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DESIGN student Anthony Yu credits his mum for giving him the idea for creating a hanging holder for kitchen rags. Mr Yu, 24, an industrial design student at National University of Singapore says his mum often cooks at home. "Like most people, she would use a rag for wiping the stove and the counter top," he says. "However, it becomes unhygienic when the rag is often wet, which increases bacteria growth, and even worse when it comes in close proximity with raw food during food preparation.
So he decided to come up with Fläckfri - a hanging rack for rags. The rack can be easily mounted on the kitchen wall, and with the rag being hung up, there is better air circulation which speeds up the drying process. Mr Yu also designed a storage space above the hanger for items such as dishwashing liquids and sponges. There is also an LED light installed for better visibility around the sink.
"With Fläckfri, Singaporeans will have a more hygienic kitchen that they can be proud of," he says.
For his effort, Mr Yu won the third prize at this year's Ikea Singapore's Young Designer Award.
Sandra Keasberry, communication manager of Ikea South-east Asia says that the design competition provides a platform for budding young local design students in tertiary institutions to showcase their talents, while sharing with them Ikea's global design expertise.
This year's theme is It Starts with the Food, chosen to seek out practical solutions for current local trends. According to Ikea Singapore's Life at Home Singapore 2015 survey, the lack of time is the biggest hurdle to everyday cooking, and many also feel that they lack space at home to grow plants.
A total of 95 entries were submitted from 11 tertiary institutions this year.
Rebeckka Wong, editor of Home & Decor, and one of the judges says "there was real thought behind the students' designs. The top three entries were chosen for their innovative and original solutions to real-life needs."
For now, the students' pieces are all prototypes. Hopefully, they will make it onto Ikea shelves one day.
Origami-San by Melody Koh, 19,
MELODY Koh hit upon the idea of Origami-san when she opened her kitchen cabinet one day, and sawseveral huge pots messily stacked on top of one another. "The problem wasn't with the kitchen cabinets, but with the pots themselves," she says. "There must be a better way to organise these pots." Origami-san is designed to be compressed, so the user will be able to save space and keep an organised kitchen cabinet. "You simply grab the handles and push to reduce its size and pull it back up into a pot when you're ready to use it," explains Ms Koh. Since it can be compressed, Origami-san is highly portable too.
Runda by Kevin Chiam, 24,
National University of Singapore
RUNDA is much like the Lazy Susan, but an improved version of it. Its designer, Kevin Chiam, combined the communal spirit of sharing food with an element of fun.
Unlike the conventional Lazy Susans, Runda's turntable is flushed with the table top, making serving food more convenient. The centre turntable can also be easily removed for cleaning. Most importantly, the Runda's proportion is tailored to fit families of four to six, unlike the typical larger tables where a Lazy Susan is used. "Being smaller means that the food can be accessed within arm's length on the turntable."
Dish-Stack by Nur Sabrina Jumahat, 20,
DISH racks tend to be big and bulky, and take up precious countertop space especially if you have to contend with a small kitchen.
Enter the Dish-Stack, a dish rack that can be folded up when not in use. Created by Nur Sabrina Jumahat, Dish-Stack is designed to be able to dry different sized plates and other kitchen tools together. It comes with an adjustable handle that can be used to support the weight of slightly heavier plates or bowls.
Dish-Stack also has a slanted bottom tray that allows water to collect at the lower end that detaches to dispose of the water easily. When not needed, Dish-Stack can be folded to save space.
Grow by Wayne Goh, 27,
Raffles Design Institute
THERE'S been a growth in the number of urban farmers in Singapore. But what if you don't have green fingers but want to grow your own vegetables?
You could start with Grow - a planter designed by Wayne Goh, which lets you grow vegetables indoors. Through his research, Mr Goh found out that space, light and water are the three most crucial factors for healthy plant growth. So he designed Grow to have a solar-powered light to enable photosynthesis. Grow also has a self-watering system, so that the plant doesn't dry out.As for space, Grow takes up minimal floor or table space, and it comes with a retractable cover, which can be extended as the plant grows taller.
Vaxter, by Jerrell Choo, 18,
Temasek Polytechnic School of Design
VAXTER is part-hanging planter and part-display stand, depending on how you want to use the product.
What's more intriguing is that it is made from only seven components, which can be easily assembled. "I was inspired to design Vaxter as I wanted to create a product that is customisable and has flexibility.
"My inspiration comes from how I like products that have multiple functions to benefit users more," says Mr Choo. Vaxter comes with a hook so that it can be used as a hanging planter. Remove the hook, and it instantly becomes a display stand.
The item also comes with a height adjustable tray that allows for plants of different heights to fit into it. To keep the plants in place, Mr Choo has designed templates of varying sizes and colours so users can mix and match. Lastly, there is a tray at the base which serves to collect waste water from plants.
Complack by Jonathan Ng, 22,
Singapore University of Technology and Design
ARE your kitchen cabinets filled with countless empty plastic containers? Yet, you don't want to throw them away in case they come in handy some day.
This is a common sight in Jonathan Ng's home, and he decided there had to be a more space-efficient container. So he designed Complack, an environmentally friendly, origami-inspired, plastic container. Its origami form allows it to be easily compressed, saving space when not in use.
Users can also adjust the height of the container to meet their needs. For example, it can be compressed midway for smaller items or expanded if there is more food to store.