“Young Creations Award: Upcycling” goes to Estonia for the first time

Upcycling products are becoming more and more popular – in both the fashion and interior sectors. With the 3rd ‘Young Creations Award: Upcycling’, Heimtextil in Frankfurt am Main has once again presented an award devoted to the principle of sustainability. New this year was the opening of the competition to young designers from all over Europe. And on 14 January, the ‘Young Creations Award: Upcycling’ went to Kairi Katmann from Estonia.
The product – a carpet/room separator – is made of leftover fabric and wool pieces that are come from the HAMK tekstiiliverstas (Finland) weaving machine Dornier.
The product is made for handicapped or disabled people who have no sight or very little sight. The fabric has good tactile qualities.
The pieces carry stories or instructions for the blind that they can read by touch.
“The subject of sustainability has been a component part of Heimtextil for many years and is more than just a trend theme for us”, said Heimtextil Director Ulrike Wechsung, during the presentation ceremony. “That we have been able to generate great enthusiasm for the upcycling principle, especially among young designers, is shown by the first-class entries for our competition.” Altogether, 22 up-and-coming designers and interior architects submitted entries for the ‘Young Creations Award: Upcycling’.
The jury of experts was particularly taken with the ‘Storytellers’ project by Kairi Katmann from Estonia, which focuses on the subject of ‘Pre-Consumer Waste’ and artistically finishes web-edging material in a manual process. According to the jury, “This simple idea results in an original product that, for example, can be used as a room divider or carpet.” The jury members were Carina Bischof of Upcycling Store Berlin, Corinna Francois of ‘bestofdesign.org powered by rooms for free e.V.’, Prof Jan Armgardt of Aachen University of Applied Sciences, Oliver Schübbe of OS2 Designgroup and Prof Auwi Stübbe of Coburger Designforum Oberfranken e.V. In addition to the cash prize, the winner’s product will be included in the Upcycling Fashion Store Berlin.
The jury also gave two special awards. Christine Herold and Anne-Sophie Schwarz of Darmstadt University were singled out for their ‘Junk Yard’ model, which focuses on recycling products from the automobile sector. In the jury’s opinion, “The students found outstanding applications for a variety of materials, from steering wheels and airbags to safety belts, and have given great thought to their use whereby the hanging chair is particularly successful”, explained the jury.
Another special award went to Kikki Stokstad Haug of Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim and Simon van Kampen of Folkwang University of Arts in Essen for their project, ‘Looped’. An all-purpose bag, ‘Loop’ is distinguished by an extremely clever detail and, according to the jury, “It is a knot that makes the bag a very special object and pushes design into the background. With this innovative technique, the designers have succeeded in weaving the individual tube sections into a new material.”
The jury also saw a great potential for realisation in the ‘Nubis – sleep while travelling’ project by Shirin Fachar and Franziska Steingen of Darmstadt University. The jury was delighted with the hammock for cars: “A completely new idea that we highly commend to the automobile industry. The design is well described and also well executed. The only thing missing is implementation in accordance with upcycling principles.”

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Posted by Solveig Jahnke