September 17, 2012

Alcoa Canada design contest finalists unveiled - Table set for the grand finale!

Competition gets fiercer in this new industrial design competition focussed on the arts of cooking and entertaining.

Alcoa Canada Primary Products Group and partners, Association of Industrial Designers of Québec (ADIQ) and Québec Ministry of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade (MDEIE), are pleased to announce the names and concepts of the five finalists shortlisted in the Setting the table for aluminum contest. Launched on May 25th, the contest is an invitation for industrial designers from across Québec to tap into their creativity and propose a utilitarian object made primarily of aluminum and destined for the kitchen or world of the table. From among the 15 entries received, the panel of judges has selected 5 proposals which stand out by reason of their novelty and their adherence to the principles of ethical, sustainable development.
 
The teams of finalists are as follows: Diane Bisson and Pierre Laramée of Socialement créatif; Luc Bourgeois, François Couillard, Damien Cally, Frédéric Gaudet, Étienne Bérubé, Amadou Ba Ndiaye and Romain Zolfo of Brio Innovation; Marie-Josée Laberge and Mario Primeau of Primeau Designers; David Mitchell of Innovdesign; and, Amiel Lapalme. Each of the five finalists has each received an amount of $5,000 to produce a concept design sketch. The grand prize winner will be announced on October 16th during MIssion Design's ‘Facteur D’event. An amount of $25,000 will be awarded the grand prize winner to allow the latter to pursue development of the winning concept.
 
Charles Godbout, chairperson of the panel of judges, ADIQ member and laureate of the contest's inaugural edition, was decidedly impressed by the quality and relevance of the projects shortlisted. "The diversity of the proposals submitted by the five finalists will never cease to amaze me. Clearly inspired by the contest theme, the designs brought forward redefine in-home eating area and entertainment concepts through concrete solutions to issues of modern-day concern."
 
Spotlight on the top-rated concepts
The concepts submitted by the five finalists open up promising avenues for the development of new, aluminum-based products ripe with commercial potential for Québec manufacturers. Well thought out, ingenious and aesthetically pleasing, they present clever, innovative solutions for maximizing interior and exterior living spaces and rethinking everyday objects based on ever evolving in-home dining trends.
 
Back to the future with the Urban Mess Kit
For design partners Diane Bisson and Pierre Laramée, serving dishes receive precious little attention when, in fact, it would behove us to regard them as the new table essentials. To provide for optimal expression of conviviality and sharing when dining with family and friends, they have imagined the Urban Mess Kit which comprises three utensils and five service dishes intended for a variety of uses. Made of recycled aluminum, each piece in the set is readily recognizable by organic texture and anodized colour. Their concept puts a fresh face on the mess kit, an object certain to bring back a flood of memories. In so doing, this once familiar object enjoys a newfound place at the table in keeping with modern-day conventions and usage. The project also comes replete with a community action component which provides for a percentage of proceeds from the sale of the Urban Mess Kit to be donated to organizations which come to the aid of the homeless.
 
Balcony eating area unit for urban dwellers
Space availability on apartment or condo balconies is not always conducive to the layout of a proper eating area. To remedy the situation, accomplished designers Marie-Josée Laberge and Mario Primeau (www.primeaudesign.com) have created a balcony eating area unit certain to prove popular with many an urban dweller! The main structural component is fixed to the balcony railing and then fitted with a folding, adjustable table made primarily of aluminum which is light, recyclable and weather resistant. On the structural uprights is a chain mechanism to operate the built-in brise-soleil which can be lowered at the end of the day and stowed behind the railing. Atop the structure is a solar lighting system complete with solar collector and LED bulbs.
 
Chair/stool of unrivalled flexibility
When the table is set for dinner, it is still necessary to ensure that guests are comfortably seated for cocktails and the sit-down meal! The chair/stool, developed by up and coming designer Amiel Lapalme, provides an inventive solution to the problem. Guests can choose between two seating heights, ensuring that they are as comfortably seated around the kitchen island as they are at the dining room table. Manufactured almost completely of aluminium, the chair/stool boasts a contemporary look and since aluminum naturally resists oxidation, it is also suited for use outdoors. Practical, lightweight and compact, the chair/stool can be a permanently fixture in the kitchen, or folded and stowed after use.
 
Please be seated at the barbecue!
When warmer weather finally arrives, nothing beats gathering outdoors for a meal prepared on the barbecue! The talented team of Luc Bourgeois and François Couillard (www.brioinnovation.com) have developed Wahu, a cooktop which enhances the conviviality of outdoor eating. One could say that it provides for the summer equivalent of a mid-winter raclette or fondue meal. In the 'closed' position, Wahu is a compact table designed for urban use. When the two top panels are separated, a central aluminum structure is revealed to which a number of accessories can be affixed based on user needs (barbecue, service tray, ice bucket). The use of aluminum and torrefied wood lends the table decidedly contemporary aesthetics while providing for an eco-conscious product from the triple standpoint of manufacturing, use and recyclability.
 
New style cutting board
Skilled designer David Mitchell (www.innovdesign.ca) focused his energy on an everyday kitchen object in need of an upgrade: the cutting board. Indeed, no commercial cutting board has yet to effectively address the issue of food management once ingredients have been cut or chopped. His enhanced cutting board comprises a reversible board set on a solid aluminum base to which attaches two aluminum containers. The cutting board surface has been redesigned to facilitate the transfer of chopped ingredients from the board to the detachable containers which occupy the surface area normally used for setting aside chopped food.  Aesthetically appealing, each component of this new style cutting board is fully recyclable.
 
Alcoa Canada Primary Products Group
In Québec, Alcoa Canada Primary Products Group (PPG Canada) comprises the Baie-Comeau, Deschambault and Bécancour (ABI) smelters, as well as the Bécancour rod plant. These four plants have an annual production capacity of over one million tonnes of ingots, castings, billets and aluminum rods. Alcoa boasts some 3200 employees in Québec and company activities generate over $1.3 billion in annual economic spin-offs for the province. Alcoa supports aluminum processing in Québec through involvement in Alcoa Innovation, a non-profit organization which provides design and engineering services to Québec companies interested in using aluminum. For further information, log on to www.alcoa.com/canada and www.alcoainnovation.com
 

Back to the future with the Urban Mess Kit





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Balcony eating area unit for urban dwellers





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Chair/stool of unrivalled flexibility





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Please be seated at the barbecue!





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New style cutting board





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