The Sustainable Design Awards
By Joana Patrasc, second-year Graphic Design student
In just two years, the Sustainable Design Awards have grown from a small competition open only to second-year Industrial Design students into a university-wide competition judged by a panel of impressive experts, an awards reception night and a guest lecture by Core 77's Allan Chochinov. The creator of the awards is third-year Industrial Design student Mike Lovas, who wanted to encourage his classmates to think about sustainability when they designed their projects.
Lovas explained the idea to create this competition came out of his own belief that sustainability should be one of the major focuses for Industrial Design students who are creating products for mass-production. Through the creation of the award, he hoped to spur students on to consider the social and ecological impacts of their product designing within their coursework.
The Arne Basin by Kia Alavi, first-prize winner from 2011.
The first contest received 16 entries from second-year Industrial Design students. Kia Alavi won first place for his Arne Basin, a water-recycling system. Davin Cowber won second place for his dual use Tanktop Bag, a tank top shirt that could be converted into a bag. Jacob Prapavessis won third place for his MEC Wallet, produced from a recycled sail. Last year the winning designs were picked by students; this year, in addition to peer voting, submissions will be judged by Allan Chochinov, Architect Graeme Stewart of ERA Architects, Jason Dressler of Brothers Dressler and Katherine Ngui, founder of Public Displays of Affection. At the reception, jurors will speak about their judging process as well as discuss their ideas on sustainable design.
Davin Cowber's Tanktop Bag, second-prize winner from 2011.
The winners of the first competition received cash prizes donated by sustainable.TO, a local, green architecture company and OCAD U's Student Union. This year, in addition to their continuing generosity, the competition has received funding from OCAD U President Dr. Sara Diamond, the Faculty of Design, sustainable and multi-functional furniture design firm 608 Design, the Ontario Association of Architects, the Ontario Crafts Council, Association of Chartered Industrial Designers of Ontario, show and apparel designer Vans and The Interior Design Show, who has volunteered space.
Although the competition has already experienced impressive growth in its two years, Lovas plans to expand it beyond OCAD University's borders next year. He has been working with other schools and is aiming to make the competition open to students across the province. "Eventually it might even grow to a national or international competition," says Lovas.
Jacob Prapavessis's MEC Wallet, third-prize winner for 2011.
The Sustainable Design Awards are now in full swing, accepting submissions from all OCAD U students. While it is encouraged that submissions are school projects, personal projects are also accepted. To get started, students are asked to consider such questions as, "Is the project ecologically responsible? Does it foster social equity? Is it feasible/buildable in the next 5 years?"
The deadline to submit is March 16, 2012. Allan Chochinov will give his talk on April 19, 2012 and the reception to announce the award's winners will be held on April 20, 2012.