Winners of the 2022 Terra Carta Design Lab Competition Address Emissions, Forest Ecosystems Restoration, and Sustainable Performance Fabrics

ON 04/28/2022 AT 02:22 AM

This year’s four winners of the competition co-founded by Sir Jony Ives, best known for his industrial design leadership while serving at Apple, and Prince Charles, were announced on April 27, 2022.

Terra Carta Design Lab

The image of Jony Ive's Terra Carta Design Lab appears on a banner of the Prince of Wales' Sustainable Markets Initiative website Photo: Terra Carta, via screen capture


The innovations which won top honors at the event were for:

Aerodynamic seed pods made of food waste to aid in plant and tree restoration in the wild

A device for cows to wear which can dramatically reduce methane emissions

The world’s first chemical-free outdoor “performance textile” which is fully recyclable

A technology to monitor the wear of vehicle tires while in use, with the goal of minimizing microplastic pollution as they degrade over time

The awards announcement was made jointly by Jony Ive’s Terra Carta Design Lab, part of the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London, and the Prince of Wales’ Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI).

The competition involved 125 original ideas submitted by teams made of RCA students and alumni. All had been chartered to design what the lab calls “high-impact, low-cost solutions for Nature, People, and the Planet”.

This year’s four winners, each of which will receive £50,000 (U.S. $62,600) along with mentoring from Sir Jony Ive, Chancellor of the RCA, and corporate members from the Sustainable Markets Initiative. They include:



A look at some of the conceptual designs for the aerodynamic seed pods Aerseeds is creating to help with plant and forest repair on a global scale. Photo: Aerseeds, via YouTube capture from Terra Carta Design Awards Video

Aerseeds: The inventors from this fledgling enterprise created nutrient and seed pods made from food waste which have been designed with aerodynamic, biodegradable structures, to make it possible to accelerate regeneration of plant and forest restoration wherever needed. Mimicking natural processes, Aerseeds are carried by the wind to cover large areas and reach difficult terrains where they deliver nutrients and seeds to soils depleted by human activity, for ecological restoration and reforestation.


Methane-digesting mask

ZELP's methane-digesting mask for cattle could cut global emissions from livestock around the world in a big way. Photo: ZELP

ZELP: The Zero Emissions Livestock Project (ZELP) set out to do something about the 1.6 billion cattle around the world which each exhale some 400 liters of methane per day, one of the largest greenhouse gas emissions in the world. Their solution is a unique wearable harness which fits over the animals’ mouths. As the cattle exhales, the methane emitted passes through a catalyst to oxidize the methane and break it down into CO2 and water vapor.



The image above shows a closeup of what Amphibio's unique toxin-free waterproof plant-based performance textile, Amphitex, looks like. Photo: InnovationRCA (of the Royal College of Art), via Twitter

AMPHITEX: The team at Amphibio, the company which makes Amphitex, wanted to find a technology solution and manufacturing methodology for the high-performance textile market, such as for sports and outdoor apparel. While these products are widely used, they share the common problems that they often incorporate toxic materials and are not recyclable. AMPHITEX is the first 100% recyclable and chemical-free outdoor performance textile, while still providing high water resistance and durability. It will be made from a combination of recycled and plant-based feedstock, resulting in a world-first carbon negative performance textile.


The Tyre Collection's tire wear monitoring device.

A view of the concept for The Tyre Collection's solution to monitoring tire wear while the tires are in use. Photo: The Tyre Collection

The Tyre Collective: Microplastic pollution is now considered one of the most serious threats to our planet’s environmental health, and tire (“tyre” in the English spelling) wear is the second largest source of microplastic pollution, next to the use of paints. The new company founded by this group, also the 2020 winner of the James Dyson Award for design innovation, is developing the first patent-pending device to capture tire wear at the wheel, accelerating the shift to zero-emission mobility. It does so by using electrostatics and airflow to capture samples of the tire particles flung off in use. As well as spearheading the capture and monitoring of tire wear, the team are exploring upcycling it into various applications, creating a circular system.


The winners for this competition were selected by the Terra Carta Design Lab Grand Jury, comprising of HRH The Prince of Wales, Sir Jony Ive, Dr Paul Thompson (Vice-Chancellor of the RCA), and representatives of the Terra Carta Design Lab partners Octopus Energy, The Climate Pledge and Bank of America. They will receive £50k funding to help further develop their ideas, along with mentoring from RCA Chancellor, Founder of the creative collective LoveFrom and former Chief Design Officer at Apple Sir Jony Ive, and members of the Sustainable Markets Initiative global network.