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EcoTrio® is the first place winning design from a design competition held by the (AIA) American Institute of Architects in Chicago. The competition called “reThink / reDesign / reCycle” asked participants to submit a proposal for an ecologically intelligent recycling receptacle for downtown Chicago. Deborah Kang, an architect at Skidmore Owings and Merrill in Chicago, sat beside a colleague at work who was the co-chair of the YAF (Young Architects Forum) affiliated with the AIA (American Institute of Architects), told her about the design competition.
The City of Chicago, with the support of Mayor Richard M. Daley, has developed a Green Initiatives Committee that advances environmentally positive and sustainable practices within the city. This Green Initiatives Committee and the Mayor supported the design competition. Mayor Daley gave the keynote address at the awards ceremony. In his address, he spoke about how he wants to make Chicago a sustainable city.
Over 130 entrants registered for the competition. In the first phase, participants submitted poster boards displaying their designs. Based on these submissions, 25 entrants were selected for the second phase of the competition. In the second phase, the entrants built full scale prototypes of their designs and presented them on Friday August 19, 2005 in Chicago’s Daley Plaza. The prototypes were anonymously judged by a panel of seven judges - architects, designers, waste management professionals and City staff - and the first place was awarded to EcoTrio® at a ceremony in Daley Plaza.
The EcoTrio® is elliptical in shape with three compartments for papers (newspapers, fine paper, magazines), containers (plastic, glass bottles, steel and aluminum cans) and trash. The container section has a circular opening on the top of the can and the paper section is identified by rectangular openings on the side and top of the receptacle.
The container, the EcoTrio® ‘Millennium’, is the winning design, from the ReThink, ReDesign, ReCycle competition, but was redesigned to meet Millennium Park’s requirements. It was produced through the collaboration of the City of Chicago, the Chicago Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and EcoTrio®, LLC. The receptacles that are installed in Millennium Park, are about 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide, weigh about 300 pounds and are deep blue on one side and brushed steel on the other. The final design evolved over time. Originally, there were three sections, but that was changed to two (one for trash, one for recyclables). The capacity increased from 32 to 40 gallons.
EcoTrio® “The Millennium” is the recipient of the 2008 Good Design Award and EcoTrio® “The Food Court” is the recipient of the 2014-2015 Good Design Award “The most prestigious world design award” now in it’s 64th year is the oldest and the most prestigious award program organized worldwide. Founded in Chicago in 1950, together with such pioneers in modern design as Charles and Ray Eames, Russel Wright, George Nelson and Eero Saarinen. Good Design honors the yearly achievement of the best industrial and graphic designers and world manufacturers for their pursuit of extraordinary design excellence.