A component of the State Government’s annual Victorian Design Program and Melbourne Design Week at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), The Victorian Design Challenge 2019 competition, now in its second year, invited design professionals and students to tackle one of the great challenges of our time – the best way to reduce, recover or eliminate waste.
Winners in three categories were announced on Tuesday March 19, 2019.
Professional • Winner: Studio Periscope
An award winning industrial design practice, Lisa Oaten, Robert Sim and George Berry of Studio Periscope presented Rollie, a piece of play equipment that enables students to aerate compost, while having fun.
According to Studio Periscope, Australians throw away approximately 3.1 billion tonnes or $8 billion, of food waste each year.
Their winning entry Rollie aims to address this significant waste issue by educating future generations about the value of food and food waste, through aerobic ‘hot’ composting. A hamster wheel like structure, the successful design uses the leg power of the children playing on it to turn over the compost, helping to create the ideal conditions for hot composting.
Tertiary • Winner: Maddison Ryder
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) student Maddison Ryder presented Lettuce Eat, a series of single use plates made from waste Iceberg Lettuce, which are immediately biodegradable.
The project comments on behaviours of conspicuous consumption and explores food waste and throw away culture through a series of plates developed and designed from dehydrated lettuce.
Secondary and Primary School • Winner Mill Park Library Makers Club
Twelve students from the Mill Park Library Makers Club presented Robot Walking School Bus; a robot designed to pick up students from their homes and take them to school, as well as carrying organic waste that the children bring out from their homes.
Inspired by China’s line-following battery powered train, the project aims to use a Robot Walking School Bus to help better manage waste around school, in our homes and in the local community by encouraging students to walk to school and pick up litter along the way.
There is no doubt that to be a successful designer you need to be profoundly imaginative; an original thinker who has new ways of considering complexity, mass taste and the effect on the development of culture when finding solutions to challenges faced by society.
There are many considerations, including constraints brought about by economic, cultural and social factors including trends and consumer attitudes.
To make a design work you need to consider the market, the style, the user and the value; price vs quantity, quality vs quantity and what constitutes value for money.
Designs ranged: disposable plates made of lettuce to geopolymer cement made using fly ash. Teams worked to convince the judges their idea would help to reduce, recover or eliminate waste.
Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley said: “Managing waste is a complex problem that will take the best design thinking from across Victoria and the world to address. I congratulate the winners, and the Design Challenge for their focus on this critical problem.”
ABC TV’s War on Waste champion Craig Reucassel, chaired the jury, comprising Abigail Forsyth, Managing Director and Co-founder, KeepCup; Shannon Bourke, Environmental and Social Initiatives Manager (Australia/New Zealand), Patagonia; John Gertsakis, Director and Co-founder, E-waste Watch Institute, Adjunct Professor, Institute for Sustainable Futures UTS; Tamsin O’Neill, Editor and Director, Green Magazine and Rebecca Gilling, Deputy CEO, Planet Ark.
They undertook an evaluation considering the following criteria:
1. Originality of the design idea
2. Quality and strength of the design idea; potential impact and scalability
3. Design approach: framing of the issue, quality of research and design development methodology
4. Realisation potential: capacity to develop, implement, test and manage the design’s deployment.
Designers in the twenty first century have the power to affect people’s emotions and the ability to truly change how people perceive the world around them and how their actions can contribute to our culture and its development.
Minister for Environment Lily D’Ambrosio said: “It’s great to see local designers put their considerable talent towards tackling waste – undoubtedly one of the defining challenges of our future.”
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2019