Another international entry came from the 1/2 Project. The South Korean team presented their social venture that teams business enterprises with NGOs. Most of us consume far more than we need and are overwhelmed when disaster strikes and we are asked to donate to charity. Rather than relating the idea of giving to disaster, the 1/2 Project aims to scale down and have it become an integral part of everyday purchasing decisions. Through their design of a variety of common containers such as milk cartons and plastic bottles that are physically halved, they hope to accomplish this goal. There are currently no corporations that have signed on, but with perseverance the design could potentially change the way we view giving and make us think twice about the amount we consume.
On a more local level, a series of Designer Journals by Karl Heine are made from eco-friendly materials. The convenient 8.5″ x 5.5″ journals are filled with recycled Mohawk paper that was manufactured using wind power. Customers can chose between various covers made from up-cycled Italian leather, 97% Natural, Marmoleum Solid linoleum that comes in a range of textures and colors, Mohawk Loop Straw or a durable wetsuit like material. Even the packaging design keeps the earth in mind. The front panel becomes a bookmark and the back features a photograph by Heine that transforms into a postcard.
For kids or those with a more playful taste, a series of colorful, fun characters by kHyal form the The Weather Skwirl collection. The creatures are made of recycled plexiglass one at a time in Manhattan.
Lastly, a new part of this year’s conference included the DCI Consumer Product Challenge. This year’s winner and runner-up had the chance to display their products at the Expo which will be manufactured as part of the DCI line of products. The winning design was the Trilife Ecotray by Angie Lee and Queenie Fan of RISD. The tray is made of bamboo fibers (60%) and plastic (40%). It fits snugly over the forearm and is FDA safe and biodegradable. Runner-up McKenzie Powers of the Art Institute of Boston presented her I Am a To Go Box which is modeled after the classic to-go box but instead of paper, silicon makes it re-usable, flexible and fun.
For those inspired by this year’s conference, DCI will soon announce next year’s challenge so stay tuned!
Images © Amanda Silvana Coen for Inhabitat