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Rico srl

Award category
Shaping a circular industrial ecosystem and supporting life-cycle thinking
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NEW EUROPEAN BAUHAUS RISING STARS: concepts or ideas submitted by young talents (aged 30 or less)
Project title
Rico srl
Full concept/idea title
Products made from cardboard

Having started with a balance bike then a ukulele, Rico intends to create a line of cardboard-based recyclable products for daily use. They are designed to be assembled at home, so parents (or grand parents) and children spend time together building the object, sharing practical knowledge and educating each other about respect for the environment. The aim for Rico is to change people’s perception of objects, with a shift towards increased sustainability.

What is the geographical scope of your concept/idea?
Does your concept/idea address mainly urban or rural issues?
It addresses urban-rural linkages
Does your concept/idea refer to a physical transformation of the built environment or other types of transformations?
It refers to a physical transformation of the built environment ('hard investment')
Has your concept/idea benefited from EU programmes and/or funds?
Has your concept/idea won an EU prize?
How did you hear about the New European Bauhaus Prizes ?
Word of mouth (colleagues, friends …)
On whose behalf are you submitting the application?
As a representative of an organisation
Please provide a summary of your concept/ idea

Rico is a project who believes could have a real impact on people's consumption habits. Rico has as purpose to build a line of sustainable and recyclable products for daily use. 

The first product we developed is a balance bike 95% made of cardboard. There are no similar products on the market. The great thing about this balance bike is that is meant to be built by parents (or grandparents) with the child (or grandchild) together in order to spend some quality time together. The balance bike arrives at home with single components and an instruction book to build it. During the constructions happens 3 things (that are basically the purpose of our project): 1) the parent and the child spend some time together; 2) there is a transmission of practical knowledge between the parent and the kid; 3) there is a transmission of value, respect for the nature and the environments in general from the parent to the child. This is exactly what Rico aims to do: create a community of sustainable people who consciously decide to buy sustainable products and educate their children to this mindset.

Our second product was a cardboard ukulele, made for more than 90% by cardboard. Music is a fundamental part of everybody’s life nowadays, especially in education. Why don’t do it with a sustainable product, rather than a metallic/plastic one?

Please indicate the main themes of your concept/idea with 5 key words
Time together
Please give information about the key objectives of your concept/idea in terms of environmental sustainability (including circularity) and how these would be met.
Please highlight how the concept/idea can be exemplary in this context

What we would like to do is to create final products that can be completely and 100% recycled in a continuous way.

Ideally, one day, we would like to purchase back the broken or not used anymore product from our customers and use these materials who came back to produce other products in order to become self-sufficient and to achieve the objective “zero environmental impact”.

Please give information about the key objectives of your concept/idea in terms of aesthetics and quality of experience beyond functionality and how these would be met.
Please highlight how the concept/idea can be exemplary in this context

One of our founders (we can say our main founder and CEO of the project) is a designer.

He started this project 3 years ago. What makes our products a real revolution is not only that they’re made with cardboard, but that they’re aesthetically appealing (see pictures enclosed), resistant, and perfectly functional from a technical point of view.

We want also that the child who builds our products with his hands develops not only manual skills but also design skills and vision.

Please give information about the key objectives of your concept/idea in terms of inclusion (equal opportunities, public participation, citizen engagement, co-design, universal design, accessibility, affordability, etc.) and how these would be met.
Please highlight how the concept/idea can be exemplary in this context

One of the main purposes of our project is to give to every child the possibility to have a toy to play with.

Unfortunately at the moment, this is not possible.

Many children from all over the world have no access to toys. Building toys with such an economic material like cardboard would give us to create toys with a really low cost in order to make them accessible also to third countries children.

Please explain how these three dimensions would be combined in your concept/idea.
Please highlight how this approach can be exemplary

Environmental sustainability, aesthetics, and inclusivity are 3 key concepts behind our project.

Environmental sustainability – our products are already environmentally sustainable and we aim to improve that aspect more and more by purchasing back products once the usage ends.

Aesthetics – our products are bord from a design mind and the design and the beautiful aspect is something that is essential in all the products we produce.

Inclusivity – for all the children of the world. Not only for their leisure time but especially for their education.

Please highlight the innovative character of the concept/idea as compared to mainstream practices in the field of the concept/idea.

Rico project is innovative in the sense that creates well known and useful products but with a completely different approach, sense, and especially material.

Cardboard has always been considered a fragile product, not very resistant.

With our innovation, we proved that cardboard can be a really hard, strong, and resistant material if combined in the proper way. And we’re the first ones.

Please detail the general plans that you have for the further development, promotion and/or implementation of your concept/idea.

We want to reach all the countries of the world. Of course, this is a great purpose and it might be utopistic, but we want to believe that one day the new generations will think of cardboard as a normal material and they should feel comfortable in purchasing an object made in cardboard without believing to be fragile.

Both our products are already covered by European patents.

We are already in contact with design magazines, no-profit organizations, and international toys distributors to make this project great.

Many products are already in our pipeline. Stay tuned!

Imagine that your idea/concept is awarded in the New European Bauhaus Prizes 2022. What kind of initiatives would you take throughout the following year (June 2022- June 2023)

We would use the money of the award to further develop and expand the project; to create new products and why not, we could create a product dedicated to this award with a special focus to all the main characteristics of this european prize: sustainability, aesthetics and inclusivity! We already have some ideas in mind!

By ticking this box, you declare that you are not in in one or more of the exclusion situations foreseen under Article 136 of the Financial Regulation.
By ticking this box, you declare that all the information provided in this form is factually correct, that you assume sole liability in the event of a claim relating to the activities carried out in the framework of the contest, that the proposed concept/idea has not been proposed for the New European Bauhaus Prizes 2022 in any other category or strand and that it has not been subject to any type of investigation, which could lead to a financial correction because of irregularities or fraud.
By submitting your application, you guarantee that you are the author or have the rights to proceed with the application and to authorise the use of the project, concept, idea, and that you have obtained any necessary consents, licenses or assignments from third parties and included copyright notices when necessary.
By submitting your application, you understand that all the applications that meet the eligibility requirements will be shared for the purposes of the selection processes, and notably published on the secured platform and for the purposes of the promotion of these on the New European Bauhaus website and/or other European Commission communication channels. In this sense, the applications would be widely available. Applicants should ensure that they present their ideas, concepts, projects, in such a way that they could be shared without giving rise to intellectual property related concerns. If your submission is selected as one of the finalists, it will additionally be shared for the purpose of the public vote that will take place. The European Union is granted a licence to use and share your application with the general public and the official external experts for the purposes of the selection process, including the voting. The European Union has the right to use the images and visual materials and the description provided in the application for communication purposes related to the contest and beyond. Rights granted comprise the right to store, reproduce, display, publish and communicate or distribute copies in electronic or digital format, including, but not only, through the internet. Unless you have disclosed your name, the European Commission has no obligation to share your name when using or disseminating your contribution to the public. The European Union cannot be held responsible in case any submitted idea, project, concept is found to infringe third parties rights. The European Union shall be neither responsible for the use that third parties may do of the applications or related content.


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