Pluggin easy

An ingenious plug design shows that the best designs are those that are the most simple and functional.

It might seem a bit strange that one of the most prestigious design awards in the UK went to a plug. But the folding plug demonstrates the power of design to transform everyday life.

British student Min-Kyu Choi’s folding plug was the overall winner of the 2010 Brit Insurance Design Awards. It’s basically a plug that folds flat for easy transportation. The inspiration for this simple yet massively functional design came when Choi was traveling with his MacBook Air, the world’s thinnest laptop, and had to deal with its bulky plug which is awkwardly big in comparison.

The plug is less than a centimeter thick when folded and only two easy actions are needed to open it: Turning the main pins and opening the cover.

The Folding Plug and other shortlisted designs are on display at the Design Museum in London until 31 October 2010. Other work on display includes Shigeru Ban's Carbon Fibre Chair, Thomas Heatherwick's Extrusions seats, Gorilla's Daily Visual Column for De Volkskrant, Christien Meindertsma's PIG 05049 book, TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris's Trillion Dollar Campaign, Mark Farrow's Yes album cover for the Pet Shop Boys, Harry Pearce's War Memorial for the Science Museum, Jason Bruges's Panda Eyes for WWF, the Bouroullec Bros' Clouds for Kvadrat, Yves Béhar's Mission One Superbike and more.

Watch the Talk with Thomas Heatherwick