// Presentation

The “BIODESIGN” competition aims to challenge young designers and final-year students of design courses in Portugal to develop product design proposals that utilize the innovative and sustainable application of bio-materials. It is an experimental initiative in the field of product design that explores the universe of bio matter, namely materials and ingredients of organic origin and their intersection with digital technologies.

The contest is part of a larger initiative, “BIODESIGN – Meanings of Design for Circular Bio-Economy”, which aims to reflect, develop and disseminate creative content on the subject, culminating in the development of original prototypes developed in fab-lab environment of digital manufacturing.

// Challenge

The proposals to be presented should be contextualized within the theme, “BIODESIGN – Meanings of Design for a Circular Bio-Economy” – namely the use of commercially available biomaterials (or in the implementation phase) and use them in innovative design solutions aimed at new audiences and markets, considering the principles of sustainability and the Circular Economy.

The challenge is to design an object according to the categories proposed in the briefing (see list of categories, below), using commercially available bio-materials (see material suggestion list), and possible to be produced with digital manufacturing technologies – e.g., 3D printing, CNC, Cutting laser, lathe, digital printing. It is important to note the scale of the objects, taking into account the physical limitations of the technologies to be considered by the candidates in the proposals.

// Categories

The projects to be submitted in the context of the competition must belong to one of the following categories:

Category 1 Furniture (small piece or use of a modular structure)
Category 2 Light fixture
Category 3 Accessory (e.g. home, office, fashion, souvenir)
Category 4 Free – small scale (it will have to be framed and justified in the scope of the Circular Economy theme).

// List of Materials and Technologies 

Examples of materials and technologies that may be considered are:

SHEETS / TEXTILES (natural materials) Sheets of paper or fabric from Seaweed, Banana, Mushroom, Wine, Cork, Latex (natural rubber), Cocoa. Laser Cutting, Cutting, Sewing
FILAMENTS (e.g. PLA with biopolymers and other natural materials) Filament of Bamboo, Wood, Cork, Cotton, Stone, Clay, Seaweed, Coffee 3D printing
BLOCKS / BOARDS Bamboo blocks / Plates, Expanded Cork, Foams (natural materials) Coconut fiber. Subtractive Manufacturing – CNC, Lathe, Laser Cutting
GROW IT YOURSELF MATERIALS Mushrooms Production of Molds with CNC or 3D Printing
GRANULES (with the addition of a Natural Resin) Granules from residues of coffee, cocoa, sugar cane. Production of Molds with CNC or 3D Printing
LIQUID / MOLDABLE SUBSTANCES Liquid latex, Beeswax (beads for melting), Soya beeswax (flakes for melting) Production of Molds with CNC or 3D Printing

// Participants

Participation in the “Biodesign” competition is open to ‘young designers’ include graduates (designers who have completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree in design within the past 5 years) and final-year design students (who are currently in the graduation year of a bachelor’s or master’s degree in design) at the date of submission of the proposal. The maximum age of participants is 30 years at date of submission. The contest is open to participants of Portuguese nationality, or foreigners residing in Portugal.

Participants may submit projects individually or collectively, without limit to the number of projects. In case the participation is collective, a representative must be appointed for communication purposes, and all participants must meet the above-mentioned age and ’young designer’ criteria.

// Application and Submission of Proposal

To formalize participation in the “BIODESIGN” competition, the following procedures must be considered:

It is mandatory to fill out the online application form and submit the proposal according to the procedure described in  REGISTER & SUBMIT PROPOSALS area . In this same area the participants will find the instructions to upload the proposals in digital format.

Each registration must correspond to a registration and submission process. If the candidate (s) wish to submit more than one proposal, they must register individually for each proposal.

The online submission of proposals is mandatory, and these must be prepared in digital format. For this purpose the following formats are accepted: PDF; DOC; JPEG; TIFF; SWF; AVI; MPEG. If more than one file is sent, they must be compressed (either ZIP or RAR), up to a maximum of 5GB, which must include all the requested elements (see ‘Elements for the Presentation of the Projects’ below).

//  Elements for the Presentation of the Projects

Submission for all categories should include the following documents with the developed proposal:

a) Online Application Form.

b) Descriptive report (up to 2 A4 pages, with: Project title, Concept description, Indication of materials and digital manufacturing technologies to be used for the production of the prototype and whenever possible a budget forecast should be made, with materials, for the execution of the prototype.

c) Three-dimensional visualizations (3D / Renders) of the object.

d) Technical drawings of the object.

e) Photographs (concept, studies, model/mockup) – optional.

f) Any other files considered relevant (e.g. videos) – optional.

