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CQU’s design team wins global top design award

The winners of 2021 Red Dot Design Award, hailed as “Oscar for global industrial design circle”, were announced the other day. The works named Magnetic Fluid Demonstration Device of the design team, made up of Associate Professor Xia Jinjun and Associate Professor Fan Zhengyan from the School of Arts of Chongqing University and Associate Professor Xie Lei from the School of Opto-Electronic Engineering, has won the 2021 Red Dot: Best of the Best.

Magnetic fluid demonstration device is a scientifically, technologically and culturally innovative product used for popular science education and exhibition, and has been granted a number of invention patents. Excellent exhibits for popular science education should integrate rich interactive functions to provide intuitive, vivid and interesting in-depth experience and facilitate understanding of scientific phenomena and principles. The magnetic fluid demonstration device is able to smartly control the magnetic phase change effect of magnetic fluid, so as to realize the real-time simulation and interactive demonstration of music, voice, and facial expression. Diversified popular science demonstration and interactive modes can enhance the user's sense of experience and involvement. The design integrates magnetic fluid nano intelligent materials, artificial intelligence, precision magnetic field control, audio/voice processing, electronic technology and art design, and combines science and art. It can be used to popularize the knowledge of magnetic phase change effect, magnetic field "visualization", phonology, electromagnetism and so on among teenagers and the public, and improve the public's understanding of cutting-edge basic science. Particularly, it allows teenagers to experience the mystery of science and the charm of art, lead them to the door of exploration and stimulate their creativity. The exhibit can be used as physics experiment research teaching instruments in science and technology museum, universities/middle school. At the same time, the magnetic fluid demonstration device has the advantages such as appealing appearance and diverse interactive modes. It will be developed into a scientifically, technologically and culturally innovative product in the future.

In recent years, the teacher and student teams, represented by Xie Lei, have been responding actively to the national strategy on improving the scientific quality of citizens and emphasizing popular science education. The purpose is to allow more and more people to know the magnetic fluid intelligent materials and technology. In addition, this team has been working with the Department of Arts to give full play to the disciplinary advantages of new engineering and new arts, and cultivate the general comprehensive quality of students, including science, engineering and aesthetics. This team has also been advocating the scientifically, technologically and culturally innovative ideas that integrate new engineering and art aesthetics and are different from traditional ones which focus on industrial design of arts disciplines.

In 2021, only 259 pieces of design concept works were granted the Red Dot Design Award globally, accounting for only 8% of the works submitted. Specifically, only 61 pieces of works were given the Red Dot: Best of the Best, accounting for only about 1.9% of the total works. Winners of the Red Dot: Best of the Best are selected out of the general awards, and it is only given to groundbreaking design works recognized by the group of international evaluating experts.

This exhibit has also been displayed at important exhibitions including Smart China Expo, and many lectures have been held to spread the basic knowledge of the exhibit, which are well received and given a lot of attention by citizens, young people and the media. It has even hit the headline of Chongqing Daily,, CQ TV News, and the official Weibo account of Science and Technology Daily. A video about this exhibit won more than 1 million likes on Douyin.

About the Red Dot Design Award

Red Dot Award, iF Award and IDEA Award are hailed as the most important 3 awards for industrial design in the world, and are also the bellwether of the global industrial design and development. The Red Dot Design Award was founded by Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen more than 65 years ago. Every year, more than 10,000 pieces of works from over 60 countries are submitted to complete for the Red Dot Design Award. The winners of the Award will be invited to Germany to participate in the award ceremony, and the works will be displayed at the Red Dot Museum. Due to the persistent outbreak of COVID-19, the award ceremony of 2021 had to be held on line.

Red Dot: Best of the Best, as its name indicates, is given to the best of the best. The wining works has to be groundbreaking. It is the top award of Red Dot Design Award and is only given to the most outstanding works of each group.