Today is the launch of the second annual Cradle to Cradle Product Design Challenge, which calls upon designers to innovate products for the circular economy. Participants will be awarded up to $6,000 for their designs that creatively eliminate the concept of waste.
Led by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute and Autodesk, the competition aims to engage student and professional designers in tackling waste by encouraging them “to select materials that can be perpetually cycled to fuel growing global economies and to design for next use phase,” according to a press release.
The inaugural Product Design Challenge distributed awards in three areas:
- Best Student Project, awarded to designers of the Venlo Bag, a 100% biodegradable bag made from 99% recycled materials;
- Best Young Professional Project, won by the designer of PURE-IF-HIDE, a furniture collection that can be separated into reclaimable biological and technical nutrients; and
- Best Use of Autodesk Fusion 360, awarded to a designer that used Autodesk modeling tools to create the Finite Faucet, which reminds public restroom faucet users of their impact on the environment.
“We received many impactful design submissions during the last design challenge and are excited to see what emerges from the community this year,” said Lynelle Cameron, senior director of Autodesk sustainability. “No challenge requires more innovation and creativity than creating a future where 10 billion people can live within the limits of the planet. One designer at a time taking on today’s most epic problems - this is the future of design, the future of making things.
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This year, the competition adds a fourth category: Best Use of Aluminum. Cash prizes of US$2,000 will be awarded in each of the four categories. The winner of the Fusion 360 prize will also receive a full pass to Autodesk University, an annual gathering of design, engineering and manufacturing professionals. Judges could also potentially declare a participant winner in up to three categories, awarding the victor US$6,000.
“The design challenge is a unique opportunity for students and professionals to bring their ideas to life,” commented Bridgett Luther, president of the Institute. “Cradle to Cradle thinking isn’t just the future of design. It’s what leadership companies are doing now. The design challenge is a way to get the next generation of designers recognized for their work toward being a part of the new industrial revolution, an imminent phase of modern design that makes materials and products in a way to be continuously reborn.”
Entries will be evaluated on design considerations that promote circularity; anticipated next life of the materials; identified path to reuse; choice of materials (non-toxic and cyclable); usefulness; and beauty. Interested participants can submit designs through December 1, 2015, and find full details of the competition here.