Yesterday I had a quick peek at some of this year’s RCA show, in particular at Innovation Design Engineering (IDE) where there was a great mix of projects. Here are three that caught my eye:
Esource by Hal Watts
Esource is an electrical cable recycling system designed for cottage industry recyclers in developing countries. It's a beautifully simple solution to a clearly identified need.
A bicycle is used to power granulate cables, replacing the toxic burning that is currently used to extract the valuable copper wire from PVC coated cables. The copper can then be separated using water and is worth more because it is unburnt. This is an inspiring project, its effectiveness is down to a sound understanding of where and how the product is used. Brilliant.
You can find out more about this project including a short video at Hal Watt's website.
Open Shop by Matt Batchelor
I love products or projects that involve the end user in the manufacturing process. Which is why Matt Batchelor's project caught my eye. A pop-up factory encouraging young people in the process of creating consumer products, in this case skateboards, thereby empowering them.
The idea of a skateboard factory itself is not particularly innovative but the idea of making it a 'pop-up' installation and using it as a social tool is a good one.
NIDO by Julene Aguirre-Bielschowsky
NIDO is a modular insulating system for Mexico's northwest. The tiles are made from local wine and shellfish industry waste and are easily installed by families in need of warmer winters and cooler summers.
You can read more about NIDO on Julene's website.
So, there are 3 very different projects from this years RCA show. But there are many more that are worth a look. The RCA show 2012 is open until Sunday 1st July. The show is split over two sites; Kensington (including IDE, Ceramics, Textiles) and Battersea (including Design Products and Sculpture).
It's interesting to note that a new organisation, SustainRCA, was created just last year. Led by Clare Brass (previously from the Design Council), SustainRCA's mission is to inspire, encourage and support sustainability thinking across the RCA. Part of this is the Sustain Show and Awards for which both Hal Watts and Julene Aguirre-Bielschowsky's projects have been shortlisted this year.