Winner of Hungarian Design Award: LAVOSBALL

Created by: János Szabolcs

10.1. Hungarian Design Award, Article, Opening event

Hungarian Design Awards were conferred on 1 October. From the awardees, we are now presenting the winner of the Design category, Lavosball.

For creators involved in both interior design and visual design, understanding spatial context is a fundamental part of their everyday work. Developed over more than three and a half years, this toy is designed to develop spatial vision and thinking. The LavosBall is in many ways related to Rubik's cube, but is based on "Leonardo's coordinate system" rather than that of Descartes. It is not made up of three perpendicular axes, but of four axes at 120 degrees to each other. On its surface there are four discs consisting of three elements of identical size and shape. Their position can be changed by rotating them individually. One side of the discs features warm colours, while the other side cool colours; the aim is to arrange a set of identical colours. While in the case of the cube all sides are always visible, here you have to work with both the visible and hidden inner surfaces. To solve the problem, you have to get also to the inside of the object, i.e. you have to turn the ball inside out by pressing the axis in the middle of the discs.

Arguments of the assessment board

Thanks to its thoughtful and detailed design, LavosBall is a fun and meaningful pastime for everyone, regardless of age. It is a spatial logic puzzle where the aim is to match colours and match surfaces of the same colour. Interestingly, the four coloured discs - which form a sphere together - can be flipped by pressing the centres to reveal four more colours. In addition to the Rubik's cube, the designer studied the Hoberman sphere, the infinite-motion hexaflexagon, and the Epimenides paradox, which illustrates recursive processes. The combined effect of all these is evident in the object that shows exciting spatial geometry. Its stunningly innovative structure allows for a second, uniquely dynamic movement in addition to the rotation of the discs, which can be experienced as a kind of magic trick at the moment of turning. It develops logical thinking, spatial perception, colour perception and manual fine motor skills. At the same time, it is capable of conveying the exhilarating pleasure of play, taking it out of space and time.

Designing a logic puzzle in the home county of Rubik's cube is a challenge. We believe that LavosBall, with its witty solutions and attractive design, is a worthy successor to the cube created in 1974.

Photo: Zsolt Bézsenyi, Jácint Jónás, Balázs Mohai

The online exhibition showcasing this year’s recipients of the Hungarian Design Award and the Design Management award is available for viewing here.