DIT Product Designers in finals of global Eco design challenge


11th March 2011

Four final year students of Product Design have won a place in the grand final of the Global Eco-Easy Challenge – an international design competition that invites students to submit ideas for developing a business or home office product that allows users to work more easily and in a manner that is more environmentally preferable than existing similar products.  A number of DIT teams were entered for the competition by Michael Ring, programme Chair of DT001 Product Design, and one team came through to become one of seven finalists competing in Washington DC on 12/13 April.  The other six finalist teams include one from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras; one from Nanyang Technological University and from Tsinghua University in China; and three teams from the University of Cincinnati, USA.

Entries for the Eco-Easy Challenge must address one or more of the following criteria:

  • A new design of an existing product that represents greater environmental responsibility or sustainability
  • A product that uses an eco-innovative material
  • A completely new type of product that promotes sustainability

The DIT team have called themselves ‘Bolton’ and the four members are Sean O’Connell, Sinead Flannery, Damian Keena and John McGowan.  Bolton submitted a concept for their product, Eco-Tab - a staple-free paper-staplerTheir proposition is:

 ”Are you sick of cutting yourself on metal staples on the back of your papers? Do you wish you could secure documents in an environmentally preferable way? Well, the Eco-Tab is an environmental solution to the staple! Instead of using a metal staple, this device creatively secures your document without the need for any additional material. That was easy!” 

The Bolton team will be flown to Washington by the sponsors to present their concept at the finals on 12./13 April and will receive a stipend of $2000 to further develop their product.  The ultimate winning team will receive $25,000 while the teams winning 2nd and 3rd places will each receive $5000.  A judging panel will consider each of the finalists’ products during the two-day event and will allocate 90% of the available marks.  The final 10% will be based on a public online vote, so between now and 22nd March you can vote for Bolton by logging on to https://ecoeasychallenge.com/pages/Finalists.html# .  And remember, this is one occasion on which ‘voting early and often’ is not only allowed but encouraged!

Good luck to Sean, Sinead, Damian and John!

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