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Folding electrical plug wins Design of the Year award

London student Min-Kyu Choi has been named winner of the Brit Insurance Design of the Year 2010 at the Design Museum for his elegant reinterpretation of the humble electrical plug.

Folding plug by Min-Kyu Choi
Folding plug by Min-Kyu Choi

Jury chair Antony Gormley presented Min-Kyu Choi with the award at a gala dinner held at the Design Museum on Tuesday night.

Min-Kyu Choi is a graduate of the London College of Communication at Elephant & Castle.

The Folding Plug was chosen from the seven category winners as the most compelling and progressive design of the last 12 months.

"Thought-through, responsive and modest, the folding plug shows how intelligent, elegant and inventive design can make a difference to everyone's life," says Antony Gormley.

The jury consisted of artist Antony Gormley, designer Tom Dixon, editor of Icon magazine Justin McGuirk, designer Morag Myerscough, style director of Grazia magazine Paula Reed, editor of Wired magazine David Rowan and writer and broadcaster Janet Street-Porter.

The Brit Insurance Designs of the Year awards are now in their third year. The inaugural winner was the One Laptop Per Child project and last year's top prize was scooped by graphic artist Shepard Fairey for his Barack Obama poster.

Min-Kyu Choi's inspiration came from having to carry around the world's largest plug with the MacBook Air, the world's thinnest laptop.

In creating a plug which could fold flat for easy transportation, Choi received much praise on showcasing the plug at the Royal College of Art's graduate show in 2009, with a brilliant and seemingly obvious improvement to a product that had changed little since its inception in 1946.

"It's great to see such a practical but elegant demonstration of what design can do to make everyday life so much better," says Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum. "Min-Kyu Choi is a designer just setting out on his career and he clearly has a great future ahead of him."

• The folding plug and all of this year's shortlisted designs are on show at the Design Museum until 31 October.

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