Creative Discovery Challenge powered by NISSAN

Do you have an idea that combines everyday things in a new and creative way?

Results WED, JUL 19, 2023 - MON, OCT 02, 2023

Announcing the Results of the 2023 Creative Discovery Challenge!!

We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 Creative Discovery Challenge!

In this open call, we asked people to propose innovative ideas that aimed to enhance everyday life by leveraging their own unique perspective under the theme of "Bricolage," meaning "making do with what's at hand." We received 200 entries from people around the world over the course of two months.

This challenge gathered projects that wowed us with their ingenuity by applying new ideas to everyday objects and experiences. The Creative Discovery Challenge is proud to present 13 winning projects, comprising four General Award winners, four Next-generation Award winners, and four People's Choice Award winners.

The Commemorative Awards

The 13 selected works and projects will each receive a commemorative award from the organizers. We collaborated with next-generation creator Shoma Furui to create trophies that embody the spirit of "bricolage" by utilizing everyday items and discarded materials.


General Award

The Rebirth of Furniture

by Luling Jing

Curator's comments : Klein Dytham Architecture

The Rebirth of Furniture' project embodies the idea of bricolage in a very direct and strong way.
Cribs typically have a short term usage and then become obsolete, if not passed on for the use of another baby. Cribs have distinctive parts and they can be endlessly remixed into chairs, benches, low tables, coat racks, towel racks and so on. It is a fun way to prolong a cribs short lifespan with a touch of humour!
We hope The Rebirth of Furniture projects inspires people to think about all the interesting possibilities that remixed furniture can hold!

Bottle Cap Capsule Toy Machine

by Fablab Hiroshima Akitakada - Yoichiro Watanabe

Curator's comments : Kyle Li

A successful educational experience motivates the participants to want to know more about the subject matter on their own terms. With capsule machines taking over the center stage of pop culture internationally, this open source project is a profound example of introducing recycling to our younger generation in the best playful way possible. I also love the idea that designing the content of capsules is another opportunity that could take the learning experience to another level. This is an open source project, all of us are able to curate our own version of playful learning and recycling through it, that remix of old and new, playful and educational, is the ultimate bricolage to me.

Doorknob Light (ライト一体型ドアノブ)


Curator's comments : Kimika Tonuma

Whenever there is an earthquake in Japan, many people, myself included, often think, "We need to make more preparations for disasters" but often fail to do so. While it can be challenging to assemble a complete set of disaster preparedness items from scratch, what if there were something simple, something that could be easily installed in any room with a doorknob? I was inspired by the notion that even a small innovation could potentially help someone. Additionally, its ability to be detached from the door and used as a flashlight in everyday life makes it even more practical. This project, which embodies the theme of the award, "bricolage," demonstrates that a solution can be achieved with even the simple combination of a light with a doorknob without the need to collect a lot of materials.

使い捨てない天然素材の歯ブラシ 日本製

by ナエス - Nhes. 自然にかえる歯ブラシ

Curator's comments : Tetsuro Ueda

The theme of this year's challenge was bricolage. The significance of bricolage is that it lets people appraoch things from a different perspective than you usually would in technology and engineering, and it allows people to challenge themselves to create a sustainable future on a more personal level. In this sense, I thought it was an excellent idea to design a service that encourages people to continue using small, seemingly disposable items such as toothbrushes. In the end, I believe that collective efforts that are built upon small but ingenius ideas that can influence our daily lives is the most effective form of sustainability. I would like to try to apply this approach to even cars, which are large and heavy.

Eco Handrail (エコ手摺)

by Junji Kezuka

Curator's comments : Klein Dytham Architecture

Living in a city tower mansions with balconies and handrails are ubiquitous. Also the pandemic has led to an increasing emphasis on the importance of green plants on human wellbeing, which leads to more and more balconies being filled with greenery.
The Eco Handrail is a smart idea combining the necessary safety function with an additional free micro climate control. In winter when the sun is low - and plenty in Tokyo - the water pipes warm and the nearby plants relish. While during the hot summer months the water pipes can release a soothing cool mist.
In an ideal situation the Eco Handrail could create a micro climate buffer zone that would reduce heating/cooling efforts on the interior side of the balcony - wouldn’t that be nice?


Next Generation Award


by Zeynep

Curator's comments : Kyle Li

I have always imagined a future where we coexist with nature and here is the perfect jacket for that occasion. This project may seem far-fetched at first but it illustrates a sincere scenario of human endeavor in the near future given the severe environmental circumstances we are facing. Whether we are forced to that future or by will, I appreciate the designer has already begun to incorporate nature into the thoughtful design process. It really speaks to the improvisational quality of bricolage from now to that coexisting future.

