Winner stands test of time

MR Alan Yip Chi-wing was both delighted and surprised when told his design for a mini-radio had won this year's Gifts and Houseware Fair design competition.

''While I am not saying mine wasn't innovative, in my eyes, there were other designs which I thought looked better,'' said Mr Yip, who has his own company, Yip Design.

But the Hongkong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) fair judges felt otherwise, and today Mr Yip is $10,000 richer and looking forward to heading off for the Tokyo Gift Show in September, with accommodation included, for his prize-winning effort.

Mr Yip was presented with his winner's cheque and round-trip ticket to Tokyo, along with the Champion Trophy, at this morning's opening ceremony of the Hongkong Gifts and Houseware Fair.

Mr Yip's entry was the tiny Jupiter FM Radio, which is shaped like a rugby ball and can be worn as a pendant from the set of mini earphones.

It is super-light, powered by two button cell batteries and is coloured black so it can be imprinted with a company logo on one side.

Manufactured by Project Neun, on whose booth the radio will appear, the Jupiter radio was so named because: ''It looks something like a flying saucer, or the planet itself,'' said Mr Yip.

He said the radio had a theme of ''big promotional surface in a small radio'' and said it was big enough to be of marketing value to major companies, but small enough to be user friendly.

It was not the first time Mr Yip's designs have been recognised by the HKTDC. He was second runner-up in the Electronics Fair '92 with a calculator from his plastic Flexi Line which also included a spectacle case and key pouch in plastic which can be rolled up.

And his range of Post Modern Modular green stationary, which incorporates a memo holder, telephone index and organiser, will be shown, along with his winning Jupiter FM Radio, the Flexi Line calculator, and his Voyager FM Radio as products of the month in the HKTDC Design Gallery.

Entries were judged on four aspects: originality and creativity; aesthetics; marketability; and production feasibility. The aim of the competition was to promote and encourage new ideas to enhance the design and quality of Hongkong-made gifts and houseware, so promoting their sales both locally and overseas.

First runner-up in the contest was Mr Lee Chuen-wah of the Swire School of Design at the Hongkong Polytechnic. Mr Lee designed a six-armed clothes hanger of mild steel with rubber tips, which can be mounted on the wall with two screws. It is a design which would no doubt find a place in a small home.

For his effort, Mr Lee won a trophy and a cash prize of $6,000.

Second runner-up was Mr Patrick Yau Kam-pak who received a trophy and $4,000 for his sundial.

The circular sundial has a quartz movement, and features a minute disc and hour hand, with a silver background and graphic dots. The purple base and round top are encased in a plastic ring.

Certificates of Merit for outstanding product designs were also awarded. Winners were Mr Lawrence Artz of Star Commercial, who designed a Safe and Soft Air-Fill Car Seat. This plastic seat has a safety belt with two side air cushions to protect children.It conforms to European and North American safety standards.

Mr Antony Law Yee-shun, of the Swire School of Design at the Hongkong Polytechnic came up with a Breakthrough Phone which is an integrated system, comprising a receiver with dials and an answering machine. The two-in-one set has a volume control and two recording-rewinding buttons.

For the office or home comes the Standing Letter-Opener, was designed by Mr Ru-Bin Yen, of Hoyo Foundry.

The letter-opener is made of chromium-plated iron or aluminium coated with various colours. The opener is mounted on an oval rubber stand which resembles a rugby ball.

Mr Chan Kam-lung went for an innovative table lamp design which he called The Eye.

The light incorporates a cone-shaped stand, a curved, stainless steel sheet and a halogen light attached to two cables. Fixed to an acrylic vertex, the cone contains the wiring, a motor, an LED indicator, a pulley and a gear mechanism which allows the halogen lamp to move up and down.