One of the main ways that The Spearhead Group is able to drive innovation is by collaborating with creative people. We see supporting design and engineering schools, such as IED Torino, as an important path by creating a collaborative program. The collaboration with Istituto Europeo di Design Torino, Italy launched in May 2019 with the initial program developing spirits brands and any Physical Brand EnhancementTM that supports them. Unfortunately, because of the Covid-19 pandemic we were not able to run the 2020 competition.
For the 2021 program, The Spearhead Group created, sponsored, and supported an exclusive innovative program with IED Torino students. The students were invited to create innovative upcycled products using the element of PVC rods recovered from industrial processes. Students were briefed on the program by The Spearhead Group, challenging them to create and design objects, products, accessories, or toys using PVC rods along with only common and accessible materials.”Collaborating with companies is a fundamental element of the IED training method. It allows our students to test the skills acquired, to learn to relate to client requests, to understand the dynamics of the market,” declares Paola Zini, Director of IED Torino. “The collaboration with The Spearhead Group makes us particularly proud: it is a great result for us and especially for our students to see how their projects become reality.”
Our 2021 program took a sustainability focus rather than a branding and package development one, by featuring a creative upcycling and reuse element of PVC rods recovered from industrial processes. Through one of Spearhead’s production processes, a waste product of dunnage in the form of PVC rods is created. While it is possible to reuse and/or recycle these rods, Spearhead decided to investigate the possibility of upcycling as a much more environmentally friendly alternative.
The program featured selected participants of six teams, two students per team, that were selected from the Product Design and Jewelry & Accessories Design courses at IED Torino. The teams then competed for 1st and 2nd prize/place. The winning designers each received a cash prize; first place: Euro800 (US$950) and second place: Euro300 (US$350)
Utilizing 50 to 200 rods per team, the students created images/drawings of the proposed idea or product, a physical product and a simple video showing the design concept, solution, and instructions for step-by-step production of the new product. Students were then judged on overall design, functionality, and innovative thinking. Students presented their ideas at the end of May 2021 to Heather Fritzsche, Robert Catalano, Natale Bauducco and Giovanna Pinna.
The first-place winners were Alberto Boscolo & Marta Scialdone with their product “Build It Green (B.I.G). Through the creation of simple structural joints and the insertion of a rope in the pipe section, they designed various outdoor structures for home and garden, leaving the user wide freedom of choice and fulfillment. The first-place solution is a unique connector design that people can easily download, and 3-D print, along with instructions and different applications.
The second-place winners were Debora Raimondi & Giuliana Noto, with their “Pipe-It Up” project. They focused their design on creativity and the connection to mental health, a very pointed topic.
“This year, again, we have been very impressed by the creativity and professional ability of the IED Torino students who took part in this very focused project,” said Natale Bauducco,
European Advisory Board Member.
“I particularly wish to thank Marco Piacentino of FabLab Torino for his leadership and competent coordination of the whole project. We are happy to have had the opportunity to share with him our vision of this “upcycling of PVC material” project, a major part of our Group “cleaner world” vision.”
“We are proud of all the participants at IED Turin; Once again they have proven our methodology that collaborating with creative minds outside of your industry is one of the best ways forward. Special thanks to all those that help make this a successful program.” stated Robert Catalano, CINO and Co-Founder of The Spearhead Group.
Please follow us on our blog and LinkedIn to see more announcements about this year’s program and the previous program, including videos of the winners.