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Bricolage challenge to local designers

16 May 2011

Tasmanian designers and innovators are again being put to the test in a unique project that links environmental sustainability and the arts.

Resourceful ideas and thinking “out of the box” is required for entries in the 2011 Bricolage Design Prize, which aims to enable the creation of inspiring objects from waste.

Bricolage is derived from the French word bricoleur, and means the “creative and resourceful use of whatever materials happen to be available”.

Now in its fourth year, Bricolage challenges designers to find an ongoing source of waste and develop it into a marketable product. Entrants are encouraged to use inert industrial waste, such as plastic offcuts, scrap metal, rubber matting and textiles.

Launching the prize, EPA Acting Director John Mollison said Bricolage aims to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

“Despite increased rates of recycling, waste to landfill equates to about one tonne for each Tasmanian every year,” Mr Mollison said.

“The Bricolage Design Prize lifts the profile of waste and may even encourage the development of a small business. Also, the more waste materials we use, the less reliance we will have on virgin materials.”

Last year's Bricolage Design Prize winner was Shauna Mayben with her jewellery range made from recycled silver, perspex and magazine offcuts. Shauna is a jewellery teacher at the Polytechnic and an advocate of using previously discarded materials.

Past entries to the Bricolage Design Prize illustrate the tremendous scope of possible projects.

For example, packaging has been reused in domestic or retail screening; old engine blocks have been transformed into wood stoves; printer’s plates have been made into stationery; wetsuit scraps have been used in furniture and apple pulp and cotton waste have been made into paper products.

“The possibilities are limited only by the imagination and there is great anticipation about what designers will come up with this year,” Mr Mollison said.

“I would encourage creative and clever minds to come up with innovative products.”

There are two components to the Bricolage Prize: a $7000 Major Prize, sponsored by the EPA, Fonterra and Cadbury and the $500 Tassal Bright Ideas prize, suitable for students.

Both prizes require a prototype. The Major Prize also requires a marketing plan.

Prizes will be awarded for the use of waste materials, durability, sustainability and environmental impact of production. They must have potential for on-going production.

Entries close on 31 October 2011. Prizes will be awarded during National Recycling Week in November.

For more information about the Bricolage Design Prize, visit: here