Thu August 27, 2015

Jacob Barron 
Tel: 202-974-5249  |

August 27, 2015

SPI Senior Director of Recycling and Diversion Kim Holmes presented the award to IKO, a student-founded company that designs and builds prostheses for kids aged 3-12 that double as toys, at the IDSA Annual Awards Gala in Seattle.

WASHINGTON—SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association congratulated IKO Prosthetic Creative System Wednesday for winning the SPI Student Design Award, part of the Industrial Designers Society of America’s (IDSA’s) International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) program. The award was presented to IKO, an innovative, youth-focused prosthetic design company led by Chicago-based designer Carlos Torres, by SPI’s Senior Director of Recycling and Diversion Kim Holmes at the IDSA Annual Awards Gala, part of IDSA’s Annual Conference, on Saturday, Aug. 22 in Seattle.

“The IKO Prosthetic Creative System developed by Torres is a great example of how plastic materials and innovative design can combine to create something that isn’t simply functional, but socially and psychologically empowering for young children with disabilities,” said SPI President and CEO William R. Carteaux. “By getting beyond creating something that’s simply efficient and designing something that’s both efficient and attuned to the sociological and psychological needs of the product’s young users, the IKO Prosthetic Creative System is an exemplary product designed with heart and intelligence to more completely meet the needs of its customers, and in that way provides an ideal example to all designers and plastic manufacturers.”

“SPI looks forward to what we can expect from IKO and is proud to honor the company and its founder with its Student Design Award, and we thank IDSA and the IDEA program for continually highlighting the innovation and excellence in design that will drive the plastics industry forward,” he added.

The IKO Creative Prosthetic System enables children without limbs to have a prosthesis that doubles as a toy, and specifically a toy that enables them to explore their creativity: Legos. The IKO system is integrated with the world-famous building blocks and allows children the chance to swap out the product’s standard grippers with whatever they can imagine. According to IKO’s entry into the 2015 IDEA program, research showed that kids in need of prostheses were interested in both something that could be functional, and fun. “There had to be a right balance between a playful experience and something functional, and moreover something that could allow kids to explore their creativity, something they could be proud of,” the entry said. “Using the Lego system was part of the solution, not just because of its creative content, but most of [all] its social feature; this is a toy that gathers people around with a single goal: the pride of creation.”

As part of its award, IKO will receive and all-expense-paid trip for two to SPI’s upcoming Re|focus Recycling Summit & Expo, of which IDSA is a proud partner. Re|focus will focus on innovative design solutions to sustainability problems, in addition to several other recycling-related subjects. SPI congratulates IKO and all the winners of this year’s IDSA awards program.


Founded in 1937, SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association promotes growth in the $427 billion U.S. plastics industry. Representing nearly one million American workers in the third largest U.S. manufacturing industry, SPI delivers legislative and regulatory advocacy, market research, industry promotion and the fostering of business relationships and zero waste strategies. SPI also owns and produces the international NPE trade show. All profits from NPE are reinvested into SPI’s industry services. Find SPI online at and

"From resin suppliers and equipment makers to processors and brand owners, SPI is proud to represent all facets of the U.S. plastics industry," said William R. Carteaux, president and CEO, SPI. "Our most recent economic reports show that the plastics industry as a whole is resilient, and has come through the recession significantly better than other U.S. manufacturing sectors."