The YouFab Global Creative Awards 2018 (hitherto referred to as YouFab) is an international award for digital fabrication sponsored by FabCafe Global, which is located around the world in Tokyo, Hida, Kyoto, Taipei, Barcelona, Bangkok, Toulouse, Singapore, Strasbourg, and Monterrey. FabCafe Global is proud to announce the winners of YouFab 2018.
During the entry period from August 1, 2018 to October 31, 2018, out of a total of 158 works submitted from 32 countries, the following prizes were awarded: 1 Grand Prize, 1 First Prize Prize, 1 Lion Award, 1 General Award, 1 Student Award and 11 finalists.
Grand Prize work raises interesting questions about the contemporary ecosystem with goldfish and technology
The winner of the Grand Prize of YouFab 2018 is Fish Hammer by British-born Neil Mendoza, who resides in the United States. In Fish Hammer, the goldfish swims around the aquarium, unaware of the sensor above which is communicating its movement to the hammer outside. The fish moves and the hammer crashes down on the miniature furniture outside. This work raises questions related to the influence of humans on the ecosystem.
Judge Gerfried Stocker’s Comment
We might think we are the fish controlling the hammer but soon we recognize that the interrelations of an ecosystem are not that simple and maybe we are rather the ones getting hit by the hammer.
“Fish Hammer” makes you smile and think twice at the same time. It has a good sense of humor but is far from just being funny. With its cleverly staged scenario it is a highly thoughtful work of art, addressing in an unconventional but effective way some of the core issues of the antropocene and our present days struggle with finding a sustainable and responsible balance in the human induced impact on nature. Neil Mendoza has a quite fascinating body of work with a high overall quality and consistency which was another strong reason for the jury to award him.
The First Prize
A knit work reflecting the brain waves of factory workers
The First Prize work, called Mind in the Machine, was created by America-born Ani Liu. This piece takes the brainwave signals of the factory worker and programs the machine to create a knit that reflects her cognitive states. It is a project that reflects on the mark of the human hand in the age of mechanical production, as well as all of the anonymous human contributions involved in an economy of automation.
Judge Chiaki Hayashi’s comment
We are faced with questions about the relationship between machines and humans in many parts of our lives. Machines were meant to provide support for humans, but upon closer consideration, humans are under the control of machines. An encounter with such a situation at a Chinese knitwear factory led to a unique concept that reconsiders the link between the workers and the finished garments — a program that weaves the fabric loosely and gently when workers are relaxed, but when workers are under stress, pulls the stitches tightly together as they are woven. By doing so, the finished garments seem to give a voice to the many anonymous workers who sustain mass production behind the scenes.
A work which focuses on the future where work and living blend together, the Lion Awards awarded to nature-hacking work
For YouFab 2018, the Special Prize by the Lion Corporation was established. For this special prize, judges analyzed products, services, art works and projects with the theme, “A future where work and life merge together”. After the Judgement review, the project “Hack the Natural Objects.” by Japanese creative team, Gadara was chosen. This device incorporates features such as sensors into “natural objects” such as stones and branches. Through these sensors, users can control output such as volume and brightness by changing the natural object’s positioning. This work explores a scenery where natural things blend seamlessly with technology in an everyday setting.
Lion Award Judge Daisuke Ono’s (Lion Corporation R&D Headquarters Innovation Lab Director) comment
Something not important, but existing right before your eyes, an object created by Mother Nature. Actually, I’ve been using a wooden key holder which I myself made from a tree for more than 30 years. Even though I’ve been using it this long, I had shape and artificial functions. It encouraged me to again realize the importance of the “MERGE of nature, which exists in this world from the very beginning and human-technology” concept.
In the General Award was awarded to the work Typhoon I by creator Michael Koehle. Typhoon I is an image of a wave generated by a typhoon transformed into a relief made of paper strips. The collaborative project Fusion by MHD Yamen Saraiji and Tomoya Sasaki won this year’s Student Award. Fusion uses telepresence technology where multiple people share one body.
The Award Ceremony and Award-Winning Works Polemica Exhibition
On Saturday, February 16 (Sat) from 19:00, we will hold an Award Ceremony with this year’s winners and judges at kudan house in Tokyo / Kudanshita. Also, from February 17th (Sunday) to February 24th (Sunday), we will hold an exhibition where you can see the winning works, mainly the top prize winning works, at the same venue.
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