A methane-capturing collar for cows and chemical-free outdoor performance textile are among the four winners of the inaugural Terra Carta Design Lab.
The design lab is a collaboration between the Royal College of Art (RCA), Jony Ive and Prince Charles’ Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI), which aims to find low-cost, high-impact solutions to tackle environmental problems.
One of the winners is Aerseeds, seed pods made from food waste which work to aim to provide ecological restoration and reforestation. The pods are carried by wind to deliver nutrients to areas which have been depleted by human activity. According to the design team, these can “accelerate regeneration up to 10 times”.
Amphitex meanwhile is a performance textile designed for outdoor use, made from fully recyclable and chemical-free materials. The plan is to manufacture the textile out of recycled and plant-based feedstock, which could result in a “world-first carbon negative performance textile”, according to the team.
Zelp aims to tackle the problem of cattle methane production, which is estimated to be as much as 500 litres everyday per cow (there are around 1.5 billion cattle around the world). The wearable device is worn around a cow’s snout, and designed to neutralise the animal’s methane emissions in real time as they burp.
Rounding out the winners is the Tyre Collective, previous winners of the UK James Dyson Award. The design team is currently developing a device to “capture” tyre wear – as the collective explains, tyre wear is the second largest microplastic pollutant in our environment. The collective is now looking into ways to upcycle the product and attempt to create a circular system.
There were 125 submissions for the initiative. “I find it reassuring, particularly facing the overwhelming challenge of climate change, that we can all contribute ideas that could evolve into valuable solutions,” Ive says. “All the Design Lab winners have ideas and designs that deserve to be developed.”
The winners will receive £50,000 in funding and mentoring from Ive and members of the wider SMI network to help develop their projects. Two further projects will receive £10,000 in funding and mentorship.
“The ingenuity and determination of these designers has produced some extraordinarily creative responses, and they now embark on the journey to turn these great ideas into practical solutions,” Ive adds.
The highly commended projects are Shellworks and Or:bital Bloom. Shellworks is another material-focused entry, seeking to create sustainable packaging which is fully compostable and also competitively priced. Or:bital Bloom meanwhile is a data-driven art piece which reacts to a company’s fulfilment of sustainability targets and carbon emission reductions.
You can read more about the Terra Carta finalists in our earlier coverage of the award.