May 5, 2020

Game on, creatives: Topawards Asia and featured designers join the FutureCity Innovative Game Design Challenge

FabCafe Global Editorial Team

With the ‘Innovative Game Design Challenge’ officially kicked off via our opening talk on April 30, we’re keeping the ball rolling with more exciting additions, as well as creative cues, in this fun new competition.

Topawards Asia, the monthly packaging design award for Asia’s finest consumer products, will be joining forces with us as gamemasters. With their emphasis on the consumer’s perspective, as well as a unique invitation-only entry system, our brand new co-host will not only bring some insight into what looks good on the shelf, as well as lend a hand in the judging process. We’re also excited to have Topawards founder and packaging design and branding guru Henry Ho joining the jury as one of our judges. With over 24 years of experience under his belt, Ho has worked with some of Asia’s biggest brands, including KIRIN, Otsuka Pharmaceutical, Shiseido, Kao, Ritz-Carlton, LOTTE, Hotel Okura, Mondelez, NTT Docomo, Blue Bottle Coffee Japan, and Taiwan Star Telecom.

The rules of the game design challenge are the same: As part of the global FutureCity initiative (What is FutureCity?), which looks at the future of living in a post-COVID-19 world, we’re inviting creators to submit their design ideas for offline games, particularly that which inspires learning for kids or adults.

There’s no need to play it by the book in these strange times; the pandemic has already shown us that the very concept of education is changing. But as we become increasingly reliant on digital learning, we hope to disconnect from our online classrooms momentarily to focus on gamifying IRL learning. And in the spirit of staying in but staying mentally active, we hope this challenge can get your creative juices flowing.

Play your cards right and you might just take home the Grand Prize (a cash prize of US$1000) or the Second Prize (a cash prize of US$800). Three others will walk away with the FabCafe Award. All of the winning talents will receive media exposure across FabCafe platforms, as well as the potential to work with companies in our global network.

*Go to ‘Innovative Game Design Challenge’ page now.

We’re looking for creativity and usability – that is, your ability to communicate how and what player/s can learn from your game, as well as the effectiveness of the game design. Think Mola Structural Kit (Brazil), a learning tool for kids and adults to build using magnetic modular parts; Digital Bricks (UK), an experimental coding tool based on interacting physically with Lego bricks; or, learning card sets for kids from Makeitwork Studio (Hong Kong)

Mola Structural Kit

Mola Structural Kit, by architect Marcio Sequeira, gives anyone interested in structures to build systems and learn intuitively about them. Not only is it a fun, practical offline activity for kids and their parents, it is sophisticated enough to have been adopted as a learning tool by universities such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Technical University Madrid (UPM).

Digital Bricks, by Thibaut Evrard

Digital Bricks, by UK-based creative technologist Thibault Evrard, allows learners to get acquainted with creative coding in an unusual and creative way: through Lego bricks. Users place Lego on a plate, with sizes and colors corresponding to different programming functions, effectively positioning coding as a more experiential and hands-on ‘creative process’.

Makeitwork Studio

From A-Z learning card games to handmade puzzle sets, Hong Kong’s Makeitwork Studio specializes in designing kids’ toys for ‘open-ended play’. The brainchild of Ryan Siu, a toy designer who has worked for brands like Early Learning Centre, Mothercare and Top Toy, Makeitwork Studio focuses on traditional toys and learning tools, with a contemporary, design-centric twist.

Don’t have a game plan yet?

Check out more featured creators for gamification inspiration. If you missed Loftwork creative director Hangna Koh and Digital Bricks creator Thibault Evrard’s opening talk livestream, it’s still available on our Facebook page for you to pick up a handy tip or two.

For more details on FutureCity and how we’re rethinking education: FutureCity and the future of education in the post-pandemic world

Subscribing to FutureCity newsletters here for updates on events in design and innovation. We’re always open to collaborations – contact us at

About FabCafe Global

Inspired by the ‘Fab’ revolution as prescribed by MIT maverick Neil Gershenfeld, FabCafe is a series of ‘Fab’ innovation labs that specialize in creating products, services and experiences of the future. Here, maker enthusiasts, businesses and everyday people can access digital fabrication tools and experiences for fields ranging from fashion to bio. Founded in Tokyo in 2012, FabCafe’s global network now serves and fosters creative communities in 11 locations around the world, including Bangkok, Barcelona, Hong Kong, and many more.


  • FabCafe Global Editorial Team

    This articles is edited by FabCafe Global.

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    This articles is edited by FabCafe Global.

    Please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on this article with us.
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