Afsar beat four other finalists to claim the top prize of €35,000 in Dezeen and LG Display's OLEDs Go! competition with his design called Caelum.
The competition brief challenged entrants to come up with designs that would make new and interesting use of OLED displays, which are distinguished by their lightness and thinness as well as their potential to be bendable or transparent.
The entrants were free to design for any user or demographic, but LG Display and Dezeen specifically asked that the product designs cater to and enhance people’s changing lifestyles.
Second place in the competition went to Turkish designer Damla Aras for Tiny, a compact desk with a screen that rolls up when not in use, and third place went to Milan-based Studio WA+CH for Vivid, a movable screen that can be used as a whiteboard, room divider or video conferencing device.
Japan-based Studio BooBoon – the winners of last year's competition – placed fourth with Totem, a freestanding soundbar with a rollable OLED screen, and South Korea-based designers Hyeona Kim and WooSeok Lee were in fifth for their design Easel, a display for the home that easily folds away when not in use.
Caelum design integrates technology in a "stylish way"
Afsar's Caelum desk integrates an OLED display alongside privacy partitions that wrap around the desk.
This frees up the desk space that is usually occupied by having a screen sitting on the tabletop, and because the display is transparent when switched off, it blends into the environment around it.
"The jury felt that Caelum was the most innovative design, and is a great example of how OLED displays can contribute to people's changing lifestyles," said Sang-hoon Lee, division leader of LG Display.
The design is completed with metal legs and tops that are fully customisable to suit different interiors.
Afsar said he created Caelum to cater to the increasing prevalence of working from home.
"I wanted to design a product that had a unique spin on the desk," he said. "We're spending increasing amounts of time at our desks since working from home has become so commonplace."
"As our desks are so important now, I wanted to integrate technology into them in a more stylish way."
Winning design emerged from over 300 entries
Afsar beat more than 300 entrants from over 50 different around the world to emerge as the winner in the second edition of the OLEDs Go! competition.
The entries were initially whittled down to a shortlist of 20, from which the jury selected the top five prize-getters. Each design was assessed on its creativity, aesthetics, functionality and feasibility.
There was a total prize pot of €88,000 for the top five finalists, with €35,000 going to Afsar for his winning design.
"I'm really honored to have won such a prestigious competition," said Afsar. "It was a great experience to develop my design using LG Display's OLED Technology."
The first edition of the OLED's Go competition ran in 2021 and was won by Studio BooBoon with Scroll, a combination display and shelf that blended into the wall.
OLEDs – or organic light-emitting diodes – are typically used for digital displays such as televisions and smartphones.
The technology differs from other display technologies such as LCD because it creates illumination across a surface rather than from a single point. This results in a glare-free, diffused light source that does not require a diffuser or reflector.
As demonstrated by the OLEDs Go! finalists, the technology’s other strengths are in their flexibility and transparency as well as their lightness and thinness.
"All the entries were very strong, especially the winning design, and showed the incredible possibilities that OLED technology holds for the future," said Sang-hoon Lee.
OLEDs Go! is a partnership between Dezeen and LG Display. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.