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WDO World Design Impact Prize Trophy Submission

The World Design Organization (WDO) opened a competition for design students to submit a proposal for the World Design Impact Prize (WDIP) trophy for 2021. The trophy was designed in a third year studio class over two weeks to reference the themes of the World Design Impact Prize, and use low impact materials.  

The driving concept behind this design is to produce multiple copies in the ultimate bio-material, sugar, to be presented to each guest at the award ceremony. The edible sugarwork trophies offer an additional layer of interaction as a lighthearted, fleeting moment. The winner would receive a permanent trophy of recycled glass and steel. 

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Mood Board

After researching the WDO, the judging panel, the WDIP and its previous winners, a mood board was created to help guide the design decisions in terms of colour, form, and material. The goal was to create a modern, innovative aesthetic that also spoke to the WDO's design language and branding. 

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Preliminary Ideation

The initial concepts were centred around simple repeated forms interconnected with each other. The connections allow the trophy to be packed flat, further contributing to its low environmental impact. The form is meant to convey some of the guiding words from the mood board above, expanse and growth. Hand sketches, digital illustration and simple paper mockups were used to investigate form and shape. 

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Concept Iteration: Sugar Prototype

The trophy was then modelled in an edible sugar substitute, isomalt, to further test colour and form. Isomalt behaves similarly to glass, so interactions with light/shadows, weight of the trophy, and proportion could be tested to a high degree of fidelity. 

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Concept Iteration: CAD Modelling

Next , the trophy was modelled in CAD (Rhinoceros 3D) to refine details. Variables such as the number of glass disks, the orientation of the disks, the base thickness, and the steel spiral were tested for aesthetic appeal and adherence to WDO's theme.


Final Design

The final trophy expresses growth and innovation. The form itself can be interpreted as a plant sprouting from the ground, similarly to the way an idea grows and develops. And, the carefully balanced nature of the glass ellipses represents achieving “the impossible” and breaking boundaries.


The blues and greens of the glass draw from the WDO and WDIP logos, while also referencing the colours of land and water. Three glass ellipses were chosen because the number three appears to be a significant number to the WDO; there are three letters in WDO, and three pillars of sustainability.


The slot connection of the glass ellipses allows the piece to be disassembled and transported or shipped easily. The slots also speak to the interconnectedness of design and the rest of the world. The steel spiral acts as a support for the glass while also emulating a wisp of smoke or trail of a shooting star.


Lastly, the trophy is intended to be reproduced in sugarwork. This is the ultimate “bio” material and it can offer an additional layer of interaction with the trophy - to be eaten. The sugar trophy could be offered to every guest at the award ceremony as a light-hearted fleeting moment, and the winner could receive the permanent trophy.

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Technical Drawings

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