What is the future of democratic creation?
YouFab Global Creative Awards 2021
The YouFab Global Creative Awards committee has announced the winners of YouFab 2021. A total of 19 works were selected under the theme “Democratic experiment(s).”
The Grand Prizes go to “Public Voice,” which seeks to amplify the protest against gender violence in the urban context of Latin America, and “the Museum of Edible Earth,” which reconnects the relationship between the inorganic and organic through bringing together a collection of edible soils from across the globe. Two Student Prizes, A Special Prize and 16 other Finalist award-winning works were also selected.
The “YouFab Global Creative Awards,” which started in 2012 as a contest for creators at FabCafe, is an award that strives to be a global platform connecting creators and society. For the 10th YouFab 2021, we welcomed Asa Ito (Director, Future of Humanity Research Center, Institute of Innovative Research, Tokyo Institute of Technology) as the Chief of the judging committee. The theme was “Democratic experiment(s),” which refers to, “Exploring a Democratic Creation and Our Experiment(s).”
During the application period from August 1, 2021 to October 31, 2021, a record number of 335 works from 26 countries were submitted and judged by Chief Judge Aas Ito, editor and curator Arina Tsukada, Netherlands-based artist network Cascoland, and East African DJ Kampire Bahana. After the screening process, 19 award-winning works were selected, in addition to the Grand Prizes, the Student Prizes, and the Special Prize, called the “Panasonic Prize”.
For the first time in YouFab history, this year, two works received the Grand Prize. This stemmed from the judging panel deciding that two perspectives, one coming from a human-centered perspective and the other on a non-human-centered perspective, are essential for democratic creation in the future. “Public Voice,” which seeks to amplify the protest against gender violence in the urban context of Latin America, and “the Museum of Edible Earth,” which reconnects the relationship between the inorganic and organic through bringing together a collection of edible soils from across the globe, won the Grand Prize as works that embody both views.
Winners announcement URL
Work title：Voz Pública (Public Voice)
Entry name：Dora Bartilotti（Mexico city, Mexico）
Participatory art piece that seeks to amplify de protest against gender violence in the urban context of Latin America. The project is made up of three parts working together: First, an online participation platform (https://www.vozpublica.cc/), where personal stories of gender violence are shared, in a textual and anonymous way. The second part is an electronic textile that “give voice and amplifies” this stories through a voice synthesizer, giving them physical presence in the public space. And finally, a series of Laboratories called “The Textile Rebellion” that seek conviviality and reflection, as well as the collective creation and activation of these electronic textiles through performative actions in the streets.
From a commitment to creative activism, Voz Pública is inserted in the context of feminist protest and struggle with the intention of being a ‘voicing and amplifying’ mechanism, as a form of denunciation and collective demand to recover our right to the city.
Work title：the Museum of Edible Earth
Entry name：masharu studio （Amsterdam, the Netherlands）
The Museum of Edible Earth is a cross-disciplinary project with at its core a collection of earth samples, which are eaten for various reasons by different people across the globe. It invites the audience to physically question our relationship to the environment and the Earth, and to review our knowledge about food and cultural traditions using creative thinking. The Museum of Edible Earth addresses the following questions: What stands behind earth-eating traditions? Where does the edible earth come from? What are the possible benefits and dangers of eating earth? What engagement are we, as humans, establishing with our environment and non-humans?
Entry name：Noor Stenfert Kroese, Project technical supervisor: Laurent Mignonneau, Mycology supervisor: Taro Knopp (MNS-STWSTnode) （Austria）
Rhiza is an interspecies connector that invites you to plant your bare feet on her mycelium. Through the skin, your biggest organ to sense the outer world, you can connect with the mycelium’s electrical communication. This hybrid sensation between mushrooms and mycelium’s bio feedback is then transferred back to your body via tactile sensory impulses.
Entry name：Silke Hofmann（Germany / UK）
’embrace’ is part of a larger research investigation that diversifies design processes and welcomes the garment wearer as a stakeholder and expert within the clothing design team. A speculative alternative to the conventional bra has been conceptualised and prototyped, inspired by the collective needs of females affected by breast cancer, including the needs of females living with different-sized breasts, one breast, or no breasts after a mastectomy. The bra alternative design development opposes normative garment construction based on body symmetry by responding to specific clothing needs and unique body topologies of females affected by breast cancer.
