9/28/05 Jennifer L. Johnson, 334/844-4285 (johnsj1@auburn.edu)
David Granger, 334/844-9999 (grangdm@auburn.edu)


AUBURN – Sang-Gyeun Ahn, an assistant professor in Auburn University’s Department of Industrial Design, has been awarded the Red Dot: Best of the Best Concept Design award during the Red Dot Design Competitions. The coveted trophy is the red dot – the international seal of quality for outstanding design – and was awarded to 10 concept designs out of 638 entries from 24 countries.

“The red dot award ranks among the largest design competitions worldwide,” remarked Clark Lundell, professor and department head in industrial design. “To many designers, this award is like winning the Nobel Prize in the design area. Obviously, we are very thrilled that one of our Auburn faculty has received this award.”

Ahn received the award for his design of a bicycle he calls Freewill. The significant innovation of the design is its visual appeal and lightweight foldable frame that makes it transform from a bike to a kick scooter. The design was inspired by old bicycles with big front wheels that helped them increase speed more easily.

“The simplicity of this design makes it very unique,” explained Ahn. “The small number of components is helpful in reducing the size and weight so that when people fold the kick board part into the front wheel it is easy to carry. This unique style will be appealing and satisfying visually and functionally.”

Ahn’s design will be recognized at the Red Dot Design Awards ceremony in November in Singapore. In addition, a special exhibition will present all award-winning design concepts in the red dot museum.

“I feel I am very fortunate to have received this award,” said Ahn. “The Red Dot Competition is one of the most prestigious and famous design competitions in the world so I am glad to have been selected. I appreciate my family, my department and the Auburn people.”

Established in 1954, the red dot symbolizes the highest level of recognition in design and the Red Dot competition is one of the largest recognized design competitions in the world. The red dot is a globally acknowledged seal of quality, the tribute of a jury of ranking experts and a powerful marketing and publicity instrument. For more information about Red Dot, go to www.red-dot.de.

Auburn University is a preeminent land-grant and comprehensive research institution with more than 23,000 students and 6,500 faculty and staff. Ranked among the top 50 public universities nationally, Auburn is Alabama’s largest educational institution, offering more than 230 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs.

(Contributed by Jennifer Johnson; photos of the Freewill available upon request.)