ZINC CHALLENGE
2021-2022

Coming Soon!

  Test your design skills. 

WHAT IS THE ZINC CHALLENGE?

The Zinc Challenge is a competition created for industrial design students who are currently enrolled at a College or University in North America. Students are encouraged to use their imagination to create, design, and develop new products in zinc.

Three winners will be selected, and each participant or group will receive an award. A $2,000 award will go to each of the top three winners and $1,000 will be donated to their faculty advisor for use at his or her discretion within the department.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THIS YEAR’S WINNER!

ZINC CHALLENGE: 2020-2021

 

Title: Ting! Skate Armor

Designer: Leo Lickfold

School: University of Wisconsin – Stout

Instructor:  Dave Richter-O’Connell

Judges’ Comments:

  • Good arguments why to switch from plastic to zinc (strength, ductility). High score for originality.
  • Quite original, puts plastic into the penalty box!

Title: Inchiku Jig

Designer: Bryce Lee

School: Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design

Instructor:  Pascal Malassigne / Chevis Watkinson

Judges’ Comments:

  • Good presentation, the renderings are nice and it is a good design. It also addresses a topic that is important in the industry ~ toxicity.
  • Love the execution, attention to details and the non-toxic shout-out.

Title: Clothes Hanger

Designer: Szymon Salamon

School: Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design

Instructor:  Pascal Malassigne / Chevis Watkinson

Judges’ Comments:

  • I love the Sticky Note ideation ~ fantastic presentation. 
  • This is exactly what the competition was about: substitute other materials with zinc.

PREVIOUS WINNERS

ZINC CHALLENGE: 2019-2020

Wearable Electronic Device

Please note that winners are listed in no particular order.

Title: Light Acumen

Designer: Sidona Bradley

School: University of Oregon

Instructor:  Kiersten Muechinger

Judges’ Comments:

  • “I really like the design. It is unique and original, and it’s clear the designer has thought through many of the challenges of wearing and using such an inventive product.”
  • “The use of zinc (rigid material) makes sense in this wearable.”

PREVIOUS WINNERS

ZINC CHALLENGE: 2018-2019

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) – Shielding Capable Document Holder 

Please note that winners are listed in no particular order.

Title: Virago Wallet 

Designer: Brooke Harrington

School: California State University at Long Beach

Instructor:  Jose Rivera-Chang

Judges’ Comments:

  • “The designer clearly understands how the properties of zinc contribute to the functionality for RFID shielding while providing thin walls and the superior surface finishing needed for a high end product.”
  • “Utilizing zinc for the RFID wallet and the stylish clasps ties the design together.”

Title: RFID Wallet 

Designer: Hannah Altshuler-Hansen

School: University of Oregon

Instructor: Kiersten Muenchinger

Judges’ Comments:

  • “The designer complements the warmth of zinc with the use of natural materials on the inside of the wallet in this simple and functional product.”
  • “‘Zinc came out ahead for castability when compared to other possible materials in this design.”

Title: Bikebox 

Designer: Theo Hassim

School: Southern Illinois University – Carbondale

Instructor: Tao Huang

  • “The designer’s choice of ZA-27 alloy provides high strength and RFID shielding for this application.”
  • “Cycling is growing in popularity and this design adds secure storage to the bike.”

ZINC CHALLENGE: 2017-2018 – GLASS SUPPORT BRACKETS

Title: Minimalist Utensil Shelf

Designer: Jess Park

School: University of Oregon

Instructor: Jim Arnold

Judges’ Comments:

  • “I like the concept of this design. A very minimal design for utensils only, allowing for more drawer space for other kitchen products. The glass container can also be washed.”
  • “The student makes use of zinc die casting’s high fluidity to make thinner walls as well as the use of ribs to help strengthen the part.”

     

Title: Glass Support Brackets

Designer: Justin Schwarting

School: University of Wisconsin – Stout

Instructor: Benjamin Pratt

Judges’ Comments:

  • “I like the interesting design for hanging glass giving increased flexibility with unlimited wire angles.”

  • “The student takes advantage of the ability to cast accurate dimensions and zinc’s corrosion resistance, which are both important for this application.”

Title: Vulcan: The Modern Balcony

Designer: Simon Elser

School: Purdue University

Instructor: Ted Lu

Judges’ Comments:

  • “I like the use of various bracket designs for the different locations and functions on the balcony rail.” 

  • “The student recognizes the ability of die cast zinc alloys to resist corrosion and still look shiny and beautiful.”

ZINC CHALLENGE: 2016-2017 – COMMERCIAL KITCHEN PRODUCTS

Title: Ulfberht Knife

Designer: Bryan Varga

School: University of Oregon

Instructor: Beth Esponette

Judges Comments:

  • ‘I liked the ergonomic look of this knife, and there may be an application for zinc in knife handles in general.’
  • ‘Very well executed design process. Benefits of using zinc shown in good detail.’
  • ‘Well executed design development with interesting historical reference.’

Title: Save-A-Shot

Designer: Garen Gibbs

School: Purdue

Instructor: Ted Lu

Judges Comments:

  • ‘This is a good add-on product and clearly a good choice in zinc.’
  • ‘Excellent concept presentation. Imaginative solution to a barista’s problems.’
  • ‘Simple aftermarket add-on product with wide market potential and easy integration.’

Title: Zinc Faucet

Designer: Cole Sippel

School: University of Wisconsin – Stout

Instructor: Benjamin Pratt

Judges Comments:

  • ‘Although zinc is already used in faucets, I liked the novel idea of using electronic controls on the nozzle. The reason for using zinc was clearly presented.’
  • ‘New imaginative approach to a one control faucet. Excellent execution of the design process.’
  • ‘One hand control of all functionality of the faucet improves on existing designs.’

ZINC CHALLENGE: 2015-2016 – OUTDOOR CAMPING PRODUCTS

Title: Tinderbox

Designer: Garrett Warnick

School: University of Oregon

Instructor: Elizabeth Esponnette

Title: MODU

Designer: Jacob Stranahan

School: University of Oregon

Instructor: Elizabeth Esponnette

Title: UMB Light

Designer: Robert Caswelch

School: Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

Instructor: Tao Huang

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