While in Copenhagen, Denmark a little more than two weeks ago, I stumbled upon the award exposition for the INDEX: Design to Improve Life biannual competition. Coined as the world’s biggest design award, what distinguishes this particular event is that unlike most other design awards, prizes are not given according to professional classifications nor sectors such as transportation or digital media. Instead, INDEX recognizes the fact that a particular issue might require a varied set of solutions stretching from across the fields.
Divided in categories that include Body, Home, Work, Play and Community, designs were therefore evaluated according to their form and impact but also cultural and geographical context. All this resulted in 337 designs ranging from an arctic research station, a Singaporean initiative for a new approach to healthcare and a mobile fuel cell generator.
One thing that I thought I should mention is that some of the designs that were nominated such as a portable solar cooker and a UV water filter were actually fairly similar to devices designed by UBC students during the Designs for a Sustainable World Challenge last year. Once more, this shows that we should really not shy away from trying to get our ideas out there and hopefully make a difference. Anyhow, all the nominated designs as well as winners can be found at http://www.indexaward.dk/2007/forside.asp. Check it out!