The YouFab Global Creative Awards 2014 award ceremony report Vol.1

(Text: Shinichi Uchida)

The YouFab Global Creative Awards 2014 award ceremony report—Serving as a compass to navigate the future of manufacturing

On October 24, the award presentation ceremony was held at FabCafe for the YouFab Global Creative Awards 2014, which recognize excellence in the field of digital fabrication. We will be reporting in two parts about the winning entries that were selected from the total 143 submissions from 27 countries around the world. We will also share with you snippets from the judges’ discussions, and introduce the latest FAB-related business news from our sponsors. 


YouFab is a creative competition that awards works made using digital fabrication tools such as 3D printers, laser cutters, and CNC milling machines. These global creative awards were born from the hope that through the magic of creativity we can transform the future of fabrication, which is molded by digital technology, into something more exciting and more powerful. This is the third year of the competition, which is co-hosted by FabCafes in Tokyo, Taipei and Barcelona, and we received a great deal of submissions from all over the world.


Grand Prize|Transcending national boarders and questioning mankind’s place in the world 

The YouFab Awards were made up of the four categories of Products, Art, Machines and Beyond (for entries that did not fit in or were a combination of two or more of the above categories). From all of these categories, the Grand Prize was chosen and this year it was awarded to Ms. AKI INOMATA for her entry titled “Why not hand over a “shelter” to hermit crabs?”


Made with 3D printers and mirroring famous cities of the world, these new abodes were given to hermit crabs to see if they would move in to them and call them home—that is what this entry was all about. This piece was awarded for its use of fabrication and for its compelling comparison of the human challenges—such as of national boarders, migration, refugees, changing citizenship, or even just the possibility of changing where one lives—to the behavior of the hermit crab who finds himself with a new look thanks to his new home. Not only are the shells exquisite in their transparency, but they also shine light of the depth of these challenges that us humans face. It is an extremely fitting entry for the grand prize of this award, which dons the word “Global” in its title from this year. 




Representing the 21 winners for these awards, AKI made the following comment;  
“My idea for this piece came about when I participated in the “No Man’s Land” exhibition that was held at the French Embassy in Japan in 2009. This work was inspired by the fact that the land of the former French Embassy in Japan belonged to the French until October 2009, and then was handed back to Japan for the following fifty years, after which time it will be returned to France. I was surprised to hear this story, and associated this image with the way that hermit crabs exchange shelters.”

As this piece is an ongoing series of works, we hope to keep an eye on the progress of AKI’s work. Incidentally, the unique YouFab trophies awarded to the Grand Prize and First Prize winners have been designed by the friend of FabCafe and talented contemporary artist, Kohei Nawa. These too are works of art brought to life with a 3D printer. 

《Throne (Gold_2014)》2014 mixed media
photo : Nobutada OMOTE|SANDWICH


First PrizePrinting circuit boards with off-the-shelf home inkjet printers 

Next is First Prize which is the ingenious AgIC print - Silver-based Inkjet Circuit Printing and Instant Prototyping by AgIC Inc. In contrast to the artistic elegance of the Grand Prize winning entry, this ambitious piece shines the spotlight on engineering brilliance. It takes a regular off-the-shelf home printer and hacks it to make rapid prototyping possible at home or in the office. 

AgIC is short for Ag Inkjet Circuit. The framework of the idea is that silver nanoparticle ink is used in a regular home inkjet printer to easily “print” circuit boards. By using some of the popular illustrator software to draw up the circuit design, it is possible to rapidly bring one’s ideas to life. I cannot wait to try this out with my friends and family! 




The winning entries showcase a wide array of FAB ideas from funny to geekish


The YouFab Global Creative Awards 2014 Exhibition at FabCafe Tokyo

There were a total of 19 finalists from all of the categories displaying a myriad of unique ideas. For instance, there is Saki Chikaraishi’s entry of the Traveling Knitting Machine, which is a transparent suitcase on wheels with a knitting machine inside it. It is such a warm and fuzzy concept whereby the case travels with one on their journey and the people encountered along the way get involved in the knitting. And then there is Galatea—created by French company dawn—which is a giant 3D printer designed for creating custom-made furniture. Apparently this can roll out a chair within the hour! 

Also, there is the entry by (Sou Kanno, yang02, Nukume)which, contrary to the simpleness of the group name, the piece (Captured Desire) awarded is a little bit dark. It takes uploaded images from the internet and uses them to reproduce a 3D model of the images. Images of familiar celebrity personalities and robots are made into models, the accuracy of which is determined by the degree of people’s interest and desire in the subject.

These works not only revolutionize the future of fabrication, but also the way we go about distribution and structure industries and society. More specifically they have the power to fearlessly draw attention to any issues or concerns in these areas. To see all of the winning entries, just go to the official website. Also, a few of the winning entries were on display between October 25th and November 4th at Fab Cafe Tokyo, much to the delight of those who visited the café during that time. 

In the part 2, we will report the talk by the judges. Please stay tuned! 


YouFab Global Creative Awards 2014 Exhibition


YouFab Global Creative Awards 2014 Exhibition