London students freeze out the competition with their Cool Box for the Developing World

Press release - 3rd July 2003

First-year students Christopher Glaister (Islington) and Martin Yong (Barnet), students at the Royal College of Art, were awarded a prestigious BSI Environmental Design Award last night.

They received their prize of £2,000 at the annual awards ceremony held at the Royal College of Art.

The young designers produced a winning idea by inventing The Cool Box, made from concrete. The Cool Box can be built locally and through evaporation keep food and basic medical supplies fresh for longer periods. The Cool Box can be cast in situ, using simple wooden moulds. Once set it can be used as a structural building block within a wall, thus exposing its outside surface to the elements and encouraging evaporation.

Christopher commented, "It's fantastic to receive an award for our Cool Box. The BSI Environmental Design Award has really encouraged me to consider the importance of environmental and quality standards in my work."

What is the BSI Environmental Design Award?

The BSI Environmental Design Award was established by the British Standards Institution to encourage students at the Royal College of Art to promote research into the effect of environmental and quality standards on the performance of their design. The BSI/Royal College of Art partnership reaffirms the thinking that good design, best environmental practice and profitability can work hand in hand.

Designers are encouraged to consider how their invention will impact on the environment in which they operate, how they can use the environment to enhance their design and how they can highlight environmental challenges through their design.

Martin says, "The moulds required will initially be dispatched as a simple plastic kit. Eventually we hope to just transfer the Cool Box specifications, and no actual physical objects will require dispatch. It is hoped that the Cool Box will be an application of appropriate and local technology".

Sir David John, BSI Group Chairman, presented the award and commented, "I am delighted to be able to present Christopher and Martin with this award on behalf of BSI. Their design addresses both social and environmental issues in relation to the developing world. It's both original and innovative, highlighting the relevance and importance of environmental considerations in the design process."