We have a winner! After three successful years touring the globe presenting speculative products to over 50.000 people, the NANO Supermarket has now entered its third edition. At the beginning of 2014 we called upon designers, technologists and artists to submit their nanotech products for the NANO Supermarket new line. On the 18th October a selection of these projects has been presented in the NANO Supermarket, where a jury of design and science experts awarded the best submission a € 2.500 prize.
The experts based the final judgments on six parameters: originality, design quality, visual presentation, technological feasibility, socio-cultural implications, and debate provoking potential. The jury consisted of (nano-) scientists, theorists, publicists, artists and designers. Therefore the parameters for judging the entries were fully covered by the jury’s multi-faceted expertise:
Prof. Dave Blank: Nano Technology professor
Ronald van Tienhoven: Fine Artist and Design Educator
Prof Timo De Rijk: Design, Culture and Society Professor
Mieke Gerritzen: Director of the Museum of The Image
Prof Jos de Mul: Professor in Philosophical Anthropology
FIRST PRIZE OF € 2.500: GOOGLE NOSE BY LLOYD ALBERTS
The jury chose the Google Nose as winner because it is a simple idea - add one sense, the olfaction, to the Google Glass - able to address major discussions. What happens if we could really have this kind of property? Any situation could be analyzed. One of the main reasons why the jury awarded the Google Nose is the fact that it is a feasible product, it uses a technology that it will be possible to realize in few years. Another crucial point for the committee has been the connection between the Google Nose and two important themes: privacy and public domain. The grander discussion regarding the Google Nose and the private and public elements convinced the jury. From a visual point of view it is a well done contribution for the NANO Supermarket. In terms of the richness of the discussion, the Google Nose stood out from the other contributions, it is a debate provoking product, able to address really contemporary topics.
RUNNER UP: THE HEALING GAME BY MARTIJN VAN DEN BROECK
According to the jury there is a coherence between the winner product and the runner-up. First of all, because they both address very fundamental topics for today society: health and senses. The relationship we develop with either our senses and our health and body is a grand theme developed and questioned everywhere.
The Healing Game allows patients to steer their medication by playing a videogame. By means of a so-called serious game it is possible to contribute something to somebody illness, going into a person’s body and kill cancer cells. The committee appreciated the direct link between the game and the inside of the human body, in particular the fact that the nano particles are introduced into the body and connected to the game. The jury has been impressed by the very thorough way this contributor has developed the game: it is visually appealing and the videogame really works. Although the Healing Game represents an important contribution that gives attention to a debate that needs to be discussed, there are still some questions involved in whether it is technologically possible to realize it.
INTERVIEW WITH THE WINNER
We talked with fresh-from-victory Lloyd Alberts, Industrial Design student at TUe in Eindhoven, about his awarded product. “I got the idea for the Google Nose when I was researching about human senses. I saw a topic about Synesthesia, a condition that some people have in which two or multiple senses are linked with each other. For example, a person with Synesthesia can link a specific color with a specific taste. I’ve found very fascinating the fact that they perceive the whole world and surroundings in a peculiar and different way. I wanted to try to give the same experience for people who don’t have Synesthesia.”
We increasingly use digital technology to augment our senses, but we rarely realize that other senses are numbed in the process. “I connected my project with the visual aspect because all the digital media are based more on visual and sound, so I’ve found interesting to include also the sense of smell.” The result is a speculative product, able to visualize scent in a Google Glass style. “Originally I called it Sniffer, but the model has a lot of resemble with the Google Glasses, so the name has been changed into Google Nose.”
The Google Nose visualizes odors using a smell sensor, it is currently still a conceptual product but “we could have the Google Nose in ten years” Lloyds says confidently. “There are already advanced smell systems able to recognize the type of odor. Researches about sense technology are currently in development, but I guess in the future we can expect smell sensors, stronger than a dog’s nose.”
Holding the 2.500 Euros check Lloyd Alberts is already thinking about his next challenge: “I will invest the prize on my current graduation project: I’m trying to find means for people to perform exercises. I’m planning to spend the money on some exercises tools and use them as experiment to make exercise more engaging.” Confirming the scale of his ambitions he admits: “I would like to be contacted by Google. I'm very curious to hear what they think about my project!”.
Congratulations to the winner and many thanks to the jury and the other participants for joining us!
You can still visit the NANO Supermarket at the Dutch Design Week:
Location: 18 Septemberplein in Eindhoven
Dates: 18 – 26 October 2014 – 10:00-18:00