3D Heat Conductive Knee Sleeve developed by HKDI CIMT team wins Red Dot Award: Design Concept 2018


Centre of Innovation Material and Technology (CIMT) was established last year by the Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI). The 3D Heat Conductive Knee Sleeve developed by CIMT research team recently won the Red Dot Award: Design Concept 2018, a competition hailed the Oscars of the design industry. The project was awarded the Red Dot in the fashion category and the mobile life category, becoming the only Hong Kong academic institute being conferred the prizes in both groups. The sleeve had won the 46th International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva earlier.

Established by the German design association Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in 1955, the Red Dot Award is divided into three main groups: product design, communication design and design concept. This year’s Red Dot Award: Design Concept received over 5,000 entries from 55 countries, among which the jury shortlisted 333 concepts to be recognised and finally 265 concepts were awarded the Red Dot.

The research team on the 3D Heat Conductive Knee Sleeves project adopts conductive yarn and built-in battery to achieve heat therapy function. Referencing the temperatures for heat therapy, three adjustable temperature controls between 30 and 50 degree Celsius are provided for users to select. Fashionable appearances are also developed for the product.

Comprising faculty staff of HKDI Department of Fashion and Image Design, industry partners and experts from Department of Sports and Recreation of the Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong (THEi), the research team performed tests on human bodies and invited the elderly for trial. In the end, the sleeve was knitted into a stretchable and fashionable product that can also fit in with different parts of the body.

The work is currently displayed in the Red Dot Design Museum in Singapore. The research team said the product stands a chance for commercialisation. Advertisements and websites of Red Dot prizewinning works, when hitting the market, can be affixed with the globally-recognised Red Dot label to show their outstanding design concepts and quality. The CIMT team will continue to explore the combination of smart materials and fashion, and is considering to apply their concept to create sportswear with temperature control.

The HKDI Centre of Innovative Material and Technology (CIMT) is established to provide a comprehensive materials archive and interactive learning platform that to facilitates the exchange of materials knowledge and associated applications amongst students, faculty members, designers and manufacturers. The objective of CIMT is to connect the materials industry and the world of design, stimulating new ideas, cross-disciplinary projects and research and developments, cross-disciplinary projects, thereby inspiring the designs of tomorrow through the materials of today. Its collection ranges from the latest innovative, cross-industry materials from global suppliers, and inspired end products to various manufacturing processes.

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