This year’s challenge is a partnership between INDEX: Design to Improve Life, a Denmarkbased nonprofit organization promoting the application of design and design processes to improve important areas of people’s lives worldwide, and UNICEF, the globally recognized organization that advocates for the rights of children all across the world.
The theme of this year’s challenge is Designing for Education, a call for design and business students as well as cross-disciplinary student teams to develop design solutions that improve education and the educational environment in developing regions.
The objective is first and foremost to encourage students from around the world to apply their design skills to global challenges. An additional objective is to teach students about the various processes needed to bring their designs to market, since that is, of course, a precondition for the designs to make an actual difference.
UNICEF has many years of experience working with children in developing countries, and it has pinpointed five challenges that are very relevant to fulfilling the MDGs as well as appropriate for various design disciplines. UNICEF will supply participating students with facts and figures on impact, geographical spread, scale, existing solutions, possible side effects, and other relevant data pertaining to the five cases so that students’ solutions can be as realistic as possible.
The INDEX: Design Challenge has three sub-themes, combined with an open challenge:
- Improved Education Facilities can improve life in obvious ways by making school an enjoyable experience while increasing learning ability by improving attention.
- Sanitation and Hygiene improve life of students with a healthier environment, thereby reducing illnesses and absences.
- Gender Parity in Education should ensure that girls get the same opportunity to go to school as boys and thereby improve their lives through equal opportunities, eliminating gender disparity in education.
Finalists take part in a workshop in Copenhagen, followed by an award ceremony.
- INDEX: calls for faculty, students and recent graduates to participate in the upcoming INDEX: Design Challenge developed in close collaboration with and endorsed by UNICEF.
- Design students are encouraged to lead cross-disciplinary teams of engineers, artists, ethnographers, anthropologists, and scientists. Students are also urged to consider the social, cultural, and scientific significance of education and education environments.
- The challenges target students from all the design disciplines.
- There are no restrictions on the type of solutions that students may submit.
- Print design, Web applications, environment design, physical devices, data presentation tools, and other approaches are all encouraged, as are proposals for the conceptual framework or method of dissemination that may propel these designs into public consciousness.
How to enter?
Design students, teams of students, and educators wanting to enter the design challenge are required to register by e-mail to lvk [at] indexaward.dk (please replace [at] with @).
The e-mail should contain the name, title, and e-mail address of the contact person, the name and country of the institution and department, and an estimate of how many students will enter.