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Seven Impressive Finalists in “Time to Care” Sustainable Design Contest 2020

| October 10, 2020 | 0 Comments
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Seven Finalists in  "Time to Care" Sustainable Design Contest

An interesting sustainable design contest is currently ongoing, sponsored by Victorinox–the company that makes Swiss Army knives.  Time to Care is an international student competition, with a goal of promoting new solutions to environmental problems through design innovation.

A jury of 15 noted designers recently chose seven projects as finalists. Now a public voting process, running throughout the summer, will decide the winners. The top three projects will move forward with implementation funding from Victorinox–and as an added incentive for voting, you will be automatically entered in a bi-weekly draw for one of the company’s Alliance watches.

We like the look of LEAF, a solar powered water condensation unit that can capture 20 liters of drinkable water a day.


The solar energy is used to cool the large, leaf-like metal surface, resulting in the formation of water droplets–like dew. Indian design student Anurag Sarda has produced an elegant, self-sustaining mechanism for capturing water out of thin air. But the cost of producing an 18-foot-tall, solar-equipped device that can supply the water needs of a relatively small number of people would seem to prevent LEAF in its current form from being the solution to drinking water scarcity in the developing world.

[Or maybe not! Since posting this we heard from LEAF designer Anurag Sarda, who writes:

1st of all I would like to thank you for sharing our project… I appreciate your feedback but I think the cost involved in manufacturing the concept justifies the benefits the community will get out of it. The overall cost of the 1st prototype of LEAF concept will be around 20000 to 25000 INR. I have some supporting documents for the same. Once the bulk production starts, the cost might come down to even less then 50% of this cost. So as compared to any other good water purifiers, that will cost somewhere between 10000 to 15000 INR, investing on LEAF will be beneficial. And I have proposed that the initiative to install a product of this category should be taken by government and NGOs. I just thought of sharing this information with you. Your support to the LEAF project is appreciated.”]

Sea Chair 300x154 1

We also applaud the vision of the Sea Chair Project, an entry by three design students at the Royal College of Art, in London. The accumulation of plastic waste in the oceans is a huge problem, with no easy solution. The Sea Chair Project takes what may be the most logical approach, by viewing the waste as a new kind of ocean resource–and harvesting it. Out-of-use fishing vessels could be refitted as floating factories, gathering tons of particulate plastic debris and turning it back into useful objects–such as chairs. Farfetched, uneconomical, and impractical–maybe. But it’s a start.

Some of the projects just aren’t presented with enough detail or clarity to assess. After a look through the contenders, our vote goes without hesitation to the SafetyNet, a new trawl net designed to reduce or eliminate the unintentional harvesting of fish that are too young, too small, or not the species being targeted. Fisheries bycatch is a huge problem, and a driver of fish population declines worldwide. The SafetyNet incorporates arrays of rigid, lighted escape rings in the mesh that help fish know they’re trapped before being pulled to the surface, and provide the smaller ones a way out.

A nicely done video explains the system in clear and compelling fashion. Good luck to SafetyNet creator Dan Watson–his project currently is number four in the voting, and needs support to gain funding!

SafetyNet from Dan Watson on Vimeo.

Seven Impressive Finalists in “Time to Care” Sustainable Design Contest |Art Culture Articles

Category: Design

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