Aedán Hamrock, a first-year art and design student at the National College of Art & Design (NCAD), has been named as the overall winner of the Kingspan ‘Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose’ sustainable design competition.

The sustainable design challenge, created and sponsored by Kingspan Water & Energy, offered NCAD students the opportunity to showcase their talents in designing and creating objects using second-life material. The competitors were working with powder that was created from recycled Kingspan oil tanks and other Kingspan products. The purpose of the competition was to showcase the importance of and possibilities for re-using plastics.

Aedán’s winning design, titled ‘Energy Data Visualization’ impressed the judges not only through the actual design but with the conceptual meaning behind his work. This installation piece seeks to communicate some of the advantages and drawbacks of different sources of energy through “data physicalisation”, comparing energy sources like solar, wind, gas and nuclear in terms of carbon emissions generated per energy unit.

Aedán Hamrock commented: “My project was inspired by my research at the beginning of the elective; looking at the threats of man-made climate change, and the necessity of transitioning to carbon neutral energy production. My hope is that my piece will encourage further interest and research into the resource requirements and impacts of different forms of energy generation. Ecological and economic sustainability are central to our energy future.”

Thomas Jefferson, Head of Marketing, Energy Management at Kingspan, says: “We are thrilled to be partnering with NCAD for the second year on this innovative and challenging project that addresses some of the environmental and sustainability issues that we all need to work harder to address.

“At Kingspan, we passionately believe that we must change the way we manufacture, design and build for a better future. Working with the creatives of the future, we wanted to challenge the students to design and create a project using recycled material from some our divisions’ materials, including domestic oil tanks, bottle banks and sewage treatment plants, bringing a second life to the material.

“Aedan’s winning design impressed us with its simple interpretation of a very complex message regarding energy production. It’s an informative piece that could easily sit within an exhibition, educating others on energy use and choosing a more sustainable life.”
As part of the ‘Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose’ initiative, encouraging the ongoing use of sustainable design, Kingspan donated a laser cutter to NCAD. The final creations were brought to life by the new technology, creating an array of impressive final pieces, varying from desktop storage stations to customizable jewellery.

Commenting on the partnership with Kingspan, Tara Whelan, Interaction Design Lecturer at NCAD adds: “This creative partnership with Kingspan has given our students the opportunity to work on a really inventive and educational project, reinforcing the importance of using reclaimed materials and of their versatility.

“The students were given the choice of five different materials to work with, all of which were products manufactured by Kingspan, but that had been recycled and ground back down to powder form. I’m very proud of the range and quality of submissions from our students, especially as they were working from home without the resources that are available within the art and design studio. It’s been a challenging semester but for our students to produce such a high calibre of work is really impressive and demonstrates how hard they have worked, despite the challenging of studying from home.”

The students’ designs and creations were showcased via a virtual judging event and judged by Pat Kane, founder of reuzi; Derek McGarry, head of innovation and engagement at NCAD and Thomas Jefferson from Kingspan Water & Energy Ltd.

Commenting on the quality of entries and the winning project, ecopreneur and founder of reuzi, Pat Kane says: “Reducing plastic consumption is the way forward, but if plastic is already in circulation, then we must look at ways to reuse it. As an advocate of sustainability, I was particularity interested in getting involved in this project that challenged the students to get creative, think outside of the box and create usable objects using material that is already out there.

“The students’ projects are the perfect example of how diverse materials can be. From Aedan’s winning submission to pieces of jewellery and customizable wearable art, this was an incredibly innovative brief that both educates students and encourages new thinking.”
The three other highly commended entries were from Thomas Kelly from Kilteel, Co. Kildare; Nikolas Ryan from Ringsend, Dublin and Al Fartukh from Ongar, Dublin.

Denise Maguire   Editor of Irish Construction Industry Magazine

Email: denise@mcdmedia.ie      WWW.MCDMEDIA.IE