IHA Announces Student Design Competition Winners

Winning entries in the International Housewares Association’s 20th annual Student Design Competition feature creative product concepts that address the challenges faced by the disabled, pregnant women, child caregivers and others in the home and workplace, the organization stated. First place in the competition and $3,000 each went to Heman Au, a junior at Arizona State University, for his Duo Kitchenware design, and Juan Jimenez, a University of Houston senior, who designed the Smart Measure.

Au’s Duo Kitchenware helps people with disabilities prepare their own food by pairing a rocker knife with a cutting board. Held in two hands, the knife safely cuts using a rocking motion. An angled lip on the cutting board makes lifting easy and prevents food and juices from spilling. Shaped to the user’s body, the cutting board’s profile makes it easy to carry. The judges recognized Au’s careful research with physical therapists and user groups, as well as his use of tactile feedback and contrasting colors to increase visibility for people with spatial or visual impairments, IHA noted.

Jimenez’s design, Smart Measure, consists of double measuring spoons that snap together and slide past each other to level ingredients, so only a thumb slide is needed to accurately measure liquid or solid ingredients in four standard quantities. Closed, the spill-proof spoons secure the contents in transit during food preparation. The Smart Measure spoons snap together for compact storage and disengage for easy cleaning. Judges remarked that the Smart Measure is a simple, novel offering in a crowded market product category. They also made a point of Jimenez’s thorough and well-communicated market research, his logical design process and his presentation as factors in their decision to grant him first place.

Winners pick up their awards at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 3 in the Housewares Show’s Innovation Theater, an event that leads to a reception celebrating the 20th anniversary of the competition and honoring past winners and judges. The reception will proceed adjacent to the Student Design Competition display in the Hall of Global Innovation.

Other competition winners include:

  • Yutong Wu, a junior at Ohio State University for the Dolly+ Cart.
  • Cole Mishler, a senior at the Cleveland Institute of Art for the POR Painting Organization System.
  • Yunqi Yuan, a junior at Ohio State University for the Bella Maternity Posture Support.
  • Breanna Stachowski, a senior at the University of Notre Dame for The Neat Seat.

Honorable mentions were:

  • Justin Bechstein, an Ohio State University junior for the Pulbak.
  • Xiaolei Mao an Arizona State University junior, for the Go Grill.
  • Morgan Perry, Ohio State University junior for the Duo Press.
  • Sunoh Choe, a University of Notre Dame senior for The Rack-Over.
  • Alexander Bennett, a Rochester Institute of Technology junior for the Certain Spice.


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