The results can be seen below. Click here for Winners page
General comment by Chief Judge Asa Ito
The act of “creating” is most likely facing headwinds now. The impact of mass production and mass consumption on the environment is serious, and the problem of exploitative labor in the manufacturing industry is also acute. “Manufacturing is evil” — we may soon enter a time where people openly verbalize such things.
That is why we wanted to go back to the basics of “making” in the You Fab Awards this time. The act of making is essentially an activity that lies at the boundary between the inside and outside of human society. If we call it a “product,” it becomes the object of trade in human economic activities, but its materials are derived from nature, which should not have belonged to anyone in the first place.
After screening 335 works from 26 countries and regions, what emerged was the possibility of “making” as an activity on this borderline. How can we think about the problems of the “inside” of human society together with the “outside”? In order to do this, we need to be aware of what our convenient lives have depended on, and listen to the voices of those we have excluded from our lives.
This would undoubtedly mean contemplating about democracy. Voting in elections is not the only way to achieve democracy. It is about meeting the outside world and changing the inside through creation. We must continue to experiment democracy.
Click here for read general comment
YouFab 2021 Special Prize（sponsored by Panasonic Corporation）
As a Special Prize, YouFab 2021 established the “Panasonic Prize” sponsored by Panasonic Corporation, allowing for simultaneous entries for YouFab and the YouFab Special Prize. The theme is “Democratic experiment(s).” Tatsuo Ogawa, Executive Officer and CTO of Panasonic Corporation, Ariane Koek, Creative Director, and Chiaki Hayashi, Co-Founder, and Chairman of the Board of Loftwork, judged the entries. “Home Grown,” a work that incorporates local materials and traditional craftsmanship into interfaces such as lighting and computers, won the award.
Work title：Home Grown
Eentry name ： Emma Wright location (London, UK)
Home Grown is a bio-based collection of e-products, offering a sustainable alternative to the consumer electronics we use today. Inspired by the lack of mindfulness regarding the sourcing and recycling of materials for technology, Home Grown has been sourced from local materials from the UK & Ireland and created using traditional craft techniques.
Panasonic Special Prize general comment by Chief Judge Tatsuo Ogawa
What are the essential things for humans to survive?
The answer; energy; water; and food. We are closely related to them and connected to various worlds including invisible ones.
Our company is also manufacturing in this area, and because it is essential, we have a great social responsibility to implement it. In other words, we are not simply and only striving for the ideal society and life for “humans”. We also must deliberate the question of how to establish relationships and coexist with stakeholders such as energy, the global environment, plants, animals, microorganisms, and non-living things such as even minerals.
The ideas and solutions presented by the 168 entries for the Special Prize represent the wisdom of mankind in answering this question. Exploring these entries was an experience that allowed us to confront the challenges and responsibilities of manufacturing, as well as possibilities and ideas.
As the CTO of Panasonic, I was very fortunate to have this opportunity to receive various hints on how to deal with manufacturing. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all the people who applied for the Special Prize, and to everyone involved.
Award ceremony in March, exhibition in spring 2022!
YouFab 2021 Award Ceremony
The award ceremony and a talk session with the judges and award winners will be held.
- March 17, 2022, 18:00-20:00 (tentative)
- YouFab Judges
YouFab Award Chairman / Toshiya Fukuda
YouFab Award Winners
YouFab 2021 Exhibition
Based on this year’s theme “Democratic experiment(s)”, an exhibition focusing on the top award-winning works will be held in the Tokyo area.
About YouFab Global Creative Awards
YouFab is an award run by FabCafe since 2012, which first began as a competition for creators to simply come together. We aim to build an influential community of creators, by building a platform that connects the creators directly with society.
We seek for works that reflect upon current events that affect our world today.
We look at how bridges are connected between various elements such as the environment, the social, the economic, and the political, with design.
SPECIAL PARTNER ：Panasonic Corporation
Under our brand slogan, “A Better Life, A Better World,” which embodies our management philosophy of “contributing to the development of society through business,” we work with various partners to expand our business in diverse domains. Through our business, we aim to continue to make significant contributions to the realization of ideal lifestyles and societies, and to the resolution of global social issues such as global environmental protection.
SPONSOR：Ezoe Memorial Recruit Foundation
Loftwork is a creative company dedicated to making a positive impact through design with a global community of innovators.
FabCafe is a place to accelerate creative serendipity with a nice cup of coffee and collaborative peers.
AWRD is an online platform for organizers to host and manage campaigns, from large-scale international competitions to one-day hackathons. With AWRD, operations such as entries collection, landing page generation, judge appointment, screening process, and result announcements could be managed easily online with just a few clicks.