Min-Kyu Choi wins Brit Insurance
Design of the Year Award 2010



London designer Min-Kyu Choi was awarded the Brit Insurance Design of the Year Award 2010 for his Folding Plug at a ceremony at the Design Museum in London last night.

Min-Kyu Choi designed the product while studying at the Royal College of Art. See our earlier story about the project here.

All the shortlisted projects (see our earlier story) remain on show at the museum until 6 June. See the seven category winners here.

Above: jury chair Antony Gormley and Min-Kyu Choi

See also:

Brit Insurance Design of the Year Award winner 2009: Shepard Fairey’s Obama Poster
Brit Insurance Design of the Year 2008: Yves Béhar's One Laptop Per Child project

Photographs are by Luke Hayes.

Here are some more details from the Design Museum:

Folding Plug wins Brit Insurance Design of the Year 2010

British student’s elegant reinterpretation of the UK plug wins coveted international design award

British student, Min-Kyu Choi from London, has won the Brit Insurance Design of the Year 2010, for his elegant reinterpretation of the humble plug, beating over 90 international nominees in the process. Jury Chair, Antony Gormley, presented him with the award at a gala dinner held at the Design Museum.

The Folding Plug was chosen from the seven category winners as the most compelling and progressive design of the last 12 months. The jury panel 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.
Antony Gormley comments ‘Thought-through, responsive and modest, the folding plug shows how intelligent, elegant and inventive design can make a difference to everyone’s life.’

Min-Kyu Choi’s inspiration came from having to carry around the world’s largest plug (UK pin 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.

Deyan Sudjic, Director of the Design Museum comments ‘It’s great to see such a practical but elegant demonstration of what design can do to make everyday life so much better. 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, due to the overwhelming demand the exhibition has been extended and will now run through to 31 October.

Posted on Wednesday March 17th 2010 at 11:16 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • AngerOfTheNorth

    Good on him! Not sure how this plug works, but it looks interesting..?

  • Brown

    So well deserved!

  • This very nice work, wonder why it has not made before.
    To be perfect, it should inclued an usb port on the back, so you can directly plug a charger or any usb device too !

    I would be the first to buy it !

  • Good work Min-Kyu Choi, I love this kind of design simplicity to solve issues.

  • Neoshark

    I want to see how easy it is to re-wire!!

  • JuiceMajor

    Well done…can i get one now please!! I need it!

  • George

    I saw this at the RCA degree show and it really stood out as being excellent design, especially with the multi-plug extension adapter thingy (what are those things called?) not shown here.

    The slimness allowed you to have four plugs all side by side in the space of a normal plug, instead of the foot long multi-plugs we have in this country.

  • Pony the Trap

    One could argue that it has been made before but Britain insists on sticking to its three pins. Moves well for a fat lad though.

  • OZ

    Brilliant!! Well done!

  • modular


  • Plug Lover UK

    You genius!

  • Taz

    Very cool, has a very Apple feel to the look of it but the simplicity of improvement and practicality of the idea is commendable.

  • George

    Do foreigners keep getting electricuted by not having earthed appliances with their two-pin plugs?

    The three pin plug is a manifestation of Health and Safety being the paramount feature of British culture. We’re not even allowed to keep our washing machines in the bathroom in case they zap us and we die.

  • Tomas

    Congratulations, a real beauty!
    The bizarre British standard of wall outlets etc seems to foster an incredible creativity that is not possible with the European standard. But, in spite of this, shouldn’t these monsters be boycotted instead of saved by brilliant designers?

  • Really amazing! I think this is a very good idea and he done a very good job for the society.

  • brian

    Congratulations for the win

    Fantastic win, you deserve it.
    As an Industrial Designer I feel like nothing when I see that solution. I weep!


  • nicey

    to me it looks especially good when folded. in fact he’s solved the wrong problem; and should re-design the socket to take it flat. (and, yes i know that replacing sockets costs a bit more). but it’s great and if i had capital i’d invest in it.

  • 3 Pin Min

    What a hero, well researched and executed observational design.

  • H. Roark

    The Monterrey Housing, Mexico has a clear advantage to thousands as does the EyeWriter, this however will be great for laptop owners with slim pockets… Frankly I’m disinterested.

  • Lenon

    Bloody brillant! Finally we will be free from this monstrosity of a plug!

    Hopes it gets adopted in Singapore. :D

  • good job — well done!

  • ads

    Form and function in perfect harmony

  • Very good. So simple…

  • love it – and congratulations – when are they available to buy…

  • Esselator

    This is one reinvention of the wheel that really works! It is a very elegant, simple, and brilliant work! Congratulations!

  • european plug

    have you guys ever seen a european plug?
    probably not. anyway if you would use the same you wouldn’t need to turn and fold.
    just get finally rid of the useless uk type plugs.
    good design otherwise

  • He looks like a sweetie, no?

    Who would you give a cuddle too in that picture, him or Gormley?

  • yes

    Is it better for them if they adapt Europlug (or Euro)?

  • MartyPelo

    Well done sir ! i tip my hat to you !

  • UAinUSA

    American plugs are still smaller and more convenient than even European plugs. But what Brits and Europe MUST do for themselves is cut the 50Hz – 220v in half as in US 110v @60Hz, itis the best thing ever and electronics love the 60Hz.

  • Jerome

    Ingenious. Brilliant, radical redesign. However, what is the longevity of the ‘live / neutral’ connections bearing-in-mind these are moving parts? Any chance this could be re-fashioned into a rewirable plug?

    Hey, you know what would be really great – having something that would replace all these transformers I plug into my 4-gang extension block! Would be nice to just have one transformer which powered the lot.

  • brio

    Excellent idea, very well deserved.