Red Cup Project announces winning design

They hope to have the project constructed at Thornden Park on April 19.

The Red Cup Project announced “The Red Cup Spheres and Lines” as the winning design for the competition a few weeks ago at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry Gateway Center

The Red Cup Project originally started as a group project in the School of Architecture class ARC 500: Politics of Public Space taught by Associate Professor Lori Brown. Three Syracuse University architecture students and one student from SUNY-ESF run the project.

In October 2014, the project members formed installations made of red Solo cups that they collected on campus in order to raise awareness for sustainability and environmental issues. Seeking more ideas for design installation, the project members announced the design competition on Feb. 9 and the submission process went on until March 6.

“We are looking for creativity, feasibility and audience engagement from the submitted designs,” said architecture senior Vinh Van Vo, a project member and designer of the initial red Solo cup structures. He said they recruited four judges for the competition, told them what they were looking for and let them make the choice.

Leslie Baz, an architecture senior and a project member, said the judges included Brown, Martin Hogue, a visiting assistant professor at SUNY-ESF, Timothy Toland, an associate professor at SUNY ESF and Emily Zaengle, executive director of Stone Quarry Hill Art Park.

Liam Donaher, a freshman majoring in landscape architecture, designed “The Red Cup Sphere and Lines." Donaher suggested that the red cups be attached to each other on the brim by tapes and clips and thus small and large spheres of red cups would be formed with the rims of all the cups facing outside. For the lines, he designed a 10- to 60-foot chain made up of dozens of red cups. Finally, Donaher showed a layout of the spheres surrounded by chains with a walkway in the middle.

“I just tried to make a sphere of the red cups, and they fit together very well,” Donaher said. “Hopefully, people will like it.”

Kathryn Chesebrough, one of the group members and a landscape architecture senior at SUNY-ESF, said the winning design would be first installed at Thornden Park on April 19 during the Earthfest. Later on, the project members would send the cups to TerraCycle, a company that recycles materials and repurposes them into affordable, innovative products. The members would then bring a chair from the company made of No. 6 polystyrene, a plastic that the red cups were made of and also can't be recycled in Syracuse. They would present the chair in the neighborhood on Euclid Avenue, where they picked up most red cups.

“Our work is not yet complete, and the red cups can be transformed in totally new ways,” Chesebrough said.

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