162 designers across 19 countries submitted work to the fourth challenge, which encouraged the design community to envision solutions for the circular economy, powered by Cradle to Cradle product design principles. The winning entries include a prescription medication bottle, pocket knife, luggage and a solar-powered aluminum casting process.
Best Professional Project: Eco-Luggage
Eco-Luggage rethinks the way we carry during travel or displacement, with easily detachable, multi-use components. Designers Taina Campos and Jeremy Godol of Frame Design Studio, put design for disassembly at the core of their approach to Eco-Luggage. Because it can be easily disassembled, individual parts can be repaired or replaced as needed - and at the end of use, they can be cycled as biological and technical nutrients.
Best Student Project: REX
Mallory Barrett, student at North Carolina State University, envisions an innovative solution to medical packaging waste. In the United States alone, an estimated 4 billion prescriptions are filled, and many curbside recycling programs do not accept pill bottles. REX offers reusable, stainless steel medicine containers that do not require adhesive labels, in a circular business model that eliminates the need for the constant reproduction of currently used plastic bottles.
Best Use of Aluminum: SolarCasting
Developed by Bert Green, Allison Warth, Andrew Fabian and Ashleigh Otto of Solarmill, SolarCasting offers an innovative take on reclaiming and recycling aluminum. Using a solar furnace built from reclaimed parts, SolarCasting uses concentrated sunlight to melt a crucible of reclaimed aluminum which can then be poured into a variety of molds to produce mechanical or aesthetic objects. By combining the one hundred percent carbon-free foundry with lead-free aluminum, SolarCasting creates an unbreakable chain of material reclamation without the need for fossil fuels.
Best Use of Fusion 360: Leave No Trace Leaf Knife
Ari Elefterin and Matt Callahan of Parson School of Design, The New School, designed The Leaf Knife as the first product of Leave No Trace, a camping gear company for the circular economy. The duo developed an accompanying Leave No Trace service system that offers uses options for product care and equipment while keeping all technical materials moving through a perpetual cycle of use and reuse. The Leaf Knife's design represents an effective blend of sculpting, parametric modeling and assembly joints using Autodesk Fusion 360.
"More and more, the design community is recognizing the way using Cradle to Cradle Certified materials and applying Cradle to Cradle product design principles provides a clear means of translating the vision of a circular economy into reality," Institute President Lewis Perkins commented. "It's exciting to see a similar escalation in the number of entries we receive for the Challenge, as students and professionals alike use the competition as an open space to explore and experiment with Cradle to Cradle product design either in a conceptual or real-world way."