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Composites Exhibition Continues its Tour

  • Sunday, 16th September 2007
  • Reading time: about 3 minutes

The international travelling exhibition showing a variety of creative objects in composite materials, Composites on Tour, is continuing its European education and awareness programme.

The exhibition is currently in Ljubljana and will continue to Paris, Eindhoven and Wenen. The exhibition comprises of the work of the two winners of the International Composites Design Competition, along with another twenty selected entries and a small number of items suggested by the jury. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue to explain and illustrate the entries.

The remaining itinerary of the travelling exhibition is:

Fuzine Castle Lubljana, SI 3/09 – 30/09/07
Cité de la Science Paris, FR 1/11 – 13/11/07
Dutch Design Week, Klokgebouw Eindhoven, NL 20/10 – 27/10/07
Design Austria Wenen, AT 15/12 – 15/01/08

The International Composites Design Competition saluted designs in which composite materials have been used to the best effect and in an intelligent and innovative manner. The competition was open to professional designers from all over the world: individual designers, design agencies and corporate designers. The entries were divided into two categories. The first category comprises products that were brought to market between 1 January 2003 and 1 September 2006. The second category comprises experimental yet production-feasible prototypes. The winner of each category received EUR 7,500.

The winner in the products category was the Big Bench by the Danish duo Poul Christiansen and Boris Berlin (Komplot Design), a sofa that can be extended to a length of 6 metres. The composite materials used in the design give the sofa excellent support characteristics, despite its slim and elegant appearance. The sofa is available in semi-transparent composite or with a lacquered finish in a range of colours.

The winner in the prototypes category was Sébastien Dubois from Canada, who designed a prosthetic foot. The main consideration in the design of the artificial foot was to keep production costs as low as possible, so that it can above all be used in developing countries. The design also recently won an Index: Award for design.

The 69 entries submitted by 55 participants from 17 countries were judged by an international jury.

With Composites-on-Tour-2, the KU Leuven and Design Flanders opted resolutely for an international approach. The competition was open to designers from all over the world and the exhibition will be travelling from Brussels to Paris, Barcelona, Budapest, Ljubljana and Eindhoven. This cross-border strategy promotes international networking between designers and the business community. This type of cross-fertilisation often also leads to innovative product development.

Composites-on-Tour-2 also aims to bring the science closer to the general public. The design exhibition is accompanied with a small scientific exhibition that explains how research and development in the field of composites influences everyday life. It shows visitors in an informal and interactive manner how composite materials are made and why they have such unique properties.

The design competition and the travelling exhibitions are part of the Composites-on-Tour-2 science communication project, a joint project of Design Flanders and the KU Leuven. This initiative follows on from the first composites project, Composites-on-Tour (2002), which was awarded the European Commission Descartes Prize for Science Communication.

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