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Many Happy re­-Turns PROJECT is the Silver Winner at the International Design Awards

Marianthi Liapi (Research Associate at the TUC Transformable Intelligent Environments laboratory), Elli Gkologkina (graduate of the Department of Architectural Engineering-TUC) and Konstantinos­Alketas Oungrinis  (Assistant Professor in Architectural Design and Innovative Engineering-TUC) are the IDA 14 - Silver Winners under the Products Designs Category for their Many Happy re­Turns Project. Many Happy re-Turns is a leading project of the Educational Playscapes research direction at the Transformable Intelligent Environments Lab in the Technical University of Crete.

A handful of designers, thinkers and entrepreneurs created the International Design Awards in 2007 as a response to the lack of recognition and celebration for smart and sustainable multidisciplinary design. The International Design Awards (IDA) exists to recognize, celebrate and promote legendary design visionaries and to uncover emerging talent in Architecture, Interior, Product, Graphic, and Fashion Design. IDA aspires to draw attention to the iconoclasm of design world wide, conceptualizing and producing great work. 

IDA honorary juries examined over 1000 entries submitted by architects and designers of interiors, fashion, products, and graphics from 52 countries throughout the world. After final decisions had been made, the jury rewarded the best professional and emerging designers for their achievements in terms of design, creativity, usability and innovation. Judging was a rigorous process, with winners receiving publication of their work in the International Design Awards Book of Designs. The coveted IDA Trophy will be awarded to all Designer of the Year title winners at the official biennial International Design Awards Ceremony in Los Angeles. 

This annual competition recognizes, honors and promotes legendary design visionaries and uncovers emerging talents in Architecture, Interior, Product, Graphic and Fashion Design on global level. 

The members of the jury included Alice Blackwood Editor, Design Quarterly, Kahi Lee ­ Host, HGTV's "Design on a Dime", Style Network's "My Celebrity Home", Melissa Sterry ­ Interdisciplinary Design Scientist, Founder, Societas, Josh Rubin ­ Editor­in­Chief, Founder, and Publisher, Cool Hunting, Martin Venzky ­ Stalling, Senior Advisor, CMU STeP, Jeffrey Nemeroff ­ Co­Founder, Creative Director, Entra Magazine, Jordan Landes­Brenman CEO, Haute House PR & Marketing, Raj Nandan ­ Managing Director, Indesign Group, William Menking ­ Founder, Editor­in­Chief, The Architects' Newspaper, Nicole Lloyd ­ Senior Art Buyer, Deutsch, Inc., Rebecca Epstein Kong ­ Co­founder, Artware Editions, Aaron Kenedi ­ Editor­in­Chief, Print, Geraldine Grisey ­ Editor, Punky B Fashion Diary. 


Many Happy re­Turns is an object designed to materially facilitate the "learning through play" pedagogical approach and generate the possibilities for children to infuse imaginative play into their everyday living and educational environments. It is a single yet highly transformative element that creates the possibilities for playful interaction and communication by providing seven basic spatial configurations, as a single object, and open­ended settings for two or more, limited only by the imagination. The object is initially presented as a chair, baring a number of morphological influences that trigger a child’s imagination. When children begin to turn it over, and over, they begin to identify in it a variety of known shapes, ranging from animals (elephant, turtle, dove) to archetypical forms (house, milk box, boat). When more Many Happy re­Turns modules come together in a group, the result follows the activities of the children, assisting them in play scenarios, play personalities, play patterns and zones. This creates the conditions for a variety of play modes comprised of construction play, fantasy play, creative play, symbolic play and play with rules, through individual, parallel, onlooking and group activities. During all these interactions, children are presented with different opportunities to develop and fine­tune their developmental skills and abilities. The form of the object was designed so that it can be easily pushed, rolled, lifted and re­located by children, as well as to get nested by grown­ups in order to save space when it is not used. It is all made of corrugated cardboard. The colorful sides where made to increase variety. The blackboard surface was added to help personalize the teaching process. As an object it is very rigid, yet lightweight, and most­importantly safe for children, who can very easily get familiar with its scale. Grown­ups can also use it as a seat. Many Happy re-Turns is a leading project of the Educational Playscapes research direction at the Transformable Intelligent Environments Lab in the Technical University of Crete.

© Technical University of Crete 2012