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Who will be the Rado Star?

The shortlist of the Rado Star Prize UK 2018 has been revealed, with the winner of the £5,000 prize to be revealed at Designjunction.

The Swiss watch company has also become the headline partner of the September exhibition.

Responding to this year’s Designjunction theme of On Time/Time Off, projects ranged from lighting to ceramics, furniture to innovative manufacturing processes. The theme was realised through the concept of passing time, enriching life, and products that enhance the user’s awareness of where they spend their time.

The 10 finalists will exhibit their shortlisted concepts at designjunction where the winner will receive £5,000 and a Rado watch. There will also be a visitor vote, with the winner receiving a Rado watch.

Spin by Levon Lim is a modular and flexible workspace piece. Interactive and customisable, users can pivot the various table tops and interchange the shelving units depending upon their preference. Spin helps users organise their workspace and spin away items they do not need to focus on during the task at hand.

The Magé Cabinet by Scott Ridgway aims to complement a whisky lover’s time off. Celebrating both whisky and Japanese culture, the eastern influence is drawn from the traditional Japanese craft of Magewappe, in which straight cedar is bent into lunchboxes and rice steamers. Using oak as a stronger and more consistent material, the flowing vertices of the top section and exposed joinery of the bottom express the style and the understated nature of the Magewappe craft.

API by James Moseley applies the concept of Seasonal Affective Disorder lighting to a product that focuses on aesthetics, moving away from the white plastic which currently dominates the field, to warmer materials and colours. From a blue projection at 8am to a red projection at 8pm the light moves through a gradient over the course of the day, influencing brain behaviour. The blue light promotes activity, whilst the red aids the body’s wind down processes, helping with the natural circadian rhythm of the user.

Life and Work USB Sticks by Aaron Mitchell is a functional, double USB memory stick combining pewter, walnut and a magnetic closure. Depending upon the user’s needs each half can be used for different purposes to prevent the mixing of work and personal life. It allows work files and personal memories to be stored together within one product, and yet kept separate.

Taking into account how light and colours affect wellbeing, Bo’oy by Chloe Duran Stone is a translucent coloured shelf unit, which goes beyond its functional purpose to enhance a space and connect with the user. The sculptural, abstract and colourful elements of the piece trigger the senses whilst the moveable acrylic pieces can be arranged in different compositions and reveal themselves in different ways depending upon light, angle, time and the position they are placed in.

Inspired by the stunning natural beauty, grandeur and mystique of the Giant’s Causeway, GC18 by David Knowles is a coffee table that responds to the landscape’s aesthetic elements. Hexagonal columns cast in Jesmonite replicate the basic characteristics of the basalt steps. The varying heights and organic shape mimic the terrain, creating a furniture piece that is tactile, intriguing and thought-provoking, consequently inspiring mindfulness.

Encouraging greater use of portable lighting in the modern home, Wilf is a portable task lamp by Lewis Small. Utilising new battery and LED technologies, the lamp can be easily moved around the home. The counterbalance mechanism is fundamental to the interactivity of the lamp and invites the user to take control of the light. This sleek, adaptable task lamp allows the user to relax or work in any location without compromising on the quality of the light.

The Tartufo Collection by Heleen Sintobin consists of a compatible stool and bench and celebrates the intrinsic qualities of vegetable tanned leather. The furniture pieces revive an ancient natural chemical colouring technique, the concentration of Vinegaroon liquid is subtly altered to result in a collection of unexpected colour variations.

Inspired by the slow pace of life in Calatafimi, Sicily, The Limescale Project by Martina Taranto converts the problem of limescale into an opportunity. Developing a process by which pipe moulds are installed in the pipeline the project harvests self-built structures grown underground. The limescale acquires the tube’s shape, meaning products can be grown and harvested naturally. The project rethinks production methods, reconnects with nature and envisages a future where tables and chairs are cultivated in the pipes and extracted like diamonds.

The Kel Lamp by Georgina Heighton was developed following the observation that the concept of play is being increasingly used in the workplace to release stress and improve attention. Made from oak, the Kel Lamp gives adults an excuse to play as the horizontal oak dowels prompt interaction. They can be slid, rolled or arranged however the user pleases and encourage a childlike curiosity.