The 2016 student Living Product Prize has been awarded to a team from California State University, Long Beach for their innovative approach to a water and space-efficient home gardening system.
The Living Product Prize is a new initiative of the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge, an annual team competition hosted by the Biomimicry Institute and the Ray C. Anderson Foundation that focuses on nature-inspired solutions to critical sustainability issues. Entries for the Living Product Prize must meet the rigorous performance categories outlined in the Living Product Challenge (LPC), a program of the International Living Future Institute. The goal of the prize is to highlight design products that mimic nature’s design principles and function as elegantly as anything found in the natural world. There are two awards - a $1,500 prize for a student team, and a $10,000 prize for a team in the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge Accelerator, to be announced in September 2016.
The winner of the student Living Product Prize is the AquaCity Garden, a modular garden system designed for interior spaces that uses less water, is more space efficient, and promotes healthy eating. Designed by Jimmy Huynh, Matt Ulery, Patrick Soriano, and Brian Mar from California State University, Long Beach, this system mounts to any wall and allows you to grow a garden in your apartment without using any soil at all. The team drew inspiration from bees, the lobed comb jellyfish, the Suriname sea toad, as well as the earth’s water cycle to develop this aquaponic system. This student team receives $1,500 and professional coaching to help put their ideas into action from ILFI in recognition of their achievement.
“Biomimicry is essentially a blueprint for any team entering the Living Product Challenge -- it provides time-tested guidance for developing a healthy, regenerative design,” said Biomimicry Institute Executive Director Beth Rattner. “This Challenge is an important part of our growing partnership with the International Living Future Institute. We are working together to transform products and place to be in harmony with nature.”
“The winner of the student Living Product Prize exemplifies the sentiments of biomimicry and the Living Product Challenge--inspired by nature with healthy impacts to the user. We are excited to see what further innovative designs emerge in the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge,” said Living Product Challenge Director James Connelly.
In addition to this student prize, entrants in the open category of the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge may now qualify for a $10,000 Living Product Prize, awarded for a concept that captures the transformative spirit of the LPC – products that are informed by biomimicry and biophilia, manufactured by processes powered only by renewable energy, and operate within the water balance of the places they are made. The winner of the $10,000 Living Product Prize will be announced at the Living Product Expo in Pittsburgh in September 2016, and will go on to compete for the $100,000 Ray C. Anderson Foundation “Ray of Hope” Prize, which will be awarded at the Bioneers Conference in October 2016. Learn more about the Living Product Expo.
About the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge
The Biomimicry Global Design Challenge is the Biomimicry Institute’s flagship challenge, hosted in partnership with the Ray C. Anderson Foundation. It is an annual competition that invites students and professionals to address critical sustainability issues with nature-inspired solutions. Finalists and winners selected by our expert jury are eligible to win prize money as well as assistance in bringing their solution to the global marketplace via an Accelerator program. At the end of the Accelerator, one team will be awarded the $100,000 "Ray of Hope" prize, endowed by the Ray C. Anderson Foundation.
The Challenge is coordinated each year around a theme, or problem area, for which participating teams are asked to design solutions. Learn more about the current theme by reading the Challenge brief and browsing the reference collection. To help teams that are new to the practice of biomimicry, the Biomimicry Institute also provides extensive online resources as well as a directory of experts and mentors who are available as advisors.
The Challenge includes two entry categories: one for students only (high school or university) and an open category, which teams of any composition can enter. Judging and awards are category specific and only entrants in the open category are eligible to advance to the Accelerator program. Learn more about eligibility and categories of entry on the Rules and FAQs page.
About the Living Product Challenge
The Living Product Challenge, a program of the International Living Future Institute re-imagines the design and construction of products to function as elegantly and efficiently as anything found in the natural world. Living Products are informed by biomimicry and biophilia; manufactured by processes powered only by renewable energy and within the water balance of the places they are made. Living Products improve our quality of life and bring joy through their beauty and functionality. Imagine a Living Product whose very existence builds soil; creates habitat; nourishes the human spirit; and provides inspiration for personal, political and economic change.
About the Ray C. Anderson Foundation
The Ray C. Anderson Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that seeks to promote a sustainable society by supporting and funding educational and project-based initiatives that advance knowledge and innovation in sustainability.