33 | The (foamed) material dreams are made of

International designers bring the plastic EPP to new types of shape
An extremely lightweight and yet very robust sports helmet, a versatile piece of furniture, the first bird house made of EPP and a protective cover for a Christmas bauble - these are the winners of the International EPP Design Award 2009/10. More than 60 entries revealed all the capabilities of expanded polypropylene (EPP). On April 20th, the EPP forum has awarded the four best ideas in Bayreuth.

Flex-HelmThe first prize of 4000 euro was awarded to the duo Ämilios Grohmann and André Kieker from plx Grohmann Kieker GbR (Hamburg). The designers developed a protective helmet made of EPP - the FLEX helmet - and combined two main features of the foam by this means: protection and low weight.

Peter Knopp, member of the jury and regional manager of the association Verband Deutscher Industrie Designer (VDID), was impressed: "plx Grohmann Kieker GbR formally seizes current sporting trends mixed with technical charm, which turn this helmet into a "must-have" of an adolescent target group."

The second awardee emphasizes the mutability of the EPP objects. The Milanese designer Philipp Bruni shaped a versatile piece of furniture out of the foam, the "little g". There is all in one: a comfortable chair, a cosy lounge chair or a convenient bar table.

"I really would like to experience this piece of furniture in tangible form. A successful draft", enthused Knopp. This EPP project was endowed with 2000 euro.

A small EPP revolution, which enters the animal world, is the bird house "piEPP!". The colourful home for the feathered friends was originated by the creative persons Julie Weideli (Suiss) and Leif Heidenreich (Germany).

Member of the jury Johann Scheiber, designer from Austria, was in raptures about the "grandiosely sober construction" and added with a wink: "In this size perfect for in nests brooding piEPP families with an exquisite taste." The jury acknowledged this draft with the third place and a prize money of 1000 euro.

Every year the same story: Innumerable Christmas baubles get broken. The solution: "Shield sphere" of Markus Bischof. The designer from Nürnberg created a protecting spherical shape made of EPP, which contains the fragile glass ball in the inside.

The shield sphere also scores with its look: It fascinates with a play of light and shade, shine and structure. The comical object won the jury over. Markus Bischof can be pleased with the special award of the EPP forum.

The members of the jury Hans Wörthwein, chairman of the EPP forum, and Dr. Michael Hohl, Lord Mayor of Bayreuth, applauded the multitudinous very creative and partially scurrile entries. Michael Hohl: "Having received so many brilliant drafts, it was hard to make a decision." For the EPP forum as well, the International EPP Design Award 2009/10 was a success: "Due to the numerous extraordinary ideas made of EPP", said Wörthwein, "the branch of EPP could think outside the box and detect new chances as well as capabilities."

In 2009, the EPP forum advertised the second International EPP Design Award. The response was remarkable. More than 60 extremely inventive entries have reached the EPP forum. Twice as many as the ones of the first Design Award in 2008. And: Whereas the concepts last time predominantly came from Germany, the jury caught sight of creative ideas from all over Europe this time. On March 12th, the ten best designs of the 61 entries were chosen by the jury - among these also the four winners.

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