The seventh-annual Volvo SportsDesign Forum at the ispo trade show in Germany has announced its theme will be "EcoDesign - form follows sustainability," with speakers and product awards at the event revolving around that topic.
Forum coordinators said the EcoDesign theme focuses on how ecological factors play into the earliest stages of product planning, development and design process, ensuring environmental factors are considered alongside classic product development criteria, such as profitability, safety, dependability, ergonomics, technical feasibility and aesthetics.
Speakers at the forum and presentation of products on Jan. 29 -- the third day of the winter ispo show, Jan. 27-30, in Munich -- will include personalities from different professions -- designers, athletes, leading manufacturers, sports business executives, visionaries, as well as scientists and ecological experts. During the day of workshops and talks, they will share their concepts and perspectives. Also, a series of parallel workshops will be organized by eco, design and sports experts, allowing attendees to interact in smaller groups.
Companies interested in submitting their products for the fourth-annual Volvo SportsDesign Award should step on it, since the deadline is Dec. 21. The competition has already received more than 320 entries from all over the world.
The categories for products are: ski equipment, board equipment, outdoor equipment, apparel, wheelers and accessories. An international jury chooses the top products in each category. Winners will receive a Volvo SportsDesign Award at an award ceremony after the forum.
This year, there is also a special award category called, "material technology, radical solution." For this category, a separate application is not necessary. The jury will award the best overall ecological product out of all registrations. They did advise, though, to send information and an explanatory statement with the registration application detailing why your product should win what organizers are calling the "eco" award.
All nominated products will be showcased at the Volvo SportsDesign Award exhibition, as well as the Olympic Games 2008 in Beijing in an effort to present exceptional sports products to a wider audience. During the ispo trade show, all nominees and winners will be mentioned in a series of PR and marketing activities. And, the winner of each category will be the subject of a press release on its company and product. Also, nominated products and winners will be given detailed coverage in the Volvo SportsDesign Award Yearbook 2008.
Students can also apply for a student's version of the Volvo SportsDesign Award. It is open to students currently registered in any kind of design or technical department at universities. It is also open to young professionals, who earned their final degrees no later than Summer 2005. Participation is free of charge. The top prize is EUR 5,000 (USD $7,328).
Applying for the Volvo SportsDesign Award is free and the application deadline is Dec. 21. To apply, applicants need to submit four pictures of their product, a photo of the designer, 1,500-word description of the product and product samples. Click here for an official application and other details about the award and the event.