Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute School of Design has just announced the winner and honorable mention honorees of its third annual Material Lab Prize celebrating student-designers whose work "revolves around material exploration and considers waste streams as a springboard for new design thinking."
This year’s grand prize winner was Industrial Design master’s student Charlotte Reiter, who created a type of biodegradable concrete alternative called ‘Gonecrete.’ The material was turned into wall tiles and produced using natural rice and corn starches. For their project, Reiter was awarded $1,000 and commended by the jury for creating a product that had the potential for even wider application.
"What I loved about [Charlotte’s entry] is that unlike a lot of people in interior products concerned with durability, this product is not about that It goes beyond that idea to rethink applications in tons of places for replaceable tiles or more," juror Elizabeth Bridges commented.
Reiter is joined by two honorable mention entries from students Hsiao-Chien Hung and Emma Winick who were each rewarded $500 for their projects Durafluff and Paintodra. For Paintdora, Hung created a surface-covering terrazzo-like material made from dried paint – a common biohazard. Winick’s project, conversely, "envisions a mechanical transformation of recycled cushion filling materials from soft to structural."
“These projects are tackling legitimate environmental challenges, and it would be exciting to see them manufactured or managed at an industrial scale,” artist and juror Joseph Algieri concluded in a statement.
A look at past winners and this year’s submissions can be found here.
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