Fast Company features Whipsaw-designed Koniku Konikore
Fast Company, the world’s leading progressive magazine, listed the Whipsaw-designed Koniku Konikore among the most important healthcare designs of 2021 in their Innovation by Design (IBD) awards. This one-of-a-kind bioelectric sensor was named a first place honoree in IBD’s Healthcare category.
Konikore is a futuristic device that uses synthetic rat brain neurons fused to a silicon chip to “smell” compounds in the air. Konikore’s neurons are programmed with a particular instruction, such as sniffing out threats in an airport, “tasting” food for quality assurance, and detecting diseases lurking in a hospital.
Being the first of its kind, our design had to be nothing less than revolutionary, while at the same time functional and manufacturable. We gathered inspiration from the organic nature of the interior technology to create Konikore’s bio-influenced form with supernatural accents. Konikore’s nostril-like air channels, completely smooth texture, iridescent coloration, and designed-in functionality make this award-winning innovation truly unique.
“Konikore represents the best of how scientific innovation and good design can be perfectly symbiotic. We were so enthralled with this new field of synthetic biology that we created a design that looks like it came directly from Mother Nature,” says Whipsaw CEO and Principal Designer Dan Harden.
The 2021 Innovation by Design Awards honor the designers and businesses solving the problems of today and tomorrow. The competition, now in its 10th year, has featured a cross-section of blue-chip companies, scruffy startups, and hungry young talents. It is one of the most sought-after design awards in the industry. There are 37 categories, and the judges include renowned designers, business leaders from some of the most innovative companies in the world, and Fast Company’s own writers and editors. Entries are judged on the key ingredients of innovation, functionality, originality, beauty, sustainability, user insight, cultural impact, and business impact.