The Cicada Project: And the winner is…

It’s been a month of inspired ideas and clever execution but the time has come to announce the official winner of Design Festival’s Cicada Project iPad 2 Give-away. We’ve almost hit fifty designs which is well beyond our expectations. Sincere thanks to everyone who presented their ideas and also everyone who took the time to vote.

But since we’ve had some truly kick-ass additions since our last update, I thought I’d take a moment to highlight a handful of designs that really stood out.

The Burbs by @nrknthuk

The BurbsThe Burbs is a seriously big idea. In fact, Nik Coughlin originally contacted us to ask if it would be possible for him to run 24 layers on his design. His final 8 layer submission is a brilliant satellite-view construction of endless streets, backyards, roofs and pools.

But the cherry on the top is a fiendishly clever but still very tasteful layer of animated cars.

Super impressive work from Nik.

Creature Shop by @PrimNpearLs

Creature ShopWhat do you get when you surgically combine tigers, pigs, frogs, rabbits and cows?

That was the question posed by Eva Rose’s Creature Shop which takes a frankenstein approach to creating a ramshackle menagerie of cute animal halflings. Lots of fun.

Eva’s creative powers certainly don’t end there either. Check out her Youtube channel for some lovely 40’s/50’s era guitar stylings.

No two alike by @dleib5

FreewritingAccording to Caltech’s Professor of Physics, Kenneth Libbrecht, if a typical snowflake has around 100 distinct features, rearrranging those features gives you just under 10158 possible arrangements (that’s a 1 followed by 158 zeros). Apparently this explains why no two snowflakes will ever be alike.

While Donna Leibensperger’s take on this concept might not quite take things to that that extreme (thankfully), her blue winter design certainly works quite beautifully—plus it would make a killer wrapping paper.

Freewriting by @matty_gibbon

FreewritingMatt Gibbon runs an excellent blog on developing your writing skills and he has incorporated what he knows and loves into his cicada design. His five-layer design weaves and overlaps snippets of handwritten text into a Joycean “stream of consciousness” ramble.

The strangest thing for me is, even though it’s entirely random, it’s almost impossible not to start trying to read deeper meaning into the scribbles and circled text.

The Winner

When it came to awarding the prize, Twitter’s count box can be slow to update, so we manually worked our way back through the votes and removed any multiple voting or votes that appeared to be disingenuous.

Blind Date Prep

The winner is… Alan Dowling for his Blind Date Prep.

Alan is a Santa Barbara designer, illustrator and blogger whose super-power appears to be a talent for simple but oddball cartoon characters.

His winning design generates a seemingly endless array of quirky characters by shuffling and rearranging a relatively small collection of zany heads, pipes, hats and glasses.

It’s a lot of fun but also a great demonstration of the pseudo-random, self-generating effects you can take advantage of with this method.

Congratulations Alan!

We’ll be in contact with you.

Again, sincere thanks to every single person who contributed to the project. I wish we had 50 iPads, but the gallery remains a fantastic starting point to anyone trying to get their head around the core idea of the cicada principle.

What happens now?

That’s not the end. The project will remain online and open for new entries — albeit minus the lure of desirable consumer electronics. We’d also like to select some of the designs to run as backgrounds across Design Festival on a rotation basis — including links back to the author’s site/portfolio. More on that later.

Thanks everyone!

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  • http://profiles.google.com/mraffaele.86 Michael Raffaele

    Some great ideas but “The Burbs” & the “Freewriting” won my heart. Absolutely brilliant concept.

  • http://twitter.com/PrimNpearLs Eva Rose

    Congratulations to Alan Dowling! I liked that one as well, very fun and visually appealing. There were many other great entries like Li2ard2 and of COURSE, I was a bit partial to RetroClassified ;)  Also many thanks to the staff for choosing Creature Shop as an honorable mention, I greatly appreciate it!

  • Charlyryan

    hmm, love these designs, I wonder if this principle would be of any use further down the track to film makers or advertisers who are looking to create a ‘people crowd’ background but who don’t want there to actually be a crowd there?

  • http://twitter.com/gregpettit Greg Pettit

    Just awesome. Love ‘em all. Thankfully the contest was done by votes, because who could have possibly “judged” it?