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Volvo SportsDesign Forum to address sustainability at ispo_winter 08

The VOLVO SportsDesign FORUM will address cutting-edge topics at ispo_winter 08 under the banner "EcoDesign - Form Follows Sustainability"

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The 7th VOLVO SportsDesign FORUM is taking place in January 29, 2008, at ICM, the Munich International Trade Fair’s new congress centre. This year’s event, presented in cooperation with ispo, the world’s largest sporting goods and sports fashion trade fair, focuses on sustainable SportsDesign under the headline “EcoDesign – Form Follows Sustainability.”

The 4th VOLVO SportsDesign AWARD will be presented at the conclusion of the forum.

By addressing EcoDesign at ispo_winter 08, the VOLVO SportsDesign FORUM once again offers a platform on which to highlight the work and thoughts of pioneering and unconventional thinkers, industry insiders and branch experts from sports and design. Also attending will be representatives from environmental groups, politics, society and the media. The forum will offer fascinating insights into how the optimization of the production chain and use of new technologies in sports design can support the responsible use of our natural resources. First-rate lectures by international experts from science and industry will shed new light on EcoDesign, while workshops and an expo will showcase trendsetting products with intelligent SportsDesign.

Amid efforts to protect our natural resources in an era of climate change, EcoDesign is more vital and relevant than ever to both consumers and companies. Environmental issues and resource-consumption are future-oriented concerns that will substantially change the way we choose materials, designs and production methods.

“There’s no business to be done on a dead planet!” So said Patagonia Vice President Rick Ridgeway at the VOLVO SportsDesign FORUM 2007, underscoring the need to produce products and commodities in a manner that is both environmentally and socially acceptable.

“The future is in an intelligent approach to SportsDesign that is functional, beautiful and good for man and nature all at once,” explains Stefan Jansson, head of exterior design at Volvo Car Corporation in Göteborg, Sweden. “Bringing together ecology, economy and social aspects has to be the main focus for tomorrow’s SportsDesign.”

In short, the product of the future has to be designed and produced in a way that guarantees it is health-conscious, long-lasting, reparable, re-usable, easy to dismantle and recyclable.

International experts signal the way for better and more beautiful design

What type of design makes a company more successful? In the past, successful products were largely the result of form-based innovations. In the future, however, products must offer more than an aesthetically pleasing exterior. In lectures and workshops, industry experts at the VOLVO SportsDesign FORUM will underscore the necessity of finding a design process that embeds the principle of sustainability into the entire value chain.

Mathilda Tham, a designer and expert on sustainability, will host the event and explain the fundamentals of EcoDesign. Companies including bluesign, Atomic and Patagonia will address the production of ecologically intelligent sports apparel and equipment by analyzing the production chain. Designers such as Ross Lovegrove will speak about the challenge of designing products from carefully selected materials when there’s more at stake than just aesthetics. Chemist and material expert Michael Braungart will explore his idea of a “Cradle-to-Cradle Design,” focusing on products that are economically successful, environmentally friendly and health-oriented.

The Presentation of the VOLVO SportsDesign Award 2008

The crowning moment of the VOLVO SportsDesign FORUM will be the presentation of the VOLVO SportsDesign AWARD 2008. In its fourth year, this internationally acclaimed design award recognizes works with outstanding design concepts and innovative, future-oriented ideas — works that are dedicated to one goal: developing and enhancing an environmentally friendly, economical and sustainable SportsDesign. Representatives of the sporting goods industry, designers and students have been invited to compete, and a jury will present awards and distinctions in six major categories: ski equipment, outdoor equipment, apparel, wheelers, accessories, and concepts. The jury will also award a special prize for student entries.

About the VOLVO SportsDesign FORUM and VOLVO SportsDesign AWARD

The VOLVO SportsDesign FORUM and VOLVO SportsDesign AWARD are initiatives brought about by VOLVO Car Corporation Göteborg and ispo Munich. Based on the premise of a continuous process of improvement, the goal is to adapt sports design to the challenges of the future. The event takes place annually at ispo_winter in Munich and is attended by leading representatives from the fields of economics, science, industry, design and sports.