Industrial Design Students Win Cradle to Cradle Global Design Challenge

Virginia Tech undergraduate Industrial Design students have won two of four awards in the Spring 2016 Cradle to Cradle Global Design Challenge, the third of six global design challenges running from 2015 through 2017 presented by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute and Autodesk, and made possible by Alcoa Foundation:

Quang Pham won Best Student Project for his entry, MODS, a modular shoe he designed in response to the millions of pairs of shoes that end up in landfills each year, where they can take 30-40 years to decompose. MODS shoes can be customized and updated as the shoe deteriorates without using glue. Made with bamboo and wool textiles and recycled PET fiber, MODS consists of five modular units that use the minimal amount of material needed for maximum comfort and security while giving the user full control of the shoe’s aesthetic and functionality. Claire Davis won Best Use of Fusion 360 for her design, OLI, a convenient, elegant and intelligent solution for food waste. Exemplary for its adept use of Fusion 360’s direct modeling functionality (which enables the rapid development of a manufacturable product), OLI highlights the value of minimizing biological waste (food), as well as the reduction of material waste through its considered approach to the product system and design for disassembly. With 474 pounds of food waste generated by every household per year on average, OLI offers a practical solution to increasing the percentage of our landfill waste that is composted and returned to cycle in the biosphere.

Both Quang and Claire were in the third-year studio taught by Profs. Bill Green and Brook Kennedy.

138 design professionals and students in 19 countries worked as individuals or in teams to submit 79 entries for this third iteration of the competition, which challenges design students and professionals to apply Cradle to Cradle principles to conceptualize and develop product solutions that can help drive the circular economy. More than 230 designers from over 30 countries have participated in the challenges to date. Entries were invited across four categories: Best Student Project, Best Professional Project, Best Use of Aluminum, and Best Use of Autodesk Fusion 360 Software. Winners were selected by a judging panel of designers, sustainability professionals and industry leaders, including Rie Norregaard, Managing Creative Director, SYP Partners; Jim Kor, Founder and President, KOR EcoLogic, Inc.; Paul Sohi, Fusion 360 Evangelist, Autodesk; Jeremy Faludi, Sustainable Design Strategist & Educator; and Hasso Weiland, Technical Fellow, Breakthrough Technologies, Alcoa. Each of the four winners will receive a cash prize of US$2,000.

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