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Fighting Global Warming While Breathing New Life Into Trash
Updated 2012-11-09
Jia Ling (right) and Yien Jieh (left), wish the eco-friendly pencil case they designed can benefit underprivileged children.

What do you do with used drink cartons? By designing a simple pencil case, Pang Jia Ling and Tan Yien Jieh has won the Third prize in Eco Design Competition 2012. On the other hand, reminding consumers to reduce wastage on top of creating a functional household apparatus has enabled Kathrin Honesta, Chanella Audy and Clara Christine Wijaya to be chosen for the Best Potential Design Award.

Most drink cartons are produced from a complicated composition of paperboard, polyethylene, wax and aluminium foil. This means it is impossible to recycle them with materials such as cardboard, as the end product might be contaminating. With difficulty in recycling, Eco Design Competition 2012 was given the theme “Out of the Carton”, where designers competed to find ways to re-use these cartons and other recyclable materials.

Armed with in-depth understanding of “what works, what doesn’t and why”, some bold and creative The One Academy students have transformed cartons into useful apparatus. Of the 20 finalists invited to present their ideas to the judges, two teams were from The One Academy.

Pang Jia Ling and Tan Yieh Jieh sewn a zip onto cartons, and a durable pencil case was created; whereas sensing that it’s difficult to pull tissues when the stack runs low, Kathrin, Chanella and Clara stitched together several cartons to produce tissue boxes with adjustable height. Not only that, the tissue boxes are decorated with graphics of city skyscrapers and water pattern, alerting people that trees are fell every time they pull tissue papers, and city might be submerged in water if global warming worsens.

The winning artworks are unique indeed. Jia Ling and Yieh Jieh’s pencil case was appreciated by judges for being simple, since “Good design is as simple as possible”. Their artworks also shared a common feature, i.e. no glue involved. In one workshop, Chanella didn’t use the glue provided by the organizers for it is detrimental to the environment, and was praised by the judges who revealed that “We just put it there to test the contestants.”

Apart from boosting confidence, the participants were benefitted in various other ways. Jia Ling and Yien Jieh learnt that to produce satisfactory result, a thoughtful and detailed planning and strategising is essential. One must fulfill the goal in the greenest way, and the goal here is to produce cost-effective pencil cases for underprivileged children. For Clara and friends, the “message” is crucial. With efficient functionality, the artwork is even more outstanding if a meaningful reminder about melting ice and raising sea level is attached. One of the judges actually said, designing such brilliant stationeries should be the duty of professionals actually.

For these innovative youths, the fine education in The One Academy contributed significantly too. The stringent requirements imposed by lecturers have compelled students to incorporate new ideas and concepts in assignments. This is why The One Academy students tower above the rest in competitions as well as in the employment market.

The winners also have some advices for all aspiring designers. Aspiring motion graphic artist Clara feels it is vital not to stop learning and trying, Kathrin urges everyone to give oneself a chance and be humble, while for Chanella the future animator, one must never be afraid or give up. Jia Ling thinks it’s important to intensify research to understand the requirements while keeping cool, and visual effects artist aspirant Yien Jieh opines that one must have positive attitude and never be complacent.

Winning these awards proves again that these students’ creativity is enhanced with a quality education that emphasises both theoretical as well as practical knowledge, in line with The One Academy’s highly renowned “Masters Train Masters” philosophy. With a profound design sense and boundless love for Mother Nature, we can contribute wholeheartedly to the conservation and sustainability too!