Red List Design Finalists Named

Oregon BEST and the International Living Future Institute have announced the four finalists in their Red List Design Challenge, which carries $15,000 in cash prizes and was launched to foster development of non-toxic building products and launch new Oregon companies.

The finalists are University of Oregon student Zander Eckblad, Sukita Reay Crimmel of From These Hands, LLC., Stacy Stemach of Stemach Design and Yin Yu, an Interior Architecture student at the University of Oregon.

  • Eckblad’s submission proposes a non-toxic, plant-based cellulose nano fiber alternative to traditional fiberglass insulation. The cellulose nano fiber aerogel, which is derived entirely from plants, has the potential to be three times as effective as fiberglass insulation at an eigth of the cost.
  • Reay Crimmel’s design envisions a commercialized “ready-mix” for earthen flooring. By packaging this all-natural and readily available building material, Reay Crimmel seeks to reintroduce a practical, healthy alternative to traditional flooring options that are often rife with toxic chemicals.
  • Stemach’s Crane Lamp features elegant design free of Red-List materials. The lamp’s straightforward construction utilizes salvaged scrap wood and an energy-efficient LED luminaire.
  • Yu’s Open Window Blind offers a creative way to provide privacy without limiting daylight. The unique shape of the blind is inspired by the cellular structure of pine wood.

The Oregon BEST Red List Design Challenge, hosted by Oregon BEST and the International Living Future Institute, aims to inspire teams to design original, non-toxic and ecologicaly sound building products that meet the demands of the Living Building ChallengeTM and use the rich natural resources of the state of Oregon.

“It’s wonderful to see a competition like this one draw forth innovation,” says Mary Davidge, Principal at Mary Davidge Associates, and a member of the four-person jury panel that chose the finalists. “These product designs have great potential to support the growth of the region’s healthy materials market.”

The four finalists now enter phase II of the Oregon BEST Red List Design Challenge, during which they’ll develop prototypes of their designs with the support and guidance of Oregon BEST. The winner of the design challenge will be announced at Oregon BEST FEST, the Northwest’s premier cleantech innovation conference, September 11-12, 2013 in Portland. First prize for the challenge is $10,000 in addition to assistence with commercialization of the product. The second-place design will recieve a $5,000 cash prize.

“We are excited to work with these four finalists in the coming months to explore the potential for each to meet a real need in the marketplace,” says Johanna Brickman,  Sustainable Built Environment Program Manager for Oregon BEST, “That’s the reward for us in sponsoring this competition – seeing small businesses emerge out of innovation.”

With the finalists of the Red List Design Challenge, Oregon BEST has four product designs with the potential to contribute greatly to the growing market for non-toxic alternatives to common building materials and products.

Judging the contest were:
Amanda Sturgeon
, FAIA, Architect and Living Building Challenge Program Director
Johanna Brickman
, Sustainabile Built Environment Program Manager at Oregon BEST
Mary Davidge, Consultant at Mary Davidge Associates
Jason McLennan, CEO at the International Living Future Institute

Finalists were announced at Living Future 2013, the International Living Future Institute’s annual unConference, this past week in Seattle.

About the International Living Future Institute:

The International Living Future Institute is an environmental NGO committed to catalyzing the transformation toward communities that are socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative. The Institute is premised on the belief that providing a compelling vision for the future is a fundamental requirement for reconciling humanity’s relationship with the natural world. The Institute operates the Living Building Challenge, the built environment’s most rigorous performance standard, and houses the Cascadia Green Building Council and Ecotone Publishing. The Living Building Challenge is the 2012 winner of the Buckminster Fuller Prize.

About the Oregon BEST:
Oregon BEST (the Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center) is the nexus for clean technology innovation, building capability, convening collaborations, and accelerating solutions to environmental challenges that deliver prosperity in all corners of Oregon. Oregon BEST brings together Oregon’s significant R&D strengths in clean technology to support the commercialization of new products and services. Since establishment in 2007, Oregon BEST’s 210-plus Member Faculty have generated more than $83 million in research revenue from federal, industry and foundation sources to Oregon. At its four partner universities (Oregon Institute of Technology, Oregon State University, Portland State University, and University of Oregon), Oregon BEST has established a network of seven shared-user research facilities. Oregon BEST Commercialization Grants are awarded to collaborations between entrepreneurs and Oregon BEST member faculty at partner universities. The first four Commercialization Grant awardees from 2011 have secured more than $1.5 million in follow-on funding, more than six times the total grant amount awarded.

For more information, press only:

Johanna Brickman, Oregon BEST, 503.725.9849, jo.brickman@oregonbest.org
Gina Binole, GBM Communications, 503.234.5770 & gina@gbmcommunications.com