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Results announcement for the Digital Fabrication department's YouFab 2016 Global Creative Awards

  • 09.02.2017

Results announcement for the Digital Fabrication department's YouFab 2016 Global Creative Awards

23 pieces crossing and uniting the digital and the physical have won prizes

FabCafe Global (Tokyo, Hida, Taipei, Barcelona, Bangkok, Toulouse, Singapore, Strasbourg) has announced the winning pieces for the "YouFab Global Creative Awards 2016" (YouFab below), which recognizes excellent challenges in the digital fabrication field.

During the application period from August 1st to November 11th 2016, a total of 196 works from 31 countries were assembled, and from these a Grand Prix, semi Grand Prix, general category prize, student category prize, Yamaha prize and 19 other finalists were chosen.

The Grand Prix was awarded to the "OTON GLASS" (creator: Oton Glass Inc) smart glasses, which support people who struggle to read letters in the act of "reading" by converting visual character data into sound. Letters photographed by a camera in the same position as the field of vision are converted into text data with character recognition technology, and by being read out loud as sound, the user can understand the character data.

The semi Grand Prix was awarded to "Interfering Floating Bodies", an art piece with soap bubbles floating inside a glass vessel that was produced at the KENPOKU Art Hack Day, an event held for the purpose of producing works for the KENPOKU ART 2016 art festival in Ibaraki.

The general category prize was awarded to "This New Technology - The World's First Analog 3D Printer" (creator: DANIEL DE BRUIN), an analog 3D printer that operates on gravitational energy, without using electricity. The student category prize was awarded to "IrukaTact: Submersible Haptic Glove" (creator: Aisen C. Chacin), an underwater sensing probe that takes its idea from dolphin's echolocation.

The Yamaha Corporation's special "Yamaha prize", newly established for this YouFab, was awarded to "OTON GLASS", which also won the Grand Prix. The "Yamaha prize" is an experiment aiming for the joint development of the Yamaha Corporation and the prizewinner. A prototype of the OTON GLASS, developed by Yamaha employees and Oton Glass Inc, based on the theme of "emotion switch", is on display at the YouFab Prizewinner's Exhibition held from March 8th to 19th.

Please see the following pages for all of the prizewinning works, as well as comments on them from the judges.

Results announcement page (English)
Results announcement page (Japanese)

An exhibition of the prizewinning works will be held at Hikarie 8 F8 / Cube 1, 2, and 3 in Shibuya, Tokyo from March 8th (Wed) to 19th (Sun). An award ceremony and exhibition opening reception will also be held at Hikarie 8 / Court on March 7th (Tue).

Winning works

GRAND PRIZE &Yamaha AWARD (Simultaneous award)


- Creator: OTON GLASS Inc. (Japan)

OTON GLASS is a set of smart glasses designed to help dyslexic people to read words. The camera captures pictures of words that a user wants to read and reads out the words for the user via the earpiece.


Title: Interfering Floating Bodies

- Creator: Team Interfering Floating Bodies (Japan)

We have believed soap bubbles pop and burst easily. "Interfering Floating Bodies" is an installation that challenges the notion. Bubbles float in mid-air in the glass bowl without falling. The surrounding is reflected in the bubble's surface on all angles, and the rainbow-colored interference patterns on the surface constantly change in alluring ways.


Title: This New Technology - The World's First Analog 3D Printer

- Creator: DANIEL DE BRUIN (Netherlands)

THIS NEW TECHNOLOGY - the World’s first analog 3D printer is an ironic foil to computerized 3D printers. 3D printing allows products to be created more swiftly and efficiently. However, these products are not made by hand.They are merely a product of popular digital 3D-printing technology.


Title: IrukaTact: Submersible Haptic Glove

- Creator: Aisen C. Chacin (Japan)

IrukaTact is a submersible haptic search glove that assists the location of sunken objects inspired by dolphin echolocation (Iruka in Japanese). The system detects the topography of flooded areas with an ultrasonic range finding sonar sensor that sends haptic signals to the wearer’s fingertips.


- Title: AMIMONO
- Creator: FREE-D (Japan)

- Title: BioKnit
- Creator: Ammo Liao (Taiwan)

- Title: Caress of the Gaze
- Creator: Behnaz Farahi (United States)

- Title: Eisen hertz
- Creator: Taketo Kobayashi (Japan)

- Title: Hozuki Lantern Project
- Creator: SmartCraft Studio 2016 (Japan)

- Title: Deltu
- Creator: Alexia Lechot (Switzerland)

- Title: Sensory Lines
- Creator: EJTECH (Hungary)

- Title: Fab Scooter
- Creator: Yoshisuke Kuramoto (Japan)

- Title: Coffee Coffee Bar
- Creator: Alex Schofield (United States)

