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Revolutionary Disaster Relief Shelter Wins 4th Saatchi Award

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 8:42 am    Post subject: Revolutionary Disaster Relief Shelter Wins 4th Saatchi Award
From Fri Jan 27, 2006 3:00 am to Mon Jan 30, 2006 2:59 am (included)
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Revolutionary Disaster Relief Shelter Wins Fourth Saatchi & Saatchi Award for World Changing Ideas
Chris Anderson, Edward de Bono, Philip Glass, Baz Luhrmann, Lou Reed, Sue Savage-Rumbaugh and Oliviero Toscani on Judging Panel

NEW YORK, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Concrete Canvas, a rapidly deployable hardened shelter for disaster relief has won the fourth Saatchi & Saatchi Award for World Changing Ideas, it was announced today at a high profile presentation ceremony.

The global Award, formerly known as the Saatchi & Saatchi Award for Innovation in Communication, is worth US$100,000, and is made biennially by the Ideas Company, Saatchi & Saatchi (http://www.saatchi.com/innovation).

Concrete Canvas (http://www.concretecanvas.org.uk/) is a timely and poignant winner in the context of the recent devastating earthquake in Pakistan and the tsunami a year ago.

The innovation is the brainchild of two post graduate Industrial Design Engineering students from London's Royal College of Art, Peter Brewin and William Crawford. "Concrete Canvas", they say, "provides the infrastructure necessary for aid agencies to communicate and operate effectively anywhere in 12 hours. With shelter and medical facilities it is possible to rebuild shattered communities from day one of a crisis."

Their shelter needs only water and air for its construction. One untrained person can put up the structure in under 40 minutes and it will be ready to use in 12 hours. The shelter consists of just two elements: a cement impregnated fabric, which is bonded to the outer surface of an inflatable plastic inner.

The unit is delivered folded in a plastic sack and weighs 500 pounds (227 kilos). Four can be delivered on a pick up truck or light aircraft.

The cloth is hydrated, the plastic lining inflated, and the shelter is ready to use in 12 hours. Although it's very quickly erected the shelter could last for 10 years, compared to the less than three weeks some tents last in Afghanistan's hash, windy conditions.

Concrete Canvas emerged as the winner from a shortlist of 11 finalists from around the world.

Bob Isherwood, Saatchi & Saatchi's Worldwide Creative Director and the convenor of the Award said, "the finalists were an extraordinary selection of inspired and inspiring ideas. The fact that amongst the finalists, a new Braille writing machine was competing with a cornstarch substitute for plastic, a laser-based cancer cell detector, and a free web-based encyclopedia, demonstrates both the healthy state of ingenious thinking around the world and how communication is at the heart of every human activity".

The judges who evaluated the ideas included TED Conference's Chris Anderson, pioneer of lateral thinking, Edward de Bono, composer Philip Glass, film director Baz Luhrmann, musician, Lou Reed, primate communications expert, Sue Savage-Rumbaugh and photographer, Oliviero Toscani.

They were briefed by Isherwood to choose the idea they believed had the greatest world changing potential - either in terms of the individual's world, a society's world or the whole world.

"The judges recognised that Concrete Canvas answers a need that has been thrown into particularly sharp focus this year with the impact of the tsunami and the Pakistan earthquake," said Isherwood.

Saatchi & Saatchi established the Award to recognise, celebrate and promote ideas that have the potential to change the world by making possible, improving or revolutionising communication.

The US $100,000 prize is made up of US$50,000 cash and the equivalent of US$50,000 in Saatchi & Saatchi marketing consultancy.

At the same ceremony, Edward de Bono presented his Medal for Thinking to innovator, Roger Armour for his radical Lens-Free Ophthalmoscope, saying that he selected this finalist, "because of its simplicity and application".

The eleven finalists, all exhibited at the Award ceremony, were;

BIO-SOLAR ENERGY NANODEVICES - minute solar cells that use spinach to convert sunlight into electrical energy.

CONCRETE CANVAS - rapidly deployable hardened shelters for victims of natural or man-made disasters.

FROZEN ARK PROJECT - plan to save the DNA of all Earth's endangered species.

JOT-A-DOT - the first real innovation in Braille writing in 50 years.

LENS-FREE OPHTHALMOSCOPE - simpler, much less expensive than traditional models, for carrying out accurate, highly revealing retinal examinations.

OPTICAL STRETCHER - uses laser beams to detect cancer cells, and can also isolate adult stem cells for medical research.

PHOTO-FORM TACTILE GRAPHICS - creates bas relief tiles of 2 dimensional images, so 'pictures' can be 'seen' by a blind person's touch.

PLANTIC - substitute plastic packaging, 90% made from renewable cornstarch. Dissolves in water.

SPLASHPOWER - recharges cell phones etc wirelessly when placed on mouse mat-sized pad.

SUBVOCAL SPEECH RECOGNITION - NASA project. Interprets tiny neural impulses sent from brain to vocal tract to communicate, rather than sounds.

WIKIPEDIA - free-content, on-line encyclopedia, written collaboratively by volunteers worldwide.

Website: http://www.saatchiny.com/
Website: http://www.concretecanvas.org.uk/
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