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Don't design to win awards

Aug 21, 2018

Veteran designer Along Lee has received a Red Dot 2018 Award (Product Design) for his design of the X Bottle, a safety glass drinking bottle.

 

Along Lee with his Red Dot Winner Certificate 

Along Lee at the Red Dot Award ceremony

 

Along, a seasoned industrial designer, has won a number of design awards including the 2013 Singapore President*s Design Award (P*DA) for Design of the Year. He is currently based in China as the Creative Director of Corelle Brands Asia Pacific.

The X Bottle is made of borosilicate glass coated with high-grade liquid silicone – a patented coating which protects the bottle from shattering when dropped on the floor. This ensures that the bottle will always remain intact, protecting the user from broken glass shards.

In an interview with DesignSingapore Council, Along said: “Glass is very healthy to drink out of. The concern people have with glass, is how fragile it is. So, we asked ourselves, how do we encourage people to drink out of glass bottles while at the same time, resolve their concerns?”

The Red Dot 2018 jury commended the X Bottle for its distinctive look and highly functional design. The Red Dot is recognised internationally as a mark of quality design and comprises three fields: Product Design, Communication Design and Design Concept.

 

X Bottle

 The X Bottle is available online

 

This is not Along’s first drinking bottle design win. In 2013, he was part of a team that designed the Snapware Eco Flip, which was named Design of the Year at the P*DA. The P*DA jury described it as a well-designed drinking bottle which was a “successful resolution of a whole series of small design problems”.

When asked what advice he would give to young designers, Along stressed the need for lifelong learning and to be open-minded. He also warned against being arrogant, citing it as a common pitfall for designers.  

“Designers have to keep up with the trends. They have to keep exploring the different markets and consumer needs or else, they will be limited by a lack of knowledge”. And while it feels great to receive recognition for his designs, he says the real reward is in solving problems for consumers.

“Whether the design is award-winning or not, the designer must first start with the noble intention of solving real and serious problems” Along explained.