- Title: Audi Mind Race
- Creator: Antiloop (Spain)

- Title: Guided Hand
- Creator: Yeliz Karadayi (United States)

- Creator: GRAFFITI BOT (Thailand)

- Title: Quartz
- Creator: Daniel Sauter and Jaskirat Randhawa (United States)

- Title: VOLLY - Your voice in rolling ball
- Creator: VOLLY project (Japan)

- Title: JUNO
- Creator: Nitisha Jaiswal (United States)

- Title: News Globus
- Creator: News Globus Team (Denmark)

- Title: Leaked Light Field
- Creator: Kazuki Takazawa (Japan)

- Title: Cilllia
- Creator: Jifei Ou (United States)

- Creator: Hiroshi Sugihara (Japan)


Hiroya Tanaka

Professor at Keio University / Representative of SFC Social Fabrication Lab

If we take the definition (or intended meaning) of Fab as the narrow definition of simply “using digital fabrication tools”, then we probably can’t expect to see any further significant developments in Fab as we now live in a time when the 3D printer and laser cutter have become fairly mainstream. Having said that, we are seeing a greater range of projects popping up around the world that are being created in areas where Fab facilities are located. Existing 3D printers and laser cutters are only one of the many Fab methods used today, and in fact almost every artwork and technology in the world such as homebuilt digital fabrication tools superior to currently marketed machine tools, circuit boards such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi, and various new materials integrated with pre-existing handicrafts, are being employed and combined to make new creations. Amidst this landscape, we are once again urged to ask ourselves, “What is Fab?” If there is only one shared aspect among all the various projects, then it would be that they are all seeking a commonality and cooperation between the digital (information world) and the physical (physical world)”? My thoughts at the start of YouFab2016 were that this is the definition of Fab (at this current time) that we would like to put this definition out there. Then, through the contest, it became apparent once again that “the commonalities and collaboration between the digital (information world) and physical (physical world)” are not limited to the technology level only. For instance, in terms of the senses, how do digital lightness and physical weight coexist? And in terms of values, how do we bring together and make something from the “new” of the digital world and “old” elements that have been queried multiple times. Or, in terms of ideas, at what point should we stop the global data flow of the digital world and do away with the local geographical constraints of the physical world? The awards were filled with entries that attempted bring together direct opposites or contrasting elements such as these by making something. The most ideal form or the true worth of Fab is when this type of creativity and questioning (querying) is combined with exploring, experimenting and the process of trial and error on a daily basis. We have learnt to question how we make things, and unlike questioning on paper, if we practice the act of “making” and rethink the questions themselves as we go, it can spin out into something new and we can build relationships with others in the process. In that sense, Fab is a concept that demonstrates the reexamination of the “value of making” something, which differs from the act of “manufacturing”. And, we believe that the output that comes from using Fab is part of the creator themselves. For YouFab2016 we did away with the entry categories and I believe that this has added even more originality to the results this year. Fab still has a long future ahead of it. I think our most significant milestone this year was that Fab has transcended beyond its original definition of the 3D printer and laser cutter. Which leaves us with the question…what’s next for Fab?

Yukiko Shikata

Creative curator

This entry really made me feel that Fab has matured, become more sophisticated and that we have entered into the era of Fab 2.0. I really noticed the complexity and organic nature, as well as the advanced tactile and smooth qualities. Some aspects that really stood out for me were the entries that involved garments (wearables), ecological aspects, barrier free topics and also the biomimicry. Fab is beginning to offer us a stage to virtually experience perceptions of people from widely different walks of life, perceptions and positions, and eventually even those beyond human beings. Fab can now be both dreamlike ideas as well as serve as a practical solution for social problems all at the same time. In terms of development, we are also seeing a lot more activity on open platforms, where experts from different specialty fields work together to release prototypes. At the same time, looking back to the origins of Fab, entries with humor and criticism really stand out. Across the board, we are also seeing a trend towards less art or hack type entries, and more products and industrial applications. This year there were a number of entries that stole the judges’ attention and overall the judging process was conducted rather smoothly. We also were pleased to receive so many original and diverse entries this year that were of a very high level, and the student entries in particular were of an exceptionally high standard.

Kyle Li

Program Director of BFA Design & Technology at Parsons School of Design

Being a part of the judging process is a fantastic opportunity to see the cross cultural synergy in digital fabrication on a global scale. The maker culture has revolutionized the way things were made and international competitions like YouFab brought the cultural exchange into the mix which is an important catalyst to inspire out-of-the-box thinking. The definition of fab will continue to evolve with smarter and more intuitive tools and software embedded with artificial or augmented intelligences. As a result, the creative pipelines will become even more dynamic and efficient in the near future. Thanks for all the creativities and positive energy originated by the applicants of YouFab. Let’s return to our roots, give it some time to sink in, and continue our epic quest to future maker!

