York.
Folks Kitchenware designed for the blind. Designed by Kevin Chiam at National University of Singapore.
 The Reagiro A manual wheelchair with a novel steering system that allows the user to control the movement of the chair through the upper body rather than through braking or pushing. Designed by Reto Togni at RCA / Imperial College London.

For the 2017 Progress Prize, the jury members were …

  • HH Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice-Chairman of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority
  • Mohammad Saeed Al Shehhi CEO of Dubai Design District (d3)
  • Edwin Heathcoate Financial Times architecture and design critic
  • Noah Murphy-Reinhertz NXT Space Sustainability Leader, Nike
  • Aric Chen Lead Curator, Design and Architecture, M+ museum
  • Petra Janssen owner and designer, Studio Boot and Social Label
  • Hugo Macdonald design critic and consultant
  • Jessica Bland Head of Research and Foresight, Dubai Future Foundation

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