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And the winner is…

We have a win­ner! It took a bit longer than expected to come out with the results, but ladies and gen­tle­man the final deci­sions are made [insert drums here]…

It is a plea­sure to announce Real Time Chat by the Brazil­ian designer Layla Cav­al­cante as the win­ner of the com­pe­ti­tion. The project has been awarded with USD$1000 cash and we’re look­ing for a venue to exhibit it (if you are inter­ested on exhibit­ing please con­tact me). Aside from the win­ner, the jury gave a hon­orary men­tion to the project Pow­dered Neem as Fast Food Condi­ment by Jude Genilo, Rah­man Faizur Rafique and Ommul Fatema from the Uni­ver­sity of Lib­eral Arts Bangladesh.

And with­out fur­ther ado, the projects:

First Prize: Real Time Chat

How would you describe your pro­posal?
Using social media’s vocab­u­lary my pro­posal is to make peo­ple start real-time conversations.

My project con­sists of a sim­ple “add-on” patch that can be placed on your head­phones. Each patch con­sists of a instant mes­sage sta­tus such as Online, Free for Chat and Busy. These patches are made of mag­net and can be eas­ily changed.

Imag­ine you are on the sub­way going home, while you are lis­ten­ing to your own music you can also be “Avail­able” this is an oppor­tu­nity to get to know peo­ple around you. It is also a great way to inte­grate the immi­grant pop­u­la­tion because immi­grants will have a oppor­tu­nity to find out who is “Free for chat”.

What prob­lem you are addressing?

Inte­grat­ing the immi­grant pop­u­la­tion.

What does it fix and how?
The prob­lem I am address­ing to is lone­li­ness and how tech­nol­ogy can close us inside our own world. I plan on solv­ing it by mak­ing peo­ple inter­act more with their sur­round­ings. Not only immi­grants will ben­e­fit from it, every­one will.

I often see peo­ple on first world always using cell­phones, face­book, ipods and my project is a sim­ple solu­tion that will build upon this behav­ior and bring peo­ple back to the real-world.

What makes it impor­tant?
It is a facil­i­ta­tor to start con­ver­sa­tions. Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is the most impor­tant form of interaction.

Imag­ine an immi­grant liv­ing far away, on his way home he will now have the oppor­tu­nity to start con­ver­sa­tions, mak­ing the jour­ney quicker and also inter­act with peo­ple around him in order to prac­tice his eng­lish. It will be a win-win sit­u­a­tion if the per­son talk­ing to him was very lonely and spend most of his time with vir­tual friends.

How do the pho­tos or ren­der­ings illus­trate the concept?

I illus­trated my con­cept with a mod­ern poster. I tried to apply ele­ments that are being used on the inter­net today to bring the atten­tion of peo­ple that are into eletronics.

Min­i­mal lay­out, illus­tra­tions, and soft colors.

Hon­orary Men­tion: Pow­dered Neem as Fast food Chain Condiment

How would you describe your proposal?
The project aims for reduc­ing appetite and pre­vent­ing fats from accu­mu­lat­ing in the body through the use of pow­dered neem as a condi­ment in fast food out­lets in major cities of First World coun­tries. Pow­dered neem is pro­duced from the leaves of a neem tree, which is native to Third World coun­tries such as Bangladesh, India, Myan­mar, Pak­istan and Sri Lanka. The tree can reach a height of 15 to 20 meters. The leaves of the tree can be dried and crushed into pow­der. This pow­der can be placed in con­tain­ers sim­i­lar to what is used for salt and pep­per in fast food out­lets. When used in food such as ham­burg­ers and French fries, con­sumers will con­sume less of the prod­uct and will ingest prop­er­ties that pre­vent absorb­ing fat from the food by induc­ing defecation.
What prob­lem you are addressing?
What does it fix and how?
The project addresses the prob­lem of obe­sity. In many First World cities, peo­ple have devel­oped a fast food lifestyle. Instead of home­made cook­ing or going to restau­rants that pro­vide healthy but costly meals, they pre­fer to eat in fast food out­lets such as McDon­alds, Wendy’s, KFC, Burger King and Pizza Hut. These fast food chains are seen every­where, serve food fast and are rel­a­tively inex­pen­sive. How­ever, these out­lets sell high calo­rie and high fat food items such as fried chicken, burg­ers, hot­dogs, French fries, pizza, etc.
By using pow­dered neem as a condi­ment, con­sumers will eat less of these high fat food items. Neem leaves are bit­ter in taste. When sprin­kled on the burger, it will be less tasty thereby dis­cour­ag­ing the con­sumer from eat­ing more than he/she needs. Then, from what­ever he/she has indi­gested, the pow­dered neem con­tains prop­er­ties that induce defe­ca­tion; thereby pre­vent­ing the absorp­tion of fat in the body. The diges­tive sys­tem is cleaned in the process. If the con­sumer uses neem pow­der on a reg­u­lar basis, he/she will loose weight and address the prob­lem of obesity.
What makes it important?
In Third World coun­tries, neem is used tra­di­tion­ally for a vari­ety of pur­poses. It is con­sid­ered to have med­i­c­i­nal prop­er­ties; mak­ing it effec­tive as an anthelmintic, anti­fun­gal, antidi­a­betic, antibac­te­r­ial, antivi­ral, con­tra­cep­tive, solu­tion for con­sti­pa­tion and seda­tive drug. For this rea­sons, peo­ple use neem as a food ingre­di­ent and as a herbal tea. As a result, they remain healthy and fit.
Through the pro­posed project, First World cit­i­zens who habit­u­ally take their meals in fast food restau­rants will ben­e­fit from what the Third World res­i­dents have been doing for gen­er­a­tions. They will be healthy and fit as well. To ensure the suc­cess of this project, the gov­ern­ment should man­date all fast food out­lets to make neem pow­der avail­able on each of their tables (akin to salt and pep­per). It should also pro­mote pow­der neem through adver­tise­ments and sales pro­mo­tion cam­paigns. First World con­sumers will find it easy to eat less since the pow­dered neem is just on top of the table and are con­vinced (through adver­tise­ments) of the need to use these. They will also be per­suaded that this is the eas­i­est alter­na­tive to becom­ing slim and healthy. Other alter­na­tives are diet­ing, exer­cis­ing, weight train­ing, starv­ing one­self and join­ing the TV show “The Biggest Loser.”
The project is like­wise cul­tur­ally accept­able to First World Con­sumers in urban areas. They will con­tinue with their lifestyle of not cook­ing home­made meals and eat­ing at high calo­rie but rea­son­ably priced fast food out­lets. They will keep on get­ting food at their con­ve­nience (since these out­lets are all over the city) and with fast ser­vice or deliv­ery. The project, how­ever, saves the con­sumer from the neg­a­tive con­se­quences (read: obe­sity) of such a lifestyle. They will eat less fatty foods, which will even­tu­ally be flushed out from the body given the prop­er­ties of pow­dered neem condiment.
How do the pho­tos or ren­der­ings illus­trate the concept?
The pho­tos show the effect of using pow­dered neem in terms of eat­ing less. The first photo depicts a per­son who eats French fries pur­chased from a fast food restau­rant. Since the food taste deli­cious, he ingests more than enough which will cause him to become fat. The sec­ond photo sim­ply shows what a neem tree looks like. The third photo shows pow­dered neem being sprin­kled on French fries. The fourth photo illus­trates the consumer’s reac­tion to French fries with pow­dered neem. Since the condi­ment is bit­ter, he will eat less of it.
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