• Home
  • News
  • Fashion
  • UPM, Central Saint Martins announce concepts shortlisted for renewable materials product design competition

UPM, Central Saint Martins announce concepts shortlisted for renewable materials product design competition

By Veerle Versteeg


Scroll down to read more


UPM and Central Saint Martins exhibition showcases new, sustainable design concepts developed by students. Credits: image courtesy of UPM

As part of a collaborative project by Finish biochemical company UPM, and Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design (CSM) at the University of the Arts London (UAL), students have developed a number of sustainable design concepts for which they reimagined everyday products by making them from renewable, bio-based materials.

The aim of the collaborative project is to develop alternative solutions to substitute fossil fuels and instead develop design concepts “that have the potential to disrupt traditional product concepts and trigger transformative designs and enable sufficiency, recyclability and reuse,” a press release sent out by UPM reads.

With the initiative, UPM and CSM want to demonstrate how multiple industries can make the necessary transition to the use of renewable, circular material in their products.

Now, eight student concepts who participated in the competition have been shortlisted: a mono-material and modular motorcycle armour, furniture crafted from a single sheet of bioplastic material, a versatile, modular, and interchangeable snowboard binding, a hybrid, modular, electro-acoustic synthesiser made from 100 percent renewably sourced bioplastic.

Furthermore, a student design concept for a stylish ‘plogging’ (a combination of jogging and picking up litter) set combining environmental care, comfort and fitness has been shortlisted, a transformative rationing stamp setting rigorous standards to authenticate sustainability claims, a modular shoe designed to address the prevailing issue of shoe waste by prioritising repairability, and six user-friendly devices for camping.

UPM and Central Saint Martins shortlist 8 student concepts in product design competition

The winning concepts will be announced and unveiled to the public at Design Transforms ‘23, UAL’s exhibition in collaboration with the London Design Festival.

Commenting on the news in a release, Nick Rhodes, programme director, product ceramic and industrial design at Central Saint Martins said in a statement: “Through our stimulating partnership with UPM, we have gained an invaluable opportunity to engage with concrete and pressing needs in design for manufacturing.”

“This collaboration has challenged us to develop compelling propositions that not only demonstrate but advocate for the urgent transition away from fossil fuels to renewable sources in manufacturing materials,” he continued. “This partnership is both challenging and inspiring, aligning with our commitment to transformation through design to a more responsible and sustainable future.”

The shortlisted design concepts are on display at Design Transforms ‘23 at the Lethaby Gallery in King’s Cross, London. UAL’s exhibition Design Transforms ‘23 runs from September 11 to October 15.

Central Saint Martins
Fashion Education