Announcing the winners of the "Design for (Your) Product Lifetime" Student Challenge!


We are excited to announce the winners of the “Design for (Your) Product Lifetime” Student Challenge!

In this design contest, Autodesk, Core77 and iFixit challenged students from around the world to design a smart product that can be easily repaired and will stand the test of time, even if some of its components need to be replaced. Participants used the “improving product lifetime” resources on the Sustainability Workshop to learn design for repair, upgrade, disassembly, recyclability and durability strategies.

It was apparent by the volume and high-quality of the submissions that these sustainable design considerations are on the minds of many young designers as we face a future of increasing environmental challenges and decreasing natural resources. Out of the more than 200 entries, judges selected an outstanding global representation of First, Second and Third place winners, as well as four honorable mentions. Read more about them below. You can also hear from the two 1st place winners in the recording webcast at the bottom of the page. They discuss their designs with Dawn Danby, Autodesk’s sr. sustainable design program manager and one of the contest judges.

For First Place, there was a tie: The Easy Access LCD Monitor, designed by Gabriel Nicasio, Praneeth Pulusani and John Zakrzewski from Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, and the Infigo Microwave, designed by Marshall Jamshidi from Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia.

Figure 1 - Monitor

“The Easy Access LCD Monitor offers a cost benefit to users as well as an environmental benefit in terms of reducing the number of whole monitors which are thrown away rather than repaired,” said Dan Lockton, researcher and founder of the Design with Intent Toolkit and a challenge judge.

Another judge, Kyle Wiens, Co-Founder and CEO of iFixit, commented on the Infigo Microwave, saying, “This idea makes me say ‘This is so obvious, why has no one done this?’ That’s the hallmark of a good design. They combined it with a technical innovation that could dramatically increase safety of repair and increase reliability. That’s what great designers do—solve lifecycle problems in intuitive ways that make people’s lives better.”

Figure 2 - Microwave

Second Place went to Rocio Garcia Ramos and Bernat Lozano Rabella from Elisava Escola Superior de Disseny de Barcelona in Spain for the Smarter Phone. The phone is built on a modular platform that’s designed to be upgradeable. It has removable parts, a customizable interior, and various exterior color combinations for the casing, buttons and structure.

Figure 3 - Phone2
Third Place went to David Ngene from Rhode Island School of Design for the Able Modular Headphones. He used simple materials, and considered durability, part interchangeability, ease of repair, and emotional connection in his design.

Figure 4 - Headphones

Although there was no intention to include honorable mentions, these four designs had to be recognized as each one showed intelligent design thinking with an emphasis on sustainability.

  • A repairable Coffee Machine, by Ronja Ophelia Hasselback from the Folkwang University of the Arts in Germany.

Figure 5 - Coffee Maker

  • The SimpleStream, home irrigation system by William Tham from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Figure 6 - Lawn Sprinkler_0
  • The CleanCut, a durable electrosurgical pen for electrosurgery, by Enzio Lette from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.
Figure 7 - Electrosurgery Device

  • The Cardboard Wireless Router, by Ehsan Noursalehi from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Figure 8 - WiFi Router

Each of the winning designs and honorable mentions will be detailed in our Project Gallery in the coming weeks.