Industrial Design held its Fourth Annual Industrial Design Program Competition

This spring, Industrial Design held its Fourth Annual Industrial Design Program Competition, sponsored by SustainFloyd. Jackie Creshaw, Silvie Granatelli, and Katy Morikawa represented SustainFloyd as they introduced the project brief to students in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year Industrial Design. The competition was titled “Zero Waste Solutions” and as a part of the introduction, Hayden Polseno-Hensley from Red Rooster Coffee and Mark Bolt from the Floyd County Planning Office discussed issues related to waste in regards to regional government and businesses. The students were split into teams that consisted of one or two students from each year to work together on this quickfire challenge. Within less than two weeks, each team proposed a solution for the following brief:

Our material recycling system is broken. We are overrun with waste. Some localities have recycling programs that are a good start, but they don’t collect all materials, and there is often either poor community buy-in or understanding of the process. In turn, many items end up in the landfill unnecessarily. When materials are collected for recycling there is often inadequate infrastructure or regulatory oversight to handle the volume of waste coming in. Pollution can build not only in these other communities, but also in our shared environmental resources like oceans and atmosphere. New systems, services, or products focusing on current and future single use items could move us toward zero waste solutions, whether through behavior, the design of material recycling processes, or the design of products made from materials that disappear.


For the VTID 2022 Design Competition, your group will propose a design intervention that can help improve or replace one of the following scenarios:


(1) Recycling streams from the home to the recycle center:  For this user group, consider a multi-person family that is struggling to keep up with the recyclable items they bring into their home.

(2) Single use items in local businesses:   For this user group, consider a local restaurant, food store, or relevant establishment that wants to reduce or eliminate waste from their business model.

(3) Community consumption of single use items: For this user group, consider how an individual or group can conserve resources or achieve zero waste policies and procedures in their personal or shared space.


We are pleased to announce the winners that were selected by a jury from SustainFloyd, who kindly donated cash prizes to be awarded at our annual School of Architecture + Design Awards on April 28, 2022. Congratulations to all on your hard work and thoughtful solutions!

1st Place

Project Title: Dr. Kelp
Group Members: Al Ramos, Laken Land, Brooke Dirom
4.6 million pounds of bandages are discarded in the US each year.
Luckily, Dr. Kelp is here to help… Introducing Ouchie Algae, the zero waste solution to  the bandage issue. Alginate materials have been used for centuries as an effective wound dressing by militaries and cultures across the globe. Containing natural healing properties, algae is an inexpensive renewable resource that will no longer be ignored. We encourage you to throw away our 100% biodegradable seaweed-based bandages anywhere you like. Dr. Kelp’s Ouchie Algae reconnects us with the old ways of healing And opens the door to a new opportunity for sustainability.


2nd Place and People’s Choice Award

Project Title: reCAUS
Group Members: Robert Rieker, Avery Gendell, Wyatt Yates, Sam Becce
reCAUS is a community-driven storage system with a digital interface that can reduce the amount of material waste in the CAUS program and lessen our environmental impact. The new system would allow students to donate materials they no longer need and utilize materials that would otherwise go to waste. This can reduce the financial burden on students when buying extra supplies and lessen the waste of materials thrown away after every project. Furthermore, this system would organize the space that it inhabits by neatly arranging the materials so they are easily accessible and not a hazard to the students and work environment.


3rd Place

Project Title: This Is Not Trash
Group Members: Royce Childress, Michael Hales, Alex Ward
In these days of isolation, burger boxes and soda bottles flood our landfills and recycling centers. Alongside the ineffectiveness of our recycling system, general misperceptions about material uses and product life spans contribute a great deal to the wasted potential of supposed “trash” like food packaging. Our new food packaging scheme, dubbed “This Is Not Trash,” aims to shift people’s perceptions about waste. Bold and appealing graphics combine with environmentally friendly materials to inspire users to repurpose their food packaging in clean and nature-loving ways.


Honorable Mention

Project Title: Happy Soil
Group Members: Claudia Hasenfang Marc Sharrer Stefaan Martzell Dayani Harapanahalli
Happy Soil reduces Methane emissions by putting food waste into our compost instead of the landfills. We’ve created a compost collecting system that partners with local Farmers Markets to aid the movement of organic waste from homes to farms. After filling our canisters with food waste, locate your local markets with our app and exchange the full containers for clean ones. Our app keeps track of your contributions and lets you collect rewards. We manage the food waste, provide it to local farmers where it will be composted. We hope to see you and your happy soil at the next Farmers Market!