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Students use plastics in award-winning designs

By: Roger Renstrom

August 6, 2013

Four students who designed products containing plastics won gold in the 2013 International Design Excellence Awards in Detroit. The students are from France, Denmark, Italy and Turkey.

Justine Lotigie of Lille, France, won for an ergonomic eZtap knife and bowl intended to be sold to rubber plantation owners. The product is designed to improve the rubber-tapping process in regions of Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brazil. The stainless-steel knife can facilitate precision tapping with deeper groves, and the eco-plastic bowl can increase latex collections and save process time. Lotigie is a student at DSK International School of Design in Pune, India. She will start her fourth year with a six-month internship at One & Co. in San Francisco and anticipates getting a master's degree in 2015.

Philip Nordmand Andersen of Copenhagen, Denmark, won for his conceptual Safewave robotic rescue buoy for beach locations unable to employ lifeguards. The concept involves guidance with a laser pointer and sonar sensors to quickly locate and reach a victim using dual water jets. Proposed materials include a non-slip rubber coating for the edges, a fabric-reinforced air cushion and, on top, Neoprene polychloroprene. Just before a rescue, the buoy would inflate with compressed air and form a floating V-shape for a person to hold on to. Buoys would be located in dedicated rescue stands along the beach. Andersen completed work in June on a master of fine arts degree in advanced product design at Umeå University's Institute of Design in Umeå, Sweden.

Nina Viggi of Milan won for a One Degree high-performance dinghy shoe to protect the feet of athletes in sailing competitions. The outer sole is made entirely of anatomically molded ethylene vinyl acetate. The inner lining is a laminate of 5-millimeter-thick nylon and Neoprene with sealed, tear-proof stitching. The innersole of molded ethylene vinyl acetate snaps through the lining into the outer sole. The concept is being licensed. Viggi received a master's degree in industrial design and strategic innovation from the Art Center College of Design of Pasadena, Calif. In July, Viggi started as an interaction designer bridging with the industrial design team at the consultancy Walter Dorwin Teague Associates Inc. of Seattle.

Omer Haciomeroglu of Istanbul won for his Ero concrete recycling robot concept.

Lightweight polymers form the outer shell components and are attached to a welded steel structure that holds a centrifuge decanter separator and other electrical and mechanical parts. Rubber dampeners and reinforced rubber structures are parts of the omnidirectional tracks. The robot could disassemble concrete structures and allow building materials to be reused in new, pre-fabricated buildings. Current demolition techniques require significant power crushing, separation, machinery and, for dust control, water.

Haciomeroglu designed the robot for the Örebro, Sweden, rock-drills business of Atlas Copco AB, which makes hand-held, pneumatic and rig-mounted hydraulic rock drills. He completed the master's program in advanced product design at the Umeå Institute of Design in 2012 and has consulted for companies on strategic designs.