Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute and Autodesk Present Next Product Design Challenge

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Back by popular demand, submissions for innovative product designs for circular economy due December 1

Cradle to Cradle Product Design Challenge submissions are due December 1. Winners will be announced January 2016.

One designer at a time taking on today’s most epic problems - this is the future of design, the future of making things.

The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute and Autodesk, a world leader in 3D design software, are calling on product designers to fuel the circular economy by participating in the second Cradle to Cradle Product Design Challenge. The challenge kicks off today and gives designers a chance to win up to USD $6,000 for an innovative design that creatively eliminates the concept of waste.

Submissions are due December 1, 2015 and winners will be announced in January 2016. Participants are eligible to submit their design after completing the free 2-hour, online course Designing Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Products for the Circular Economy. The course and challenge are made possible with the generous support of Alcoa Foundation, whose focus areas include finding solutions to improve the environment through sustainable design.

The circular economy and Cradle to Cradle design principles support the move to 100% clean energy, elimination of waste, and creation of a healthier environment for both people and planet. The design challenge tackles the issue of waste by encouraging designers to select materials that can be perpetually cycled to fuel growing global economies and to design for next use phase.

Prizes in the inaugural Cradle to Cradle Product Design Challenge, which concluded earlier this year, were awarded in three categories: Best Student Project (currently enrolled in a higher education program); Best Young Professional Project (working in the design profession); and Best Use of Autodesk Fusion 360. This new challenge adds an additional category: Best Use of Aluminum.

A cash prize of USD $2,000 will be awarded in each of the four categories. The winner of the Fusion 360 prize will also receive a full pass to Autodesk University, an annual gathering of design, engineering and manufacturing professionals for a week of learning and networking. If the design proves worthy, judges could declare a participant winner in up to three categories, awarding the victor USD $6,000.

“The design challenge is a unique opportunity for students and professionals to bring their ideas to life,” said Bridgett Luther, president of the Institute. “Cradle to Cradle thinking isn’t just the future of design. It’s what leadership companies are doing now. The design challenge is a way to get the next generation of designers recognized for their work toward being a part of the new industrial revolution, an imminent phase of modern design that makes materials and products in a way to be continuously reborn.”

The online design course and design challenge offer an innovative curriculum supplement for the new school year. Educators are able to encourage students to learn about sustainable design and apply their skills. Use of Fusion 360 offers students a virtual realm to achieve conceptual outcomes. Autodesk Fusion 360 is an integrated 3D Computer-Aided Design (CAD)/Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) tool for product development, merging industrial design, mechanical engineering, and manufacturing with the benefit of cloud collaboration.

“We received many impactful design submissions during the last design challenge and are excited to see what emerges from the community this year,” said Lynelle Cameron, senior director, Autodesk sustainability. “No challenge requires more innovation and creativity than creating a future where 10 billion people can live within the limits of the planet. One designer at a time taking on today’s most epic challenges - this is the future of design, the future of making things. ”

Entries will be evaluated on: design considerations that promote circularity; anticipated next life of the materials; identified path to reuse; choice of materials (non-toxic and cyclable); usefulness; and beauty. For full submission requirements and official rules, please visit

Designs may be submitted immediately following completion of the course, and must be received no later than December 1, 2015. To learn more about the circular economy and Cradle to Cradle Certified products, visit For questions, please contact info(at)c2ccertified(dot)org.


About Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute
The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute is a non-profit organization whose mission is to turn the making of things into a positive force for people, the economy, and the planet. They steward the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Products Program, which is a system for assessing and constantly improving products based upon five categories: material health, material reuse, renewable energy, water stewardship, and social fairness. The Institute is headquartered in San Francisco, California with satellite offices in Amsterdam, NL, Venlo, NL and Raleigh, NC.

Cradle to Cradle Certified™ is a certification mark licensed by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.

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