CoID students won the first prize at the Nordic ARM 2016

Earlier this year, CoID students Huiyang Yu, Mikko Heiskanen and Amar Shaw won the first prize at the Nordic ARM IX Annual Conference.

Congratulations to the team! We interviewed Amar Shaw to hear more about this story and discover how a group of CoID students won an international design award.


Could you introduce yourself briefly and tell about the other team members?
I am an industrial and product designer originally from India. I graduated from National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad in 2009 and I am currently doing my MA in Collaborative and Industrial Design at Aalto University. During my career I worked with different companies and design studios in the field of product design first in India and then in Europe.

I met Huiyang and Mikko for the first time during the course “New Materials and Means of Production” taught by Teppo Vienamo at Aalto University. We soon started working together and participated in design competitions: I won the NORDIC Arm for the first time in 2015 with a project designed together with Huiyang, while with Mikko we designed several concepts for Vieser, a Finnish company focused on floor drain and grating systems for Healthcare.

This year we have been selected as a winning team at the IX Annual Nordic ARM. In February we went to Boras, Sweden, to participate in the NORDIC Arm Conference and present our concept.


Could you tell us something about the project you presented at Nordic ARM 2016?

Nordic ARM is the Nordic Association of Rotational Moulders. The design brief they presented was really open and interesting: ideate about new applications and improve existing products. The proposal we submitted was a bicycle parking system that assisted the user while parking the vehicle and improved the aesthetics and functionality of bicycle parking lots.

The idea came when I was visiting Leiden during my internship in Netherlands, where I noticed the way bikes are parked in the space which was not really user friendly; for example, during the night it became really difficult to locate the bikes and find the lock. Our question was how to assist people when locating their bikes and efficiently organise the space of the parking lot.

The concept consists of a circular parking stand that makes use of integrated light to assist the users to lock/unlock and identify free spots in the parking lot. This proposals could also contain electrical chargers and support the upcoming trend of electrical bikes in the city. In the present design there is space for 8 bikes to park per unit, which can be made bigger/ smaller depending on the available space.


How long did it take to design the concept and submit it?

I was in Netherlands while we were designing the concept. We skyped and chatted almost everyday for two-three weeks. We brainstormed many ideas, but in the final phase we divided the tasks: Huyan has excellent skills in rendering, Mikko in 3D modelling, and I was responsible for sketching and layout of the final slides.


What did you learn from this experience and how are you going to use the knowledge gained?

I learnt what it means to work as a team and build on others’ ideas. Sharing ideas and learning from each other is a key for success and when it comes to teamwork, and it is important to keep motivation high among the other team members. Taking part in competitions is a good experience, but I would definitely recommend to work in a group to create better ideas in a shorter time!


This is not the first competition you have won in your career. What are the tips you want to share with the other students who are participating in design competitions?

We thought from a company’s perspective. We started brainstorming on the brief and tried to break it down in two, three themes that we think are interesting for the company. Having more than one concept is also a good strategy: it is nice to give them an extra option. Remember to have a practical approach: how will it be manufactured? What makes it easy to use? Try to have some fun while doing it: even if you don’t win you can use the knowledge gained in some other project or simply publish the project in your portfolio.



Would you like to add anything to this interview?

We would like to thank our department for the support in prototyping the models and for all the feedbacks during the project.