Singh Intrachooto

Architect, Associate Professor at Kasetsart University, Design Principal of OSISU

YouFab Global Creative Awards seems to go beyond digital fabrication. The entries this year have been so diverse and insightful that comparing them for awards was very challenging. As Neil Gershenfeld says in his book, “Fab” is not Fabrication but it should now stand for Fabulous! A lot of the works goes beyond a mere fabricating objects but they are knitting social structures with digital technologies; some in a scientific and engineering way while the other in a humanistic and spiritual way but they are all addressing our well being and curiosity. This YouFab platform is so fertile for innovative thinking about problem-solving and future technologies as it combines art, design, science and engineering in larger social contexts. Congratulations and I look forward to seeing more in the years to come.

Nicolas Lassabe

Co-founder of Artilect and Co-founder of ORCAS

It was a pleasure for me to be a judge for YouFab 2016. This challenge is improving each year and I was again impressed by the quality of the presented projects and would like to congratulate all the participants for their creativity. YouFab shows that the Digital Fabrication is an opportunity for everyone to create and innovate. This challenge is the opportunity to show the results of the maker culture and how it is possible to produce things differently in a world where digital fabrication becomes more accessible for everyone. I hope this year’s YouFab will inspire more people to participate or simply do things by themselves.

Natalia Arguello

Consultant: Design + Tech + Entrepreneurship

It has been an honor to be a judge of the YouFab competition 2016. It’s incredibly exciting to see the creativity and passion found at the intersection of Design, Art, and Tech. Events like this encourage and empower designers, with different levels of experience, to explore the possibilities of bringing solutions to life using new technologies and tools. Your yearly challenge will certainly enhance our design practice and community. Thank you very much and keep up the good work!


Manabu Kawada

Head of Design Laboratory of YAMAHA CORPORATION

Some say that this is the era of artificial intelligence (AI), but I imagine it would be quite difficult for AI to understand the feelings of others, be deeply moved or feel strongly motivated. The theme for this year’s Yamaha Award, “the switch to your emotions”, may have been a challenging theme as it required entrants to leverage the current technology and step into the realm of human emotions. Rather than ideas for tools to make our lives more convenient or solutions to familiar or pressing issues, I anticipated that the theme would lend itself best to artistic works that touch the hearts of people, but I was completely off the mark. I was surprised to see emotions generally based on nonverbal communication and even in one case it being measured with brainwaves, reiterated to me the human essence of the entries. Conversely, the switch aspect was interpreted from both sides – from the pushed and the pusher’s perspective -- all of which I found interesting and admired the wide variety of approaches. It may come as a surprise to some people but from all of these entries, we ended up selecting OTON GLASS for the Yamaha Award. Some people may have expected that an entry that touches on sound would have been selected for the Yamaha Award, but we felt that this story was really worth sharing. This entry—glasses which recognize characters and automatically convert text to audio—was created by the entrant with the sincere hope of helping his father who suddenly developed a condition that made it difficult for him to recognize and read text. In the entry video, there was no mention whatsoever of the switch to our emotions. However, seeing the contributors having trouble reading the text and then watching their faces come to life and the pure joy in their hearts when they experienced the mix of visual and audio input for the first time, filled us with such high hopes for these glasses. It is a very practical tool and who knows…one day these glasses may even be able to sing when used to look at a music score. They may even be able to speak with emotion by sounding intimidating when reading bold print, or whisper when reading small print. Maybe one day, with these glasses, it will be possible to read newspapers covering hard news to sound like a theatrical performance. And who knows what will become of cartoons as the Yamaha team of engineers let their imaginations go wild! I cannot wait to see what kind of emotional switches we can develop together with OTON GLASS.

Toshiyuki Hata

VA Group leader New Business Development Department Research & Development Division YAMAHA CORPORATION

We were really happy to receive so many entries on our theme of an “Emotional Switch”. All I can say is thank you very much.
Personally, it’s my ambition to make people’s everyday lives around the world more fun and enjoyable. So what I think I was looking for, was a switch that could be the spark for this. From among the many switches we saw, OTON GLASS was somehow different in its nature.
What really struck me about OTON’s worthwhile proposal, was the beauty of of its single-minded, targeted focus, and the great affection behind it. Nothing mattered more than its ease of use and practicality. This gave it an extremely captivating presence. It differed from all our expectations. It really should have been more artistic and esoteric.
But I want to reinterpret this view. I want to see OTON GLASS transformed into a switch that makes everyday life on this planet better. This notion would not stop occurring to me, and I found that my own emotional switch had in fact been firmly pressed.

YouFab Global Creative Awards 2016 Sponsors

About Loftwork Inc.

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