Industrial Design Grad Wins Top International Award
Academy alumna Devon Mingling Wang was honored on the international stage this month with a coveted iF Concept Award. Amid 5,500 entries globally, Mingling was one of 100 accomplished designers to be chosen. The iF concept competition invites young designers worldwide to submit innovative contributions and apply for the sought-after iF award.
Annually conferred by iF International Forum Design, the iF Concept Award offers students and recent graduates from the areas of design, architecture, marketing and engineering an opportunity to compare themselves on an international level and to present their ideas to the design-interested public.
"This great opportunity came my way when a magazine journalist found me through my portfolio website and published my concept design works in the end of 2009," said Mingling. "It's definitely helped open doors in the international design community, and it encouraged me to enter the iF design competition. That's the biggest stage for a new industrial designer like me."
Nominated and honored for her innovative Oxygen of Green Low table design, Mingling made quite an impression on judges and consumers alike. The air purifying table, cleverly designed with a unique foliaged tabletop, is pitched as an alternative to energy-consuming air purification gadgets. The Tillandsias plant, or more commonly Spanish moss, naturally absorbs carbon dioxide from the air and produces more oxygen in its place, particularly at night. Since water and nutrients are absorbed through its leaves, the Tillandsias plant requires no soil and no watering.
As a visual designer at San Francisco-based Punchcut, and an industrial designer at Napkin Labs in Boulder, Colorado, Mingling has designed several well-known products, including the Loupio MP3. She has served in product strategy and design leadership roles on Yun System Skincare cosmetic in Japan and Tsing Hua kindergarten in Taiwan.
Mingling graduated from Academy of Art University with an MFA in Industrial Design and a bachelor's degree in Library and Information Science from the National Taiwan University in Taiwan. When asked which Academy instructor was most influential to her, Mingling said that she was particularly impacted and inspired by James Tsai.
"His vision of the world addresses love, death and politics, but is expressed with a simple medium extracted from everyday life: mobile phone, computer case, clocks... The simplicity and the beauty of his work touch me like no other," she said.
Reflecting on her time at the Academy, Mingling said, "The most important thing [I learned] perhaps is to listen, to be receptive, to understand and then use what you have learned to transform or adapt it, or to share it."
After receiving her iF concept award, Mingling gained her first New York client. She said she looks forward to marketing her furniture in Asia and Europe in the near future.