Mimaki Europe has partnered with video game giant Minecraft and French government administration to deliver a nationwide competition aiming to raise awareness of social and environmental issues amongst young people.
Having seen over 1,200 entrants vying to create the ultimate sustainable town using Minecraft’s video game platform, Mimaki’s 3DUJ-553 3D printer was used to produce the winning design as a printed model gifted to the victor.
The competition ‘Villes et Territoires de demain’ was judged by professionals ranging from Microsoft and IGN executives to architects, social media influencers and government officials from France’s ‘Ministère de la Cohésion des Territoires et des Relations avec les Collectivités Territoriales’.
Whilst aiming to inspire creativity and ingenuity through its focus on design, artistic quality and originality, the competition primarily called for participants to imagine innovative solutions for an array of pertinent social and environmental issues. The complex entry criteria for each virtual town included fostering biodiversity, optimising water and energy management, improving quality of life and providing solutions to combat climate change. In an additional nod to modern technology and youth culture, a walk-through of each entry was also published on video streaming and social networking platform, YouTube, by its creator, with the level of public engagement on each entry factoring into the judges’ final decision.
With a 3D printed model of the winning virtual map part of the grand prize, a painstaking process translated the design from a virtual video game format to a workable print model - a process which took over 19 hours.
“As a company which has long been committed to preserving the environment and finding solutions for greener products, this competition was an absolute honour to be a part of,” said Thierry Lim, area sales manager, Mimaki. “It has been very inspiring to see so many conscientious and visionary young people engaging with technology to explore environmental solutions and imagine living spaces with sustainability at the core. To be able to push technology even further and actually bring the participants’ designs to life in front of their eyes is a real privilege - and that is entirely down to the capabilities of the 3DUJ-553.”
Judges named a total of nine winners across four categories: Young Individuals, Young Teams, Adult and Professional Teams, and Educational Projects, as well as an ‘Audience Prize’ and overall ‘Special Jury Prize’ - with the overall winner, Louis Varin, aged just 16.