Developed by Particle with the support of the Embassy of Italy in Kuala Lumpur, Social Furniture is a design competition that calls for new ideas to rethink how waste plastic can be reshaped into social furniture using circular design thinking.

The competition is free to enter for students and recent alumni from any country in the world. It is open for registration until the 15th of November 2021.

The 10 best proposals will be published in the exhibition Sostenibilita’ that will be launched in February 2022.

The contest has total prize money of €6,500, a top prize of €3,000, €1,000 for selection finalists and global exposure for finalists and top ten projects.

Social Furniture

Courtesy of Neulhae Cho

How will we live together?
A question that social furniture aims to answer.

What differentiates a piece of social furniture from furniture in general is the emphasis on the element of conviviality over that of functionality, thus encouraging people sharing a public space to interact with one another.

THE CHALLENGE IS TO DESIGN A SOCIAL FURNITURE PRODUCT FOR INDOOR OR OUTDOOR USE IN URBAN AND RETAIL SETTINGS.

Brief

Designing a place for digital nomads living hybridized contemporary lifestyles.

Designing a circular economy narrative and social furniture characterized by free-flowing curves and co-working type functionalities.

Designing modular and flexible products to leverage large scale 3D additive printing and giving new life to recycled plastic waste.

Promoting partnerships between public and private sectors to build a future that embraces the circular economy.

credit: © Vincent Kneefel / The Ocean Story www.theoceanstory.com

A circular economy approach across industries stops the flow of waste plastic into landfills and our oceans.

Design Challenges

1
How does your proposal Rethink Circular Conversion in a particular industry?
2
How does your proposal Rethink Community Participation?
3
How does your proposal socialize the current Shift in Consumer Behavior?

Awards and Prizes

Prize Winner
€ 3000
+ Certificate
Finalists
€ 1000
+ Certificate
Innovation awards
€ 500
+ Certificate
All the awared proposals will be shared on the finalist website of the Sostenibilita’ exhibition.

Downloads

Timeline

Jury

Francesca Lanzavecchia
Hunn Wai
Bruno Bolfo
Dr. Zafri Merican
Maria Cristina Didero

FAQ

Is social furniture different than standard furniture?

Yes, the term ‘social furniture' encompasses a wide set of urban design. What differentiates a piece of social furniture from furniture in general is the emphasis on the element of conviviality over that of functionality, thus encouraging people sharing a public space to interact with one another.

Is the context of use for social furniture only within an urban context?

Yes. However, this includes retail shops and ‘brandspaces’ that are adaptable for activations and events. Please consider large public urban spaces (main squares, stations, etc.) and smaller spaces (co-working or sidewalk areas, and extensions to cafés or retail shops).

Is social furniture for indoor or outdoor use?

Both. A social furniture product fits indoor or outdoor use in multicultural, dynamic and potentially crowded urban contexts or indoor brand or retail environments. Modularity and resizing are keys to leveraging on the flexibility of 3D printing.

Is social furniture also for use by the general public?

Yes. Retail and sidewalk cafes are key application areas for the general public. However, to make a strong design statement and increase marketability, we believe the furniture must be appreciated by digital nomads living hybridized contemporary lifestyles.

Is a new technical process and manufacturing approach necessary?

No. Your design leverages 3D additive printing techniques utilized by our technical partner. More information on production is available in an instructional video from our technical partner. Also, for more information refer to: https://sculptur.se/additive-manufacturing/

Is the new product design restricted in size and dimension?

Maximum height and width are set at 3mt x 2,1 mt, while there is no limit to length. A maximum volume of 5m3 is highly suggested for production efficiency, while bigger designs will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Is it mandatory to use the plastic waste material mentioned in the brief for PLA or PP-EPDM?

It is highly recommended to use the materials mentioned in the brief, but this is not mandatory. It is allowed to propose new materials that are fabricated from recycled waste and given new life which illustrates the intelligence of new approaches to technologies, business models and partnerships between public and private sectors. You can send a request to ask@particle.art specifying the waste plastic you want to use, and we will evaluate technical feasibility. For more info refer to: https://sculptur.se/additive-manufacturing/

Is it allowed to add new team members or modify the composition of the team after registering to the competition?

Yes, it is allowed to add new team members or modify the composition of the team at any timeuntil the upload deadline. These updates are available from your team account, or you can send a request to ask@particle.art specifying your individual or team ID.

Is there a mandatory format for the three storyboards?

It is highly recommended to use standard proportions of 16:9 for viewing on desktop and mobile devices, however this in not mandatory. It is allowed to use the dimensions and formatyou believe will best display your project idea. It is not allowed to exceed 5MB for each storyboard. Original visuals shall be uploaded separately with a limit up to 10MB.

Is the descriptive video mandatory? How will it be used?

Yes. A descriptive video is mandatory and can be informally produced with a mobile device. The purpose of the concept is a pitch or short story that shares your thinking and insights with the jury and engage the general public audience. Thus, no sales arguments and pleas to the jury for selection are clearly undesirable. The duration of the video is < 1 minute (format MP4, maximum 40MB).

Is enrollment in an accredited design program necessary to take part in the competition?

As mentioned in the brief (“Rules” section), participation is open to students currently enrolled in a university program and recent alumni that at the time of registration graduated from a university program within the last two years. Individuals and teams can include members coming from different accredited university programs, countries, cities or universities.
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