The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute (C2CPII), an organization that supports sustainable design, and Autodesk have announced the winners of the 2015 Cradle to Cradle Product Design Challenge.
Covering four categories, including Best Student Project, Best Professional Project, Best Use of Aluminum and Best Use of Autodesk Fusion 360, the biannual competition attracted entrants from 18 countries and included designs ranging from packaging design to retail furniture. In a twist that must please Autodesk to no end, some 32 percent of participants used the companies Fusion 360 platform to create their designs.
But before entrants could get working on their designs, C2CPII mandated that each participant take a two-hour online course called “Designing Cradle to Cradle Certified Products for the Circular Economy.”
According to C2CPII, Cradle to Cradle design must “exemplify the quest for material health and reuse,” with the goal of creating a circular market where goods can be completely recycled and reused to produce future products.
“The design challenge is a powerful demonstration of designing with intention to ensure materials in manufactured products retain their value and can be perpetually upcycled,” said C2CPII Interim President Lewis Perkins. “This year’s winners each exemplify the quest for material health and reuse, and they have brought us one step closer to the goal of a circular market standard.”
Winners in each category were awarded $2,000, not a bad prize for helping advance the best of sustainable design. So, without further ado, here are the 2015 winners:
● Best Student Project: Gabriella Jacobsen, a student at Virginia Tech, designed the Onward Bag to address the issue of plastic bags being a major pollutant in oceans and waterways. It is made from 60 to 70 recycled plastic bags, a yard of organic cotton canvas, canvas thread and biodegradable dye. The product is designed to be capable of reducing overall plastic waste and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by taking advantage of the embodied energy in the already-processed plastic bags.
● Best Professional Project: Barent Roth, a designer and educator, is recognized for his BikeShare Helmet, a simple unisex-style bike helmet designed specifically to integrate with the growing bike share community. The BikeShare Helmet uses a recycled aluminum foam shell and a sustainably grown cork liner to provide maximum protection with minimal bulk and weight, while ensuring all materials are either recycled or composted.
● Best Use of Autodesk Fusion 360: The Engineers for a Sustainable World Rochester Institute of Technology Chapter developed a recyclable broom with a bristle head made of highly biodegradable material that can be replaced independently of the broom’s other components. With the functionality of three brooms—but the material and monetary costs of one, the broom, named “Sweeping the Nation with Change,” provides significant environmental and economic benefits. The entire model was assembled using Fusion 360 and allowed the team to compare and conserve materials through the animation feature, promoting a cradle to cradle approach to design.
● Best Use of Aluminum: Michiel Meurs and his team designed the AtoB Seat, a seat for public transport made from recycled aluminum, recycled PET and formaldehyde-free bamboo plywood. At the end of use, the AtoB Seat can be reclaimed by the manufacturer to determine which parts will be reused or recycled. It offers a sustainable solution for seating in public transportation infrastructure by allowing for easy cleaning, maintenance, disassembly and recyclability.
While each of the C2CPII designs added their own spin to sustainable design, one common thread that ran throughout all was the innovate use of the tools and materials that are fundamental to progressive, sustainable design.
"Designing for a world facing finite resources and a growing population requires enterprising and intrepid designers, and it's exciting to see these young designers rise to the challenge," said Lynelle Cameron, president and CEO of the Autodesk Foundation and senior director of sustainability at Autodesk. “The latest C2CPII challenge presented creative yet practical solutions to the planet's resource scarcity and provided inspiration for what the future holds."