Dezeen Awards is a "stamp of approval" says past sustainability winner

With just over three weeks left to enter Dezeen Awards 2024, we spoke to last year’s sustainability winners about how their success led to attention and new clients.

Start-up PulpaTronics told Dezeen that “winning generated volumes of inbound interest”, while British company Colorfix said the experience was “inspiring, gratifying and exhilarating”.

“We have received great attention from both Chinese domestic and international media and new potential clients,” said Shanghai-based RooMoo, which took home sustainable interior of the year in 2023.

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Read on to see what last year’s sustainability winners had to say:

Dezeen Awards PulpaTronics trophy
PulpaTronics’ received its yellow-veined trophy for its paper RFID tag made with no metal or silicon

London start-up PulpaTronics was crowned sustainable design (consumer) in last year’s edition for its metal-free and chipless radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags – a type of electronic tracker most commonly attached to products in clothing stores.

“Since PulpaTronics was a very young company at the time, with only two employees that had only been around for six months, we could not believe when we were announced as winners, especially as we were up against some major and well-established players in the field,” said the firm.

“The conversations resulting from winning came at the perfect time for us, as we were carrying out our customer discovery phase,” added the company.

“Speaking to so many stakeholders solidified and validated PulpaTronics as a viable business, and shaped our go-to-market strategy.”

“Propel your idea to the next level”

As a start-up, PulpaTronics believes Dezeen Awards served as a prestigious endorsement and gave it a chance to elevate its concept.

“Dezeen Awards is a unique stamp of approval of design excellence that is closely followed by creative professionals in the UK as well as worldwide,” PulpaTronics explained.

“By entering you have the chance to achieve something that goes way beyond an award and can propel your idea to the next level.”

PulpaTronics is going to conduct its first pilot with eco-challenger fashion brand Petit Pli later this year. Petit Pli, which won wearable design of the year in 2018, develops clothing that grows and adapts to the body, allowing for a longer product life.

RooMoo Dezeen Awards trophy
RooMoo took home a trophy for Dezeen Awards 2023 and Dezeen Awards China 2023

Chinese interiors studio RooMoo, which won sustainable interior of the year for its Laizhou whiskey bar in Shanghai adorned with discarded oak barrels, said it gained recognition and new opportunities after its win.

“After receiving the award, we gained recognition from all our existing clients and opportunities for development with Laizhou Bar in other cities,” RooMoo said.

“Our We-media platforms such as WeChat official accounts, Little Red Book and Instagram all have seen an increase in the number of followers,” it added. Later in the year, the project was also crowned restaurant and bar interior for Dezeen Awards China 2023.

Ongoing projects by RooMoo include hotels in Kyoto, Japan, Jinfo Mountain in Chongqing, China, and Jinze, an ancient town in Shanghai, China. as well as restaurant Black Pearl Tidu, among others.

Dezeen Awards Mikhail Riches trophies
London-based Mikhail Riches’ two trophies placed in front of a model of the Phase 2 Park Hill redevelopment

London practice Mikhail Riches took home the sustainable renovation of the year award and sustainable project of the year for the revitalisation of Sheffield’s brutalist Park Hill estate and hopes the recognition will promote retrofitting in the industry.

“This the first international award that we have entered as a practice and we were blown away by the win,” Mikhail Riches told Dezeen.

“It’s great that this project won plaudits for sustainability, highlighting the importance of carbon in construction when considering the green merits of a scheme,” it continued.

“Retrofit has been considered a slightly unglamorous part of construction and hopefully this recognition will encourage more architects and clients to consider retrofit over demolition.”

Dezeen Awards trophy Reef Design Lab
Reef Design Lab’s trophy is pictured next to its certificate made from seaweed paper

Australian coastal solutions manufacturer Reef Design Lab won for its waterside permeable breakwater barrier modules and said that the recognition from Dezeen significantly boosted the project’s visibility, drawing visitors to explore the location.

“Winning has certainly helped put the spotlight on the project and attracted people to the location where they can explore the project,” Reef Design Lab explained. “We are seeing lots of young people who are getting into snorkelling for the first time visiting the project after reading about it on Dezeen.”

“Our client City of Greater Geelong was very excited about winning an international award and it helped grow confidence in creating less traditional and more ecologically inclusive coastal protection structures.”

“Some great entry categories such as sustainable design (building product) recognise the niche offerings that are coming to the market from unique studios like ours,” Reef Design Lab added.

Colorfix, which won material innovation of the year, modifies the DNA of bacteria, enabling them to produce pigments that can be used for dyeing textiles. The company also considers Dezeen Awards differs from other programmes in its categories.

“Dezeen Awards stands out from others for its unique material innovation category,” Colorfix told Dezeen. “This focus highlights the crucial role of materials in design and recognises the importance of creating better materials for both people and the planet.”

Dezeen Awards 2024 in partnership with Bentley

Dezeen Awards is the ultimate accolade for architects and designers across the globe. The seventh edition of the annual awards programme is in partnership with Bentley as part of a wider collaboration to inspire, support and champion design excellence and showcase innovation that creates a better and more sustainable world. This ambition complements Bentley’s architecture and design business initiatives, including the Bentley Home range of furnishings and real estate projects around the world.

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