An example of the projects designed by the students, shown here the range of 'Rainkit' street furniture.
An Italian sustainable design project designed to encourage the use of recycled PVC in applications for water preservation and conservation has produced a number of innovative ideas.
The ‘Enjoy the Rain’ project, promoted by PVC Forum Italia (the Italian Association of the PVC industry value chain) and VinylPlus, the sustainable development programme of the European PVC industry, was held in collaboration with Milan-based Domus Academy, a world-ranked design and architecture school.
During a five-week workshop in 2015, post-graduate design students from all over the world learnt about PVC recycling options and industry policies within the EU and global guidelines.
They then addressed the design, technical and environmental challenges set by the project to use recycled PVC in innovative and functional industrial applications for water conservation and preservation and the added value of rainwater.
The ‘raining’ champions
The students came up with six final projects:
‘Rain Kit’, a range of outdoor PVC street furniture objects designed to act as ‘accessories’ to lamp posts in city streets. As decorative features, they also protect pedestrians enabling them to enjoy the rain while out on the street.
‘Superdry’ multifunctional outdoor street furniture made from recycled PVC pipes and membranes. It provides shelter from rain or sun and can be fitted with a system for collecting rainwater.
The ‘Pipette’ rainwater recovery concept turns into a multi-sensory experience involving touch, sight and hearing. This novel accessory for balconies re-uses end-of-life PVC pipes and fittings for catching rainwater to water plants and as a bird feeder.
The ‘Raindow’ concept, which features a PVC frame with a projecting triangular ‘window’ floating on the external wall providing a 180-degree view to the outside.
‘Indra’ an outdoor PVC and glass relaxation cubicle with an opening roof that allows users to control the amount of the rain entering the space. It can also collect rainwater for cleaning cars or watering the garden.
Finally, ‘RainLAB’, an educational children’s game consisting of modules made from recycled PVC attached with a magnet to the outer glass of a window. Internal knobs allow the child to change their positions from inside the house. The falling rain ‘animates’ these shapes before it is collected in special containers.
Every year, VinylPlus finances a number of communication projects run by sector-specific and national PVC associations. Its main goal is to increase sustainability awareness as agreed in the Voluntary Commitment while at the same time improving the image of PVC as a material of choice.