Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute has announced the winners of its Fall 2015 Product Design Challenge. The winning submissions celebrate Cradle to Cradle design for the circular economy and highlight safe materials that can be perpetually cycled and are designed with thoughtful use and reuse scenarios.
"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," commented Institute 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."
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 60-70 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 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 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.
Best Use of Autodesk Fusion 360
The Engineers for a Sustainable World Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) 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 with the material and monetary costs of one, the broom they 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.