​Four designs that could change the world

Royal College of Arts graduates have taken on some of the biggest environmental and social issues facing the world today and looked to find potential solutions.

Inspired Product winner Ooho by Pierre Paslier, Guillaume Couche and Rodrigo García González
Inspired Product winner Ooho by Pierre Paslier, Guillaume Couche and Rodrigo García González

Sustain RCA, the college’s sustainability arm, has tasked its students with developing user-led and long-term systems that can tackle issues such as finding community-owned renewable energy solutions, making meat production more transparent, and working out how to save the world’s bees.

Looking Forwards is a new show by Sustain RCA, which spotlights 35 projects tackling such issues and includes the following category winners:

Ooho, by Pierre Paslier, Guillaume Couche and Rodrigo García González

Inspired Product winner Ooho by Pierre Paslier, Guillaume Couche and Rodrigo García González
Inspired Product winner Ooho by Pierre Paslier, Guillaume Couche and Rodrigo García González

Ooho is a gelatinous, biodegradable and even edible membrane that can be used as packaging for water instead of plastic bottles, which are solid, toxic, inedible containers that don’t break down.

It gets better. Ooho addresses energy, material, resource and cost issues.  The “spherification” technique means water is captured in a double gelatinous membrane made up of brown algae and calcium chloride.

Best of all, it can be made at home, the recipe can be modified and it literally costs pennies.

Advanced Activism, by Pierre Paslier 

Solutions for Society winner, Advanced Activism by Pierre Paslier
Solutions for Society winner, Advanced Activism by Pierre Paslier

Paslier has designed an open-source toolkit for activists consisting of several parts. The drone can flyer in hard to reach places where people can’t, while other elements include projected messaging . The whole idea seems to set up a paradox of passive activism, but does away with the need for any confrontation and has been designed as a response to “kettling.”

Advanced Activism Fade Projector

Flowering Transition, by Marcin Rusak 

Moving Minds winner Flowering Transition  by Marcin Rusak
Moving Minds winner Flowering Transition by Marcin Rusak

The piece looks at the cut-flower industry and the values of consumerism it propagates in the context of genetics, beauty and nature in order to examine why at all the flower industry has evolved.

Flowering Transition asks if we really need a flower industry with speculative pieces like a perishable vase made from organic flower matter and a fragrance test, which helps us determine our own sense preference – colour or smell.

The New Value of Waste, by Hana Mitsui 

Visionary Process winner Hannah Mitsui for The New Value of Waste
Visionary Process winner Hannah Mitsui for The New Value of Waste

Mitsui’s piece is inspired by the Japanese process Sakiori, which sees old kimonos refashioned as new garments. She has taken dead fabric stock, unusable in conventional industrial production and turned it into new luxury cloth for high end garments. Essentially Mitsui’s technique is to layer and re-weave cloth that would otherwise be discarded by fashion houses. 

The SustainRCA Show and Awards runs from 18 September–3 October, Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2EU

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