- Dubai based Jamal Alsharkas is announced as the winner of the second Audi Innovation Award for his design ‘EZ Move’.
- Second place winner is Benjamin Piper for ‘iLuminating Space’ and Ricardas Blazukas from Kuwait achieved third place for his design ‘Monumental Shadow’.
- The theme for the third Audi Innovation Award will be announced on wwww.audiinnovationaward.com in January 2018.
Over 180 registrations from throughout the Middle East and Levant regions were received for the second Audi Innovation Award. A respected panel of designers, architects, professors and experts from throughout the region judged the 2017 theme ‘Autonomy’ to select the top three submissions. At Design Week Dubai, Jamal Asharkas was victorious for his ‘EZ Move’ innovation and is rewarded with $25,000 worth of consultancy to protect and develop his design. In addition, his award includes a visit to the Audi factory in Germany to meet with the company’s automotive designers. Second and third places were won by Dubai based Benjamin Piper and Ricardas Blazukas, from Kuwait with ‘iLuminating Space’ and ‘Monumental Shadow’ design projects .
For the 2017 Audi Innovation Award, the theme ‘Autonomy’ is inspired by the leadership that Audi has in the field of autonomous driving. The challenge for designers who took part in the competition, was to explore design solutions that are capable of regulating themselves in response to changing environmental circumstances and different user requirements, with minimal human intervention.
Commenting on the theme for 2017, Enrico Atanasio, Brand Director of Audi Middle East said “With everything we do, we strive to improve the daily life of our customers: Giving back to them the most valuable thing in these days: time – we call this the 25th hour. Keeping our customers connected to the world and surprising them with sustainable solutions and unique experiences. It has been fascinating to see how the designers would interpret the theme of Autonomy into self-sustaining innovative ideas, and we congratulate Jamal for ‘EZ Move’ as a product that could change people lives in the future, giving them the freedom to move around cities.
‘EZ Move’ is the first innovation of its kind to give those with mobility challenges and visually impaired people, the freedom of movement, freedom of choice and the dignity of being in control of their own destination.
On receiving the trophy, a thrilled Jamal Asharkas enthused “My idea for ‘EZ Move’ came from an injury I experienced in 2016 and the doctor advised me to keep active but the difficult part was depending on others for assistance. It was from here I thought it is necessary to design a product that can give personal freedom. My product also has the potential to explore different applications, such as, visual impairment, navigation for tourism, physical injury and personal training. The Audi Innovation Award has given me a fantastic opportunity to showcase my idea. For me, it could help a lot of people and Audi Middle East are supporting me to reach that achievement.”
The winner of the first Audi Innovation Award was Jordanian designer Sahar Madanat, who perfectly demonstrated the 2016 theme ‘Alternative’ by interpreting a seemingly resolved everyday object and redefining it for a new use. Her innovative multifunctional tableware set enables one-handed users to cut food and navigate between courses while concealing the limitations imposed by their disability. She is now in the process of finding a partner to commercialize the product in both local and international markets.
William Knight, Managing Director and Head of Design of Art Dubai Group said “We were very excited to see what the second year of the Audi Innovation Award would bring in terms of talented creativity in the region and showcasing the shortlisted projects to Dubai Design Week audiences. Audi has always represented progressiveness and stylish design so this award perfectly expresses our partnership. It is fantastic to see how successful the award is becoming in inspiring a new generation of designers.”
The three shortlisted candidates were each awarded up to $2,500 towards the presentation of their concept model at Dubai Design Week and the prizes for the overall winner of the Audi Innovation Award include a trophy and a trip to the Audi factory in Ingolstadt, Germany to experience the automotive design journey at Audi headquarters. In addition to this, Audi Middle East awards $25,000 worth of consultancy to cover items such as IP registration, legal counselling and business development.
The third Audi Innovation award will be announced on the website http://www.audiinnovationaward.com in January 2018.