> posted by   on November 21st 2013

DDW 2013: The Future Concepts Award

The Future Concepts Award is a new award of the Dutch Design Awards. The selection committee designated six finalists from two subcategories (Visions & Concepts and Service & System). All of the finalists provided special solutions or proposals within societal themes such as health, mobility, security, and (new) energy.

Among the finalists were:

NANO Supermarket_NextNature by Koert van Mensvoort and  The Incredible Shrinking Man by Arne Hendriks.

At the NANO supermarket you could see speculative future products that theoretically can be made with today’s advanced Nanotechnology. This new emerging field of science deals with the manipulation of structures on an atomic and molecular scale – the size of one billionth of a metre. Nanotechnology is often seen as a trend in material science, but has much deeper implications.

Nanotechnology, or more precisely nanotechnologies, is an umbrella term for various techniques that scientists use to operate on the very small nanoscale, ranging from nanostructures, nanocoatings, nano-encapsulation, nanocircuits, nanosensors, nanoparticles, and more. Existing applications range from sunscreens, mobile phones and airplanes to medicines.

My favourite products among many spectacular examples are:

Conception Control by Aylin Groenewoud.

Using a condom impregnated with artificial nano-antigens, Conception Control only permits sperm with the right chromosome to pass through: X for girls, Y for boys. Conception Control guarantees a child of your chosen gender. Makes picking names and painting the nursery a snap. Perfect for families in need of a male heir.

Designer: Enabling technology: Nano filtration. Feasibility: Medium


Programmable Wine by Koert van Mensvoort, Hendrik-Jan Grievink, Ruben Daas

Each course of a fancy dinner should be accompanied by a soothing wine. But why buy each different type separately when you can get them all out of one bottle? Nano Wine is a basic grape product that is mixed with nano-sized flavour capsules. When exposed to microwaves, these capsules release their flavour. Different wattage and duration of exposure means you create a different type of wine. Just open the vanilla capsules when you are in an Australian mood. Truffle puts you in an Italian atmosphere and for a smooth Merlot you won’t have to do anything.


The winner of The Future Concepts Award 2013 was The Incredible Shrinking Man by Arne Hendriks.

Awesome story that I remember from last summer’s TEDx Brainport in Eindhoven. The Incredible Shrinking Man is a speculative design research by Arne Hendriks about the consequences of downsizing the human species to 50 centimetres. It has been a long established trend for people to grow taller. As a direct result we need more energy, more food and more space. But what if we decided to turn this trend around? What if we use our knowledge to shrink mankind?

Watch Arne Hendriks the TEDxBrainport 2013 at Youtube


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