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Champion of Sustainable Design

September 23, 2020 | Campus News

Asia Pacific University (APU) Product Design Students Win the James Dyson Award 2020 (Malaysia) with a Zero-Energy Cooler Fridge

Kuala Lumpur, 18 September 2020: ‘KUNO’, a sustainable cooler fridge that requires zero electricity, made Kuan Weiking and Theodore Garvindeo Seah, Product Design students of Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU), the National Winner of the James Dyson Award 2020 (Malaysia).

The James Dyson Award is an international design competition organized by the James Dyson Foundation, to celebrate, encourage and inspire the next generation of design engineers. The competition sees participation from 27 countries and regions worldwide, which are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, UAE, UK, and USA.

With an aim to bring changes to the society through sustainable design, Theodore Garvindeo Seah (left) and Kuan Weiking (right) designed the ‘KUNO’ – a sustainable cooler fridge that requires zero electrical power, to overcome the problems of food shortages & wastage in rural communities that do not have access to electricity for household refrigerators.

The Malaysian league saw a judging panel that was made up of local design and engineering professionals. Upon winning the National Winner accolade, Kuan and Seah will now compete for one of the Top 20 global finalist positions among entries from the 27 participating countries. The final 20 entries will be reviewed in detail by James Dyson, inventor, industrial designer, and the founder of Dyson Ltd.

With sustainability in mind, Kuan Weiking and Theodore Garvindeo Seah invented KUNO, which is a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to conventional refrigeration. It is designed to prolong the shelf life of food in hot and dry climates.

Through this product, the team wishes to address the issue of accessibility to electricity, which is commonly faced by rural communities around the world. As the National Winner, KUNO is made of a porous outer earth clay wall and adopts the use of evaporative cooling techniques; through the use of the plant bowl for regular planting, regular watering of the plant into the soil encourages water flow, which draws heat away from the inner chamber, and releases it through the porous clay. This natural phenomenon brings the temperature of the chamber down, cooling the food, and keeping it fresh for an extended period.

Kuan Weiking

“The true happiness in this journey is about sharing what I have and love doing with everyone else. Being able to take part in this experience is truly an honour and a blessing. As a designer, to design is my passion but to design for a change is my ultimate goal,” said Kuan Weiking. His teammate, Theodore Garvindeo Seah added: “We are thankful to have been given this opportunity to showcase our invention and share our mission to make a positive impact on the environment and local communities. This achievement has motivated us to design more solutions for society.”

To bring the project forward, Kuan and Seah plan to work with local pottery makers to establish a small scale and sustainable production line that serves the purpose of creating job opportunities, while overcoming the global issues of food shortage and food wastage.

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