Graphic Design students take the packaging industry by storm
LAU outshines the competition in the 2015 Lebanon Student StarPack Award
Two hundred students from leading Lebanese universities participated recently in the Lebanon Student StarPack Award, a design festival that challenges young talents to find innovative ways to package marketed goods.
LAU was the real winner of the competition, bagging the first three prizes of the Structural Award as well as the Creative Design Award.
“Out of eight prizes, four were awarded to LAU,” says Associate Professor Randa Abdel Baki, who mentored the participating students. “They started the project by proposing ideas they thought were impossible to make. Then they realized that they could not only do it, but could even win.”
For the sixth year in a row, the Lebanese Packaging Center LibanPack organized the competition with the support of the Association of Lebanese Industrialists and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. According to Abdel Baki, the event draws attention to packaging design, which is currently being neglected in Lebanon.
The awards ceremony took place at the UNESCO palace on June 11 in the presence of the Minister of Industry Hussein Al Haj Hassan, leading industrialists, ambassadors, representatives of economic associations, professors and students, all of whom were invited to attend the exhibition showcasing the students’ packages.
Noura Nassar, graphic design student at LAU and winner of the Creative Design Award, got the attention of the food and beverages company Goodies, which is interested in launching her idea on the market. “As a designer, you feel like you have fulfilled your purpose, which is creating something that is useful to the community,” she says.
Having frequently travelled abroad, Nassar experienced first hand the nuisance of having to fit in her luggage a multitude of Tupperware-like containers in order to bring her beloved homemade food with her in the journey. Her invention, a series of cardboard and aluminum boxes that fold into a tube, allows food to be stored with a minimum loss of space.
The first prize Structural Award was awarded to LAU Graphic Design student Hanan Rmaity for her innovative halloumi packaging. As the cheese tends to get ruined once opened, Rmaity decided to divide it into hermetically sealed portions. To encourage kids to eat it, each portion features 3D cartoon-like characters announcing the health benefits of halloumi, and can be separated and reconnected like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
“We all worked really hard to be selected to take part in the competition,” says Rmaity. “Having been trained in things like brand and identity design enabled me to create a product that could win the first prize.”
Second place winner Leen Charara also developed a new way to keep food fresh, this time taking inspiration from origami. Her box of spices allows consumers to use one tablespoon of pigment while the rest remains sealed, avoiding decay and spillovers. More than that, each triangle-shaped portion folds back in the box and remains neatly attached to the lid.
“I think LAU did so well in StarPack because we were not only taught the theory but were given plenty of practical tasks,” says Charara.
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