Auburn University’s Industrial Design Department put on its annual Designing Green competition on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 20-21. Each spring, the Industrial Design Department’s student chapter of Industrial Designers’ Society of America sponsors a competition in which industrial and graphic design students get to put their skills to the test.
Students are assigned to teams and given the task of designing and building a functional object entirely made up of recycled materials over the course of two days. In addition, the materials and task change each year. Tasks from past competitions include designing and building a product used to transport its design team from one location to the other.
Although the competition is hosted by the Industrial Design Department, graphic design students have still been able to participate in past competitions by observing and recording information.
“I’m so glad they have this competition each year, ” said Caroline Collins, graphic design major at Auburn University. “It’s nice to know that graphic design majors have something to bring to the table. Also, I love how the competition is a lesson on sustainability. It really helps you to think outside the box.”
The two-day event began in Wallace Hall at 9 a.m. Thursday with speaker Tiffany Threadgould, Chief Design Junkie at TerraCycle, Inc., an award-winning international upcycling and recycling company. Threadgould spoke about the importance of sustainability and took questions from students.
The competition commenced at noon on Thursday. Student design teams were given materials in the TerraCycle library, including wine corks, tents and leather. Their task was to use these materials to design a product with an upcycled use, meaning to convert waste materials or trash to a product of use or value.
Judging took place at noon Friday followed by a cookout on Wallace Hall lawn.
“I think Auburn should have more events like the Designing Green competition, ” Collins said. “Everyone can afford to learn a little more about how to achieve sustainability by going green.”