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Kikkerland’s China Design Challenge


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At an event held last month at the company’s shop in Manhattan, Kikkerland presented finalist designs from the Kikkerland China Design Challenge, an competition held in collaboration with Beijing Design Week Organization and Redstar Design Fund. Held during Bejing Design Week 2014, the theme of the challenge was “A Passage Into Design,” which encouraged young talented Chinese designers to present unique ideas based on Chinese heritage, history and mythology. The ideas also had to exhibit the quirky sense of humor and wit characteristic of Kikkerland Design. Nearly 1,000 design submissions were received, from which 30 were selected and prototyped during a workshop with professionals. Ultimately, 17  finalists were chosen from the challenge.

During the New York event, an award was presented to challenge winner  Zhou Yi, who designed the Hutong Eraser, an eraser that represents the disappearing traditional architectural style that was once prominent in Beijing. “As the streets of Beijing are filled with more and more high-rise buildings, there are less and less Hutong style streets left,” says Yi. “The eraser will disappear as you use it, like the the disappearing Hutong.” The eraser, along with eight other finalists’ designs, will be produced and sold worldwide through Kikkerland’s distribution network in Fall 2015. 

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The winning design was the Hutong Eraser designed by Zhou Yi, which symbolizes the disappearance of traditional architecture in Beijing.

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The Hutong Eraser, designed by Zhou Yi, symbolizes the disappearance of traditional architecture in Beijing.

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These plastic Kung Fu Holders designed by Zhang Chen can hold everyday objects like keys, pencils, or jewelry.

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The Great Wall of China measuring tape by Yuan Xiaohan, Zhang Weiru, Li Jing, and Zang Fengqi.

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The Great Wall of China measuring tape by Yuan Xiaohan, Zhang Weiru, Li Jing, and Zang Fengqi.

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The Artifact Stirrers by Wang Tianxiang represent the magic weapons used by the main characters in Journey to the West, one of the greatest classical novels in Chinese literature.

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My personal favorite is the Jiang-Shang Tea Bag Holder set, designed by Wang Lei. The concept for the holders comes from an old Chinese story of Jiang Taigong who uses straight fish hooks (or none at all) because he believed the fish would come to him when they were ready to be fished.

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The Jiang-Shang Tea Bag Holder set, designed by Wang Lei, comes from an old Chinese story of Jiang Taigong who uses straight fish hooks (or none at all) because he believed the fish would come to him when they were ready to be fished.

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To water plants with the Rainy Pergola by Yang Wanli, you pour water into the cloud on top, which then drips down the wires to the plant below.

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The Ming Dynasty inspired salt & pepper shaker by Lin Ziwei and Guo Siqi splits into three parts for three kinds of spices.

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The Ming Dynasty inspired salt & pepper shaker by Lin Ziwei and Guo Siqi splits into three parts for three kinds of spices.

All images courtesy of Kikkerland.

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