2018 Winner + Finalists | DesignPhiladelphia

Best In Design 2018 Winners

DesignPhiladelphia is excited to announce its first ever “Best in Design” competition winner and finalists. The Best in Design Competition was a new challenge that asked regional designers and design companies to submit innovative, high-quality products that make life better. The winner of the competition receives a $5,000 cash prize and the ability to exhibit at Bok in the DesignPhiladelphia Exhibit Gallery. Although it was the inaugural year of the Competition, we were surprised and delighted that there were businesses and people we hadn’t heard of before and that the quality of the work was overall excellent. Many of the projects that were submitted needed further refinement, but some of the ideas were really exceptional and could scale very well. 

An independent jury met in August at the Center for Architecture and Design and reviewed all of the entries. Our inaugural jury is:

Nicole Carville, Haworth, www.haworth.com
Gaby Heit, www.gabyheit.com
Lisa Roberts, www.mydesignlife.com
Isaac Salm and Jaime Salm, MIO,  www.mioculture.com
Alexandra Schmidt-Ulrich, Associate Professor, Industrial Design, The University of the Arts, www.uarts.edu

Ultimately, the jury selected the following Winner and Finalists, along with deciding to invite five additional designs to exhibit at Bok during DesignPhiladelphia.

Lia Designers with Best in Design Jurors

1st Place - Lia: The Flushable Pregnancy Test. 99% Accurate. 0% Plastic. 100% Your Business.

Lia is a flushable and biodegradable pregnancy test. Consisting of just three components, Lia is made of paper with a proprietary coating that repels liquid while the test is in use, then allows the test to break down when flushed or composted. Unlike other tests, Lia contains no plastic, nitrocellulose, glass fibers, or electronic waste, and is independently confirmed to biodegrade completely in 10 weeks. By creating a new category of plastic-free, biodegradable diagnostics, Lia is poised to revolutionize the consumer over-the-counter healthcare industry for pregnancy testing and beyond. 

LIA Diagnostics designs and develops water-dispersible and biodegradable assays and diagnostic tests. The company's first product, the Lia Pregnancy Test, is a flushable and biodegradable pregnancy test offering users a discreet and sustainable alternative to existing pregnancy test options. Lia's FDA clearance was announced onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin in December of 2017, where LIA Diagnostics went on to win the notable Startup Battlefield competition. Co-founded by Penn graduates Anna Couturier-Simpson and Bethany Edwards, LIA Diagnostics is committed to creating innovative products that enhance users' lives through the use of novel materials chosen with the environment in mind. Learn more at  www.meetlia.com


2nd Place - Onion Flats: The Battery: A Net-Zero, Carbon-Neutral, Affordable, Scalable, Replicable, Urban Prototype

The Battery is a Net-Zero-Energy, micro-housing prototype designed to eradicate the environmental impact that buildings place on the environment as well as solve the challenge of gentrification in transforming urban neighborhoods.

Onion Flats is a development, design, build collective, centered in Philadelphia and dedicated to creating affordable urban communities that sustain themselves. Learn more at www.onionflats.com


3rd Place - Budmen Industries: Budmen Buildini: Practical 3D Printer

The Budmen Buildini is a practical 3D Printer for creative minds of all ages. The radically simple design of the machine makes it easy to use and invites you to experiment. With high-performance components and an open build area, you have the power to reliably 3D print large and functional objects. The modular design can grow with your ideas and adapt to your needs. You can expand the size or customize the machine’s capabilities to include drawing, painting, carving or any other process you can imagine.

Budmen Industries is a post-digital workshop. That means everything we make – from technology to art – is created by our team of humans and robots. Our projects explore the creative possibilities of the latest technology, often that means we invent the tools ourselves. To bring these ideas to life, we use Industrial Imagination: our method of creating unconventional, imaginative, and artistic uses for industrial processes, tools, and materials. Learn more at www.budmen.com


Honorable Mention - Champagne Bottle Mugs by Remark Glass: Hand-Blown Recycled Bottle Glass

A set of champagne bottle mugs starts with two locally sourced recycled champagne bottles. We cut the tops for mug handles and the bottoms to become the cups. The punt and knurling markings at the bottom of the bottles will be intact and legible in the mugs. We reheat and shape each bottle one at a time. The handle is added while the cup is hot and shaped by hand. Champagne is the thickest bottles, to hold up to the pressure of bubbly beverages so our mugs withstand the heat of coffee or tea.

Remark Glass is an insatiably curious group of glassmakers, producing ongoing and limited edition designs based on our growing experience with recycled glass. Bottle glass has unique chemical properties. After several years, we are still challenged and motivated by it.

Remark is a women-owned business leading a small team with local roots. With backgrounds in glass from city art schools, each founding member of Remark Glass joined the thriving maker movement in high-end craft in Philadelphia. The Remark studio is about 2,000 square feet of workspace in which 6 to 10 people work on projects. Our space is part of the rehabilitation of the Bok Building, a former technical high school that now houses over one hundred small businesses that have fostered a community for collaboration amongst makers. Learn more at www.remarkglass.com


Honorable Mention - ViewTag: Simply Speedier Airport Experience

ViewTag® helps passengers avoid the lines at any airport worldwide. It’s a permanent, electronic alternative to paper-based bag tags that securely attaches to your luggage. ViewTagis fully compliant, meeting all baggage requirements for future travel with the FAA, FCC/CE, ICAO, IATA, and TSA. ViewTagis equipped with RFID, Bluetooth Low Energy, and a digital display that shows the same flight information as traditional paper-based bag tags. Passengers can track their bags throughout the airport handling process as they move through various checkpoints. Information is sent to their smartphone offering greater convenience and visibility, thus lowering the risk of lost luggage and providing greater overall passenger experience.

ViewTag is the world's first electronic luggage tag. ViewTag enables airline passengers to complete the check-in process by allowing them to check their bags in from the comfort of their own home via their airline's mobile app.  Learn more at www.viewtag.com

Thank you to all of the designers and companies who submitted to our inaugural Best in Design Competition.  And make sure to come to Bok to view the Best in Design Winner and Finalists, along with five other local designers and products.


Thank you to all of the designers and companies who submitted to our inaugural Best in Design Competition.  And make sure to come to Bok to view the Best in Design Winner and Finalists, along with five other local designers and products.