With a jury comprised of international architects, designers and academics such as Virgil Abloh, Cristina Celestino, Philippe Starck, and Patricia Urquiola, the Dezeen Awards project category winners were announced last week with the awards ceremony taking place tomorrow at London’s Ennismore Sessions House to announce the Studio and Overall Project Category Winners.
With 52 products and projects making the overall shortlist for the 2nd edition of the design publication’s awards, the Sustainable Design category was narrowed down to six finalists. The projects covered a variety of mediums, applications and material innovations encouraging users to approach design with both a refreshed outlook and a conscious mindset.
The Final Six
- Futurecraft Loop by Adidas
A zero-waste design, this shoe has been constructed from virgin plastic making it fully recyclable without any compromise on quality. With the brand seeking to combat the global plastic crisis we face today, it has made the entire shoe from one material, making it simpler to recycle at the end of its lifespan.
- HyO-Cup by Crème
Using 3D printing techniques, these 100% biodegradable cups, grown from gourd plants, are created by US Design Studio Crème. Proposed as an alternative to disposable coffee cups, they also have been designed in a flask shape too.
- Aas Pass by Jaipur Rugs
This design by local weaver Manju, is part of Artisans Originals: a wider sustainable initiative by Jaipur Rugs which encourages Rajasthan-based weavers to design their own rugs for the first time. Inspired by the textures and colours of her home, Manju has used surplus hand-spun yarn to create these beautiful carpets.
- Aguahoja I by Mediated Matter Group
This digitally designed installation made through robotic fabrication from entirely organic matter points towards a future where technology and sustainability can work hand in hand. The plant-like structure, developed by Massachusetts-based Mediated Matter Group, is made from a flexible bio-composite including molecular components found in tree branches, insect exoskeletons and human bones.
- Biogarmentry by Roya Aghighi
Addressing the issues around sustainability in today’s fashion world, this project, by Canadian-Iranian designer Roya Aghighi, looks at the introduction of photosynthesis into clothing and the concept of garments being ‘alive’. With living organisms included in the design process, the project investigates the possibility of users connecting to the ‘living’ textile which is capable of photosynthesis and using cellular respiration to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen.
- Anima – Memorial Service by Studio Kosuke Araki
Titled ‘Anima-Memorial Service’ to reference the lives of animals and vegetables we eat, this tableware range is made entirely from food waste and finished with a Japanese lacquer. Encouraging users to think about the impact we have as consumers, it highlights the vast quantities of food waste which ends up in landfill across the globe each year.
And the Award goes to…
The winner of this years Dezeen’s ‘Sustainable Design’ Award is Meditated Matter Group for their research project ‘Aguahoja I’. Impressing the judges with their innovative research and use of technology, the project is hoping to build on this success with a radical step towards the future.
Based in Massachusetts, Meditated Matter Group are part of MIT Media Lab and carry out extensive research in the application of natural and organic substances in design. Led by Professor Neri Oxman, the group has worked on bridging the gap between natural ecosystems and man-made built environments by merging technology into intricate design processes. Through material ecology they are hoping to instil a mindset of ‘doing more with less’. The bio-composite material used in this structure will decompose when exposed to rain, allowing it to re-enter the natural cycle. It can also respond to heat or humidity changes opening up new possibilities and boundaries within structural development and, though chemical adaptation, it can be more rigid or flexible depending on the requirements.
“The next step is to bring this technology into the real world, not merely the lab or the gallery.” states Oxman, “We need to replace the design and production of plastic goods with their bio-polymeric counterparts enabling biodegradation or decay for temporary products, and long lasting properties for structures designed to stand the test of time and climate change.”
With over 300 million tons of plastic being produced globally each year and only a small amount of this being recycled, this innovation is paramount. Whilst Oxman admits it has been a complex process to achieve such results at a large scale, she feels positive about what the future holds and the opportunities which lie ahead.
Published on forbes.com