Earth Awards finalists pitch to investors to prove design can build a new economy
18 August 2010: Artificial foam which captures and converts the sun’s energy more effectively than living organisms and earth tiles which empower people to build their own sustainable homes are in the running for a global design award backed by world-leading entrepreneurs.
University of Cincinnati Professor’s David Wendell and Carlo Montemagno designed the Photosynthetic Foam while Cambridge Professor Michael Ramage, Peter Rich Architects and John Ochsendorf designed Sustainable Shells. Both innovations have been selected from over 500 entries to be shortlisted in The Earth Awards 2010. They and four other finalists will now pitch to top CEOs at an Innovators Summit in London, to secure funding to bring their designs to market.
Judged by the world’s top creative thinkers, The Earth Awards identifies viable ideas from fashion to architecture and consumer products, and marries them with investors to provide a real solution to improving quality of life. It is the only global innovation awards where the aim is to give the designer the means to enter the worldwide consumer marketplace.
Professor Wendell’s manufactured system of photosynthesis means that all captured energy is converted to sugars, unlike natural photosynthesis in plants where a large amount of energy is used to maintain the life of the organism. In short, the foam is a far more efficient and versatile energy production platform.
Sustainable Shells enables buildings to be created with natural resources by local people, in the world’s poorest and most remote areas. It is the first time that ancient tile-vaulting has been fused with earth to create a building which can be replicated across the developing world, removing the need to import skills or materials.
These ideas highlight the groundbreaking innovation needed to make The Earth Awards shortlist. Having won $10,000 to help take their concepts to market, the following six finalists will now go head to head to compete for a total investment of $50,000 at The Earth Awards ‘Investors to Innovators’ Summit on 16th September.
Sustainable Shells by Michael Ram