With sustainability as its theme, the 2012 Woolworths Making the Difference Through Design competition challenged high school design students around the country to identify an issue affecting the environment and to come up with a creative solution using their own design. HL chats to the winner, Grade 10 learner Artemis Spyropoulos of Redhill High School in Sandton, about her winning design. Congratulations on winning the Making the Difference Through Design competition. What a great achievement. The sustainable design theme is incredibly relevant at the moment. How did you feel about the theme for the competition and what inspired your idea to use recycled materials? The Woolworths Making The Difference Through Design competition 2012 theme provided learners with the opportunity to be innovative, creative and to above all, learn about the needs in their community. What inspired me to use recycled materials for my design is firstly because the brief promoted using recycled materials. I also believe it is important to promote eco-friendly production materials because global warming and detriments to the globe are taking place and green thinking ensures a healthier environment. Tell us more about the different materials you chose to use in your scooter design? I made two scooters – one from recycled wood and the other from recycled plastic. It was very interesting to see the advantages and disadvantages while testing both materials. Using various materials to produce a product is important when considering life span, durability and the overall look and feel. Why do you feel a scooter is a more eco-friendly mode of transport and how do you hope it will encourage ‘green thinking’ in South Africa? I believe that this scooter is a more eco-friendly mode of transport because it actually requires a person’s own force and energy rather than using a battery operator or fuel. I hope that it will encourage people to think green because sustainability promotes a healthier and happier surrounding environment. What are the main aspects of the design? The storage compartment in particular sounds very interesting. The main focus is that it is a mode of transport made from recycled material. It contains a storage compartment for books and stationery and it also converts into a desk for communities that do not have desks. Do you hope to be a designer when you finish school and do you feel that this experience has opened up a possible career in design for you one day? This project has really taught me that design changes lives if you just apply yourself and make an effort. I would love to see design in my future career. Are you looking forward to having your work on display at the Design Indaba Expo in Cape Town? Design Indaba has been the most incredible opportunity! There is so much innovation and creativity on display. I will cherish this opportunity forever. You must be so excited that your design is being developed into a product. Where are the scooters going to end up? It is so fulfilling and heartwarming knowing that Scoot-2-School will begin to change lives after being developed. The entire purpose has been to make a difference and to improve the lives of underprivileged learners. The scooters will be donated to Ibhongo Highschool scholars in Soweto. Why do you feel design is important in everyday life? I feel that design is important because it is everywhere we go. It makes life easier for people and it improves or changes the quality of living. For more information about the competition you can visit the Woolworths website.