Tenth edition of the ei! Awards and other awards received by Elisava students

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  • Elisava’s ei! Awards, dedicated to each year’s best Final Degree Projects, distinguish the excellence of undergraduate students
  • The Catalonia Ecodesign Award, the Pentawards and Blurring the Lines, among others, have also recently distinguished projects by Elisava students

What do these have in common: an object that enhances the sense of smell and stimulates a more emotional food consumption; a new concept of adhesive exoskeleton capable of reversing muscle dysfunction; and a digital platform that reflects on the reality and use of non-binary gender? All of them are Final Degree Projects by students from Elisava's class of 2020-21 who have just won one of the ei! Awards awarded annually by the Barcelona School of Design and Engineering.

The awards celebrate a decade appreciating the academic career and dedication of young designers trained at Elisava. Its aim is to promote creativity, disseminate talent and encourage the competitiveness of students in society as a whole, especially in design, engineering and industry. The tenth edition of the awards, presented on 22 October during Elisava's Graduation Ceremony, distinguished up to seven projects that share common themes such as innovation in the health services and wellbeing, reflection on digital environments and multiculturalism.

The Jury in charge of choosing the winners of this edition was formed by Amaia Celaya (Director of the Master’s Degree in Design for Resilience at Elisava), Enric Puig (Director of Arts Santa Mònica), Mireia Escobar (Director of the Design Hub Barcelona - DHUB), Xavier Martínez (Co-founder and CEO of BCN3D Technologies) and Javier Peña (General and Scientific Director of Elisava).

Therapeutic wearables, aromatic cups and new digital identities

In the Materials category there is, for example, Matter Make Design by Marta Gómez de Gispert, from the Degree in Industrial Design Engineering and tutored by Jessica Fernández. An ultrawearable adhesive that sticks to the skin, capable of reversing muscle function in cases of partial dysfunction. It is an innovative product that, in addition to its therapeutic nature, "can provide identity to the user, creating a wearable-jewel that beautifies the person", as the jury highlighted.

In the Technology category, Roderma, by Industrial Design Engineering student Celia Marquès, stood out. Mentored by Francesc Mestres, it is a product designed for hospitals and health centres to carry out less invasive medical interventions and improve people's wellbeing. In the Human category, also with possible therapeutic applications, is the Aroma project by Tomàs Cano, a student of the Undergraduate Degree in Design tutored by Martín Azúa. The project, carried out in collaboration with the Torres Brothers, proposes a new relationship between restaurant and user by means of aromatic glasses that enhance sensoriality, and specifically the sense of smell, to establish a more emotional connection between the user and the food.

As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, the ei! Awards also include some Final Degree Projects that address the challenges of new digital environments. This is the case of La imagen del género by Júlia Pérez, a student of the Undergraduate Degree in Design tutored by Raúl Goñi. Awarded in the Society category, it is a platform with multiple formats that proposes a new way of designing social networks and other digital environments to stop using profiles based on binary gender in favour of more flexible models adapted to the current social reality, and which seeks to generate debate in different areas of our daily lives. And in the Information category is the project Copies: Degeneration and integration by Daniel Verano, a student of the Undergraduate Degree in Design, and the tutors Oscar Tomico, Saúl Baeza and Lluís Sallés: a project in collaboration with Elisava Research and Adidas MakerLab that reflects in graphic and conceptual terms on the connotations of copying and cloning as an element in the construction of our digital identity.

Also in relation to identity and in the Information category is the project Sistema reticular para la materialización de identidades multiculturales (Reticular system for the materialisation of multicultural identities) by Hannah Adib, a student of the Undegraduate Degree in Design and tutored by Danae Esparza. This project draws on the traditional carpets of the Middle East to generate a collection of pieces that use their own code to reflect the stories and experiences of people who have grown up among diverse cultures.

Finally, the ei! Award for the Best Academic Record went to Marta Tudurí-Quevedo, while the ei! Audience Award, voted online, was awarded to Dayna EVO, designed by the Elisava Racing Team, made up of several students from the Industrial Design Engineering degree and the Simultaneous Studies Programme. Danya Evo is an electric motorbike for rescue and assistance in sporting events with IoT connection and a multi-purpose medical service that combines maximum safety, comfort and respect for nature.

Circular design and to improve people’s quality of life

In addition to the ei! Awards, other awards have recently distinguished various projects by Elisava students. One of them is the Catalonia Ecodesign Award, which went to Des-Embolcall by Julia Farriol, a system of reusable packaging that promotes local and bulk consumption, as well as the reduction of packaging materials. The other one is jumpthegap®, the international design competition promoted by Roca, which this year was awarded to Ikigai by Laia Millan, a student of the Degree in Industrial Design Engineering. This is an intelligent mirror to help people with signs of dementia with a daily exercise routine guided by facial recognition technology.

On an international level, several projects by Master's students stand out. Among the most recent ones are ATHOS by Emili Taixés, Pau Gual, Romina Milesi, Maria del Mar Amengual, Dídac Llopart and Carla Sophia Barrientos, students of the Master’s Degree in Product Design and Development. Their proposal is to create personalised climbing slides to provide greater adaptability and better performance for each user, and it was one of the winners of the prestigious James Dyson Award, an international design award.

Other examples are Honest by Ana Marques, Angie Moreno and Martí Garcés, students of the Master’s Degree in Packaging Design, a new range of vegan cosmetics with responsible and sustainable processes that has been recognised in the Silver category of the Pentawards; and the photographic works Saudade, by Cynthia Lühr, and A inconsisência do ser, by Antonia De Noronha, both former students of the Master's Degree in Photography and Design, whose work was highlighted in the recent Blurring the Lines awards. This is, undoubtedly, a remarkable collection of awards that confirms the talent and the good form of a new generation of designers and creatives trained in Elisava.