As you've probably all gathered by now, Brastilo loves design. You might even go so far as to say we're obsessed...and you'd be right. Because well-designed products and inventions are becoming increasingly important. Not to sound alarmist (or like an Al Gore disciple), but our planet is in need of some well thought out design, the kind that won't add to the crippling amount of waste it's currently facing. On this blog, we've congratulated ourselves for our eco-friendly accessories, such as the Blue Paper Bowl. We're extremely proud of our commitment to using sustainable wood in all of our furniture. And you're probably all familiar with our strong design heritage by now, which is inspired by (and sometimes sourced from) local artisans. Well, enough about us! Because this post is about the next generation of designers, the ones that will have to live with the earth we're all going to leave behind.
The "Trash to Treasure" competition, which is partially sponsored by PBS's "Design Squad" - a show dedicated to teaching kids about engineering and design - is encouraging the future designers of America to reduce, reuse, and recycle. From the press release:
"The Design Squad Trash to Treasure contest will challenge kids of all ages to take everyday discarded or recycled material and re-engineer it into functional products. The product can move things or people (Mobility), protect the environment (Environmental), or be something kids can play with inside or out (Play).
"Some of the repurposed materials kids might use in their innovative designs are fabric, paper, plastic, small electronics, wheels, clamps, springs, batteries, hardware, wood, bike parts, string, rubberbands, cardboard, kitchen gadgets, etc."
The winner of "Trash to Treasure" will win $10,000 and the chance to create a complete protoype of their design. This is truly an inspiring event. Not only are kids being inspired to think outside of the proverbial box, but they're going to do so in an environmentally-friendly way, driving the message about the importance of sustainability at a young age.
And I have to say, I'm a bit jealous of the protoyping portion of the prize. That goes way beyond what could otherwise be the invention category at your local science fair. What child or teenager do you know that has seen their designs and inventions actually get produced? Can you imagine how exciting that will be? If only I were 10 years younger...and, you know, talented.
The competition doesn't begin until April 1, 2008 but have no fear - we'll keep our eyes out for you.
In the meantime - take out that ratty cardboard box in the garage, those stacks of old magazines, and that bag of recyclable bottles and get to work!!!
Via Core 77