The winners have been announced!

The winners of the “SYSTEMS: Think Forward” innovation competition were named by the jury of six experts during an awards presentation evening. The jurors did not find it easy to decide upon the best projects in this competition, which was instigated by Création Baumann. Universities and students throughout the world had been invited to create an innovative product to provide interior shading.

21 entries arrived from Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, Australia and Taiwan. They included some outstandingly creative ideas, elaborately-constructed models and solution approaches that were both simple and sophisticated. At the old Création Baumann weaving mill in Langenthal, Switzerland, kaleidoscopes of textiles were displayed next to vibrant visual screens, and some curtains seemed to float on glass while others demonstrated their centrifugal force. The jury was eventually won over by the following four projects.

1st Prize of 7,000 Euros went to the Eindhoven University of Technology. In “Shadowtricks”, Vinken Teun created an aesthetic object made of three textiles in moving circles, attached to the window by suction fittings. The circles were drawn across or fanned away from each other by small motors that reacted to the intensity of the light, depending upon how much shading was required against any level of glare. “Not only is “Shadowtricks” technically innovative and aesthetically appealing, it also incorporates a poetic element. Like an art installation, the object refers to the passing of the day, drawing itself inwards as darkness descends”, said presenter Lars Quadejacob during the awards ceremony.

The “Attraction” project by Anne Scheler, a student at the University of Wismar, was awarded the 2nd Prize of 5,000 Euros. A curtain was suspended by magnetic attraction between two barely-visible metallic strips such that it could be opened from any direction; it could therefore be fitted to the window in a wide variety of ways. Presenter Dieter Eschmann justified the decision of the jury as follows: “We were impressed by the simplicity, and thus the sophistication, of this idea. It responds to the material in a way that brings the textile to life”. Yvonne Fürst and Benedikt Steiner from the University of Lucerne won 3rd Prize (3,000 Euros) with “Punctum”. They attached a white tulle curtain to the window with green silicon stickers so that it could be draped extremely easily and flexibly. “The mechanics become an intrinsic aesthetic element. The individual points of attachment are integrated and distributed decoratively within the textile”, said presenter Benjamin Thut.

As well as the three winning projects, the jury also awarded a special prize of 1,000 Euros to the “Colourboom” project by Marian Müller from the University of Wismar. The textile object was thrown playfully over a glass plate and attached using suction fittings. Presenter Bernd Hollin commented that: “Colourboom” is a witty, casual product that is also impressively functional. The object is like a shade-giving butterfly that can be included in any occasion”.

“Even if all the projects that were entered did not fulfil all the criteria we had originally set, we were very happy with the quality of the work”, said Philippe Baumann, the initiator of the “Think Forward” competition series. “To develop a variable visual screen in line with the requirements we had set was an extremely demanding task. I am therefore all the more delighted to spot the potential for further development in each of the winning projects”.

The competition was endowed with prizes totalling 16,000 Euros and was open internationally. It was aimed at universities and specialist vocational universities in the areas of design, technical design, architecture and interior design. The projects could have been developed as group academic projects or as individual exercises. They were assessed and honoured by a jury of experts, comprising Dieter Eschmann, interior decorator and owner of Eschmann Interior Design in Kilchberg (Switzerland); René Hofmann, Product Manager at Création Baumann; Bernd Hollin, architect at Hollin + Radoske Architects in Frankfurt am Main (Germany); Lars Quadejacob, Editor-in-Chief of the “design report” design magazine and Benjamin Thut, designer and managing director at the Thut Möbel furnishings company. The jury was chaired by Philippe Baumann.

This was the second instalment of the “Think Forward” competition series. In 2008/2009, Création Baumann organised the “GECKO: Think Forward” contest in search of the most innovative applications of the GECKO adhesive textile.

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