An avalanche of prizes for the talents of tomorrow.

Design is democratic. It is everywhere, popping up whenever and wherever it wants. Earlier in the year, competitions were organised by four very different brands, each of which aims to encourage young talents: the winning students or young design school graduates will be awarded their prizes during Paris Design Week.

On my right meet SYCTOM, a key public stakeholder in the waste treatment sector in the Ile de France. On my left is the famous Iron Lady herself, represented by Eiffel Tower operator SETE. What do these two entities have in common, apart that is from being an essential part of the day-to-day life of millions of Parisians? Well, they both partner Paris Design Week during which they will be presenting the results of the contests that they launched earlier this year. Ladies first (or should that be Iron Ladies first?): from 5th – 14th September, the names of the 12 finalists in the Design Tour Eiffel prize will be revealed at “Paris rendez-vous”, 29 Rue de Rivoli. This competition, run in collaboration with the Ateliers de Paris, invited designers to imagine an everyday object, an exceptional object and a motif that could be used on Tour Eiffel merchandise. The 3 prizewinning products will go on sale in the monument’s shops. SYCTOM has been committed to fostering a more sustainable creative approach ever since 2011: its Design Zero Déchet contest focuses on the design of sustainable goods and services. The reprocessing sectors chosen for this year’s contest are toys, sports equipment, gardening and DIY. The initiative, whose patron is matali crasset, puts the emphasis on the circular economy, notably the idea that an object that is designed with the environment in mind right from the start is easier to recycle. With 110,000 toys ending up in the bin every day and three-quarters of sports equipment that is not recycled the task is immense. First prize was won by a product design student studying for a BTS at Lycée Alain Colas in Nevers: his Air Zero is a football made from recyclable materials that features an alveolar structure which means it is less likely to deflate. From tool sharing and straps made from inner tubes to renting out eco design beach toys, the prizewinning students’ amazing ideas are likely to be manufactured and distributed thanks to the support they receive and partnerships with Decathlon, Leroy Merlin and Rejoué, a non-profit organisation that collects used toys.

Two other contests have a real holiday feel to them. While some students are heading back to school, the lucky winners will be announced and their work exhibited at LE OFF, an event devoted to young creatives that is being held this year on Rue Vertbois. For the second edition of its “Design-moi un objet” competition for young designers, Ibis Styles, the budget hotel where you can immerse yourself in design and creativity on every floor, asked participants to reflect on childhood. The idea was to invent a useful object for parents of children aged 3-8, whether staying in the hotel or at home. The projects were selected by a jury under the patronage of the Studio BrichetZiegler design duo. The first prize will certainly be produced and will become a companion for young guests at the hotel, as well as being available to buy. And finally what would summer be without a glass of rosé? O-I (Owens-Illinois), the world leader in glass packaging, asked participants in its O-I: EXPRESSIONS DESIGN AWARDS 2019 to turn an ordinary bottle into a little masterpiece. In accordance with the theme “l’été en rosé” (summer in rosé), participants had to submit designs that captured the essence of this wine that’s all the rage and turn a commonplace everyday object into something sublime. In fact, thanks to the company’s new digital printing service O-I: EXPRESSIONS, it is now possible to customise glass packaging by printing directly onto the bottle in 2D and 3D, using a wide variety of colours and photos and to create tactile effects by embossing, whilst playing with transparency and opacity. Packaging is such an important aspect in driving sales that a lot is at stake in this highly competitive sector.

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