The entries, from more than 45 countries around the world, were carefully evaluated to select a shortlist of 11 designs, from which the jury selected the top three prize winners for a total prize pot of £18,000. Each design was assessed on its innovative ideas and consideration for use of old Samsung devices and recycled materials. Among them, a design called ‘Solar Lookout’, a conceptual wildfire detection system powered by renewable energy and composed of recycled Samsung smartphones, has been named the winner.
Three designs were selected as the final winners of the Samsung and Dezeen’s Re:Create Design Challenge.
The competition aimed to discover creative ideas that could potentially help people’s lives and the planet in meaningful ways. Here are the designs that were chosen as the top three winners.
Solar LookoutAbi Lambert, Cade Thurlby, Karl Wagner and Tyler Boshard / USA
Hailing from various locations across the US, designers Abi Lambert, Cade Thurlby, Karl Wagner and Tyler Boshard have claimed the top prize of £10,000 with their design.
The Solar Lookout proposal would see Samsung smartphones repurposed into wildfire detection devices. Powered by renewable energy, the proposal was designed with the ambition to reduce the time elapsed between the genesis of the fire and when it is reported.
Envisioned to be situated in wildfire-prone zones, the devices would sit 10-feet above the ground. At this height, the device would make use of smartphone cameras to detect abnormalities such as fires or smoke, employing AI for accurate identification.
The smartphone would be encased within a perforated metal container camouflaged to blend in with the surrounding landscape. The container would feature an opening to enable the phone camera to capture its surroundings. According to the designers, the phone would communicate via a mesh network and would be developed to able to report geospatial data including weather patterns and air quality.
The designers proposed that the device would be equipped with a 50-watt solar panel affixed to the top of the pole to generate power for the phone and double as a shade to protect it from overheating. To mitigate challenging lighting conditions, the devices would reserve space for a Samsung power bank to ensure extended usability overnight.
RobinLandor & Fitch / UK
One of the two finalists of the competition, Landor & Fitch's proposal, named Robin, introduced a concept of a modular kit empowering children to construct their own products for outdoor exploration. The concept was designed to foster education and curiosity around how products are made and hopefully instill positive recycling practices from a young age.
Robin would be an interactive tool that utilizes components from old Samsung devices, such as cameras, speakers and LEDs. The components would be repurposed into modular parts that can be easily assembled to create diverse products such as a camera, fan and torch.
Memory CapsuleEunsu Lee / South Korea
Lee's proposal, named Memory Capsule, introduced a concept of a recycling campaign in which old smartphones would be transformed into USB devices. These not only would act as a storage device but also symbolically serve as a time capsule to preserve memories in the form of images, videos and other data from old phones.
As a playful nod to its name, the design of the device echoes the form of medical capsules and would feature a transparent cap which, according to the designer, would be made from “recycled polycarbonate sourced from discarded fishing nets”.
The packaging of the device would be crafted from recycled pulp, while the metals and plastics used in the USB would be extracted from various sources of upcycled materials, such as discarded smartphones.
“The entrants really showcased the power of design through a meaningful and sustainable approach to innovation,” Samsung Said.
“The implementation and actual impact on planet remain untested. However, with consistent effort and creativity in mind, we hope brainstorming such small changes could possibly help create our vision for the future together.”Dezeen's official website
The proposed designs by the entrants are conceptual and have not been implemented. No assessment was made regarding implementation feasibility and actual or potential social and environmental impact of the designs, which were judged purely on the strength and creativity of the ideas presented.