Environmental Theme at the Royal College of Art Summer Show

kranium helmet photo

All Images by B. Alter: Kranium Bicycle Helmets

The annual summer show for graduate students at the Royal College of Art in London is a chance to see what the brightest and best students in their fields are thinking about. In the past there have always been a few environmental projects: the bicycle carrier bag featured on the Apprentice, the tree listening device and the jewellery made out of sugar crystals.

But this year everyone seems to have been inspired by ecology, sustainability and recycling. Starting with bicycle helmets that use a cardboard structure to absorb impact, here's a rundown of some of them....

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Kranium: cardboard structure

Innovation Design Engineering mixes the world of design, science and engineering to create. Kranium bicycle helmets might be the big winner this year. James Dyson has already given this aspiring designer a bursary to work on the concept for an eco-friendly helmet. It is lighter than your average helmet because it uses cardboard for the impact absorption and hemp straps.

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Pop-up Vaccine Carrier

The Pop-up Vaccine Carrier was impressive...it's a light and easy, low cost way of carrying vaccines in third world countries. The carrier is easy to assemble and uses an innovative technology for keeping medecine cool in hot countries.

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Fair Tile

The Fair Tile gardening system is an eco-gardening system that makes use of food waste. It compresses household food waste into a tile which serves as the basis for gardening. It can be turned into a biodegradable pre-seeded garden tile or a disposable food waste container which is biodegradable or vegetable shaped forms to be planted.

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Ian Howlett

The Design Products Department has some innovative and far-out design ideas. Ian Howlett loves paper and makes everything out of it. He is very experimental with his creations, making chairs out of fliers, tables out of egg cartons and stands out of paper pulp and wood. For this chair, the fly posters from buildings are layered upon layer to form a thick laminate, like boards.

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Tap on a Post

Then there is Emil Rosen's tap on a post: a spade with a hose attachment. It makes gardening so much easier when you can clip the hose onto the tool instead of running around to find it on the other side of the yard. Put a bucket under it and you have a sink, or mount it really high and it's an outdoor shower.

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Fredrik Paulsen

For the sheer fun of it: a variation on the garden spade theme. Fredrik Paulsen celebrates the ordinariness of garden tools. He adds a clip-on table to a simple implement. The spade, stuck firmly into the ground is sturdy enough to become an instant garden table.

More on Royal College of Art Shows
Sustainable and Futuristic Car Designs at the Royal College of Art
Innovative Textiles and Design at the Royal College of Art
Darning Clothes As an Art Form

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