Strawless Turtle Pak

by Malika Chopra

Curator's comments : Kimika Tonuma

As an editor for a media outlet that promotes ideas that benefit society every day, I have consistently featured various alternative materials for straws—such as paper straws, grass straws, and bamboo straws—as replacements for plastic. However, "The Strawless Turtle Pak" challenged my conventional thinking by suggesting that by creatively redesigning paper packaging containers, the need for straws might be eliminated entirely. This project skillfully incorporated the well-known Japanese art form of origami to create something with minimal resources. Given its intended purpose is to be used on the go, it would be fantastic if they could design it in a way that doesn't necessitate immediate disposal after a single use.


by rtzmzm

Curator's comments : Tetsuro Ueda

I think it's true that if it's not enjoyable, it's not sustainable. I think combining the uses of small objects like an umbrella and a shoehorn is an excellent and very "bricolage" idea. However, the true brilliance of the idea doesn't lie there, but in the psychological reluctance people have to touch a used shoehorn—I can see this preventing umbrella theft. I can't help but laugh when I imagine what it would be like if I were to hold someone else's shoehorn. I admire the double and triple-layered thinking behind this idea.

solar crew:空き家が地域をつなぐ防災拠点に

by solar crew

From the Organizers of the Creative Discovery Challenge/DRIVE MYSELF PROJECT :

The ‘solar crew’ project is a beautiful project concept, and it uses bricolage on a grander scale. It is a community-oriented take on bricolage, which also makes use of architecture and renovation. The educational aspect of this project includes teaching young people about disaster prevention while serving as a community center. This can become a strategy for how to use Japan’s ever increasing supply of vacant houses on a national level.
The project proposes that these vacant houses, or ‘akiya’, are renovated to use sustainable energy sources such a solar panels, provide pre-disaster education and post-disaster relief, and create a place for the community to gather. Even the use of the space during both normal times and times of crisis is a form of bricolage in a way.
And although the renovation of 'akiya' in Japan is a concept that is becoming more widespread, this particular project is a really interesting way to solve multiple problems that are very specific to Japan, and bricolage is the method to bring these solutions together.


People's Choice Award

Al Laymoun: Shortened Character-set for Flick-input

by Maroa-Isabell Al-Sahlani


by Nirmal Thomas


by loha




Overall Thoughts on the Submissions/Award

Klein Dytham Architecture

Bricolage is the idea to make do with what we have at hand in order to combine objects and their functions to improve certain situations. This process often results in great solutions that eventually become proper products and facilitate our lives.
It is in this vein that we were quite positively surprised about how many good ideas there are out there which genuinely would deserve support to be further developed and adopted. It was notable though that submissions by a younger generation for the Forward Future Award were mind driven and more software/platform focused, while the General Award included more physical hands-on object bricolage.
The Bricolage Award is certainly inspiring and should definitely be encouraged on a wide scale!

Kyle Lee

I am fascinated by the wealth of imagination and creativity in the submission pool, especially the keen attention to details in the plainsight. Some projects connect the dots in the most unusual ways, some discover brilliant insights from ordinary day-to-day life, some challenge status-quotes that have been taken for granted, and others are imbued with a hint of playfulness which makes challenging times easier to endure. I’ve always thought that designing a better future starts with creating better living experiences with people in mind. This year’s submission has evidenced it in the most spectacular way. I am very honored and excited to be a part of this design challenge.

Kimika Tonuma

With over 200 projects to consider, many of which focused on upcycling materials that are often discarded before being used, it made me hopeful that there might not be such a thing as "waste" in this world if there's creativity at play. Selecting a single winner for the award was challenging, and there were projects we couldn't choose this time. However, among the judges, there were also suggestions that it would be interesting to have an exhibition where people could physically interact with these projects.

Moreover, after examining the statements from many of the projects about what challenge they were tackling, I personally became more aware of issues that weren't very familiar to me in my everyday life, such as how some people don't have the habit of drinking water, the wastefulness present in the cosmetics industry, the high barriers to make donations, and the difficulties some people have in writing by hand. I hope to be able to promote information that can better connect with even more people in the future.

Tetsuro Ueda

I believe that "bricolage" will become an important keyword for sustainability in the future. I believe that the accumulation of small ideas, small targets, and small activities—just like the ones submitted in this challenge—will create a big wave that will let everyone participate in sustainability.
Bricolage isn't something you have to leave to others, everyone can achieve sustainability. It's about using a product for a long time by repairing it when needed. It's about repurposing items into something entirely different. It's about really being aware of what you already have. And above all, bricolage is enjoyable.

I sincerely appreciate the numerous submissions we received focused on this theme. I was able to see the significant potential of bricolage as a path towards sustainability, one that isn't limited to just engineering and that encourages open innovation. Thank you very much.



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