Supported formats: PDF; DOC; JPEG; TIFF; SWF; AVI; MPEG

High-resolution images: High-resolution images should be sent whenever possible, or they will be requested to the participants of the contest at a later stage, for the purposes of the printing of the contest visual communication materials.

// Calendar

The competition calendar includes the following phases:

Competition Phase Date
1. Opening of the Competition and launch of the Brief to young designers. 26 June 2018
2. Deadline for registration and submission of proposals, including: Registration form and files with proposal according to the regulation. Proposals are submitted online at the project website at . July 29, 2018 (until midnight).
3. 5 or 6 proposals will be selected by the Jury and the authors will be invited to develop the prototypes of their proposals. Individual meetings will be scheduled for prototype planning (via Skype or face-to-face). Between 30 July and 5 August 2018
4. The prototypes will be developed in a fab lab environment at FabLab Lisboa, Design Factory Aveiro or other FabLab space (to be agreed with the participants depending on their area of ​​residence and availability of the respective entities). Between 6 August and 5 September 2018
5. The final prototypes will be integrated in one or more exhibitions of the Biodesign initiative, as well as in their communication media. Between 15 September and 15 December 2018
6. The winner of the contest will be announced at the Biodesign exhibition in Lisbon. To be announced

// Awards

The jury will select a winning proposal, which will receive a prize in the amount of 500 € (Five Hundred Euros), as well as facilitate the acquisition of materials for the production of the prototype, up to a maximum of 200 €.

A maximum of 5 Honorable Mentions will also be awarded, the materials of which will be procured for the production of a prototype, up to a maximum value of 200 € per proposal. The effective value will be discussed with the winners of the honorable mentions, taking into account the quantity and commercial value of the materials necessary for the realization of the prototypes.

The winning project and honorable mentions will be awarded a certificate of participation in the Biodesign Competition, and promotion of the projects will be guaranteed in the communication media, namely on the project site and in one or more of the planned exhibitions (Lisbon, Porto and / or Aveiro and London).

// Evaluation Criteria and Scoring to be Considered by the Jury in the Selection of Proposals

Originality of the selected theme and innovation of the proposal 20%
Integration into / relevance to the Circular Economy 20%
Adaptation of the proposal to the technological potential of the selected biomaterials 20%
Feasibility and ease of production of the proposal with digital manufacturing technologies 20%
Definition of target markets and specific business sectors 10%
Quality of visual presentation of the proposal 10%
TOTAL 100%

// Legal Terms of the Contest

Projects that are incomplete or in formats other than those requested will be excluded from the competition.

The prototyping of the winning proposals is conditioned by the possibility of producing them through digital manufacturing.

The winners of the contest will be asked for high resolution images of their projects, as well as their rights of use, to include in the catalog and promotional media of the project.

// Jury

The Jury for the evaluation and selection of the projects submitted to the competition consists of:

. Director of SUSDESIGN (Portugal and United Kingdom), Designer Doctor Ana Mestre.

. Director of House of Design (Netherlands), Designer Eileen Blackmore.

. Vice President of the Portuguese Society of Materials (Portugal), Professor Jorge Lino.

// Jury Evaluation

The International Biodesign Competition Jury will convene for the selection of the winning project and honorable mentions after reception of proposals.

The jury reserves the right, in a reasoned manner, not to award the prizes. In this case, the organization reserves the right not to include proposals in the exhibitions and communication media of the Biodesign project.

The members of the jury, their affiliates, and employees of their organizations cannot compete for the prize.

The duly justified decisions of the jury on the winning entries must be taken by majority vote. In case of a tie, the vote of the Chairman of the Jury (representative of SUSDESIGN) shall prevail.

Further doubts about the legal aspects of the projects can be clarified by SUSDESIGN at

// Public Exhibition and Collection “Biodesign”

In addition to the development of design projects and prototypes, the Biodesign initiative also includes the following phases:

  1. Website development, which will include research content related to the Biodesign theme, as well as an area dedicated to the projects developed by the Young Designers.
  2. Development of one or more exhibitions where Young Designers’ projects will be integrated and shown to the public by the end of 2018, on dates and places to be announced.
  3. Possible commercialization of the projects under the brand, “Biodesign”, by SUSDESIGN. This phase is dependent on the viability of the selected proposals. A service / agency contract will be proposed to the authors considering 5% royalties on the sales price of the pieces.

More information on the exhibition and the Biodesign collection will be revealed to the authors during the last semester of 2018.

More information in permanence at