Media Lab researchers honored in 2021 A'Design Awards

MIT Media Lab | Helen Gao

Congratulations to the winners of this year's A'Design Awards, including Media Lab researchers Hila Mor, Jack Forman, and Ali Shtarbanov! The A'Design Award winners are selected by a global jury of more than 200 designers, academics, members of the press, and influential design entrepreneurs.

Venous Materials: Hila Mor

Platinum A' Design Award in Interface and Interaction Design Category

Silver A' Design Award in Design Quality and Innovation Category

Silver A' Design Award in Idea Design Category


Hila Mor

Venous Materials envisions a new way to design dynamic tangible interactions using fluidic structures. It is a new type of dynamic interactive material that is inspired by veins systems in nature: in plants, leaves, and throughout the human body. These Materials respond to user's pressure and motion with dynamic displayed patterns. Venous Materials can animate dynamic graphics, create responsive objects, and to visualize body movement and balance.

Team members: Hila Mor, Tianyu Yu, Ken Nakagaki, Benjamin Harvey Miller, Yichen Jia, and Hiroshi Ishii 

DefeXtiles: Jack Forman

Silver A'Design Award in Textile, Fabric, Textures, Patterns and Cloth Design Category

Bronze A' Design Award in 3D Printed Forms and Products Design Category


Jack Forman

DefeXtiles is a rapid and low-cost technique to produce realistic high-fidelity textiles on 3D printers. In this work, the researchers demonstrate that under-extrusion defects can be finely controlled to quickly print thin flexible textiles into complex 3D shapes. This approach enables a myriad of applications, including printing full sized garments, deformable tangible interfaces, and ultra-tough shuttlecocks.

Team members: Jack Forman, Mustafa Doga Dogan, Hamilton Forsythe, and Hiroshi Ishii

Jack Forman also received an Honorable Mention for his HelioZZZ Sleep Mask project, developed with Hiroshi Ishii. 

FlowIO: Ali Shtarbanov

Silver A'Design Award in Scientific Instruments and Research Equipment Design Category


Ali Shtarbanov

FlowIO is a fully-integrated, general-purpose development platform for control of soft robots and programmable materials. With magnetically connected pump modules that are swappable on-the-fly, FlowIO can satisfy diverse project needs of researchers, artists, and makers. A software toolkit with mobile and desktop graphical interfaces, Bluetooth controls, and APIs for Arduino and JavaScript—enabling users from any technical background to get started and unleash their creativity with FlowIO.

Team members: Ali Shtarbanov, Hyejun Youn, Ozgun Afsar, and Joseph Paradiso

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