The Next Economy
6 Health, Energy, Infrastructure Solutions Shortlisted for World Design Impact Prize

Earlier this week, the shortlist was announced for the World Design Impact Prize 2015-2016, a global competition hosted by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID). Six projects that address health, energy, and infrastructure challenges were selected from the 82 nominations.

A review panel composed of five experts — from the USA, Canada, South Korea, the UK and Brazil — evaluated the nominations to select the shortlist. Next, the ICSID membership, comprised of over 160 organisations worldwide, will vote to select three finalists and the winner of the Prize. The finalists will be announced on January 12, 2016 and the award will be presented at the World Design Capital (WDC) International Design Gala in Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) in March. This is the third cycle of the prize, which was launched in 2011.

"As ICSID continues to focus on design for a better world, it wants to raise awareness of the power of industrial design to effect positive change," said Dr. Brandon Gien, ICSID President and Chairman of the World Design Prize 2015-2016 Review Panel. "It allows us to talk about how our industry makes a significant contribution to the betterment of society and how, more and more, we are doing just this in non-traditional ways. The expanded field of industrial design needs programs such as the World Design Impact Prize to showcase the power of design thinking to solve the world’s most intractable problems."

The shortlisted projects are:

  • HappyTap: Available for sale in Vietnam and Cambodia, the HappyTap is helping combat the spread of diarrhea and other transmissible diseases through the promotion of handwashing.
  • IHearYou: An Australian company used technological advances in cochlear implants to create IHearYou, which enables people to take a hearing test, order, and adjust their hearing aids remotely at less than half the cost of traditional hearing aids.
  • INVELOX: Invelox is already being used on Palmyra Atoll in the North Pacific by The Nature Conservancy to generate electricity from low-speed winds. The device is safe for birds, cost-effective, and eliminates low-frequency noise, vibration, and flicker issues.
  • Lumkani Fire Detector: A networked heat detector designed for informal settlements, Lumkani fights the devastation caused by the spread of fires in urban slums by creating a community-wide early warning.
  • RE:BUILD: Currently used for a school at the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan, RE:BUILD is a re-deployable, modular, durable structure that uses local materials to create the walls and can be built by the refugees who will benefit from it.
  • Warka Water: Warka Water is a community-run structure that collects between 50 and 100 liters of safe drinking water each day from rain or fog. It also acts as a shaded meeting point for the community and is being piloted in Dorze, Ethiopia.

Last year saw seven shortlisted projects, including a family support network, a wheelchair that can navigate rough terrain, a research and citizen engagement project for centralized sanitation in India, and a traditional Indian dessert revamped into a high-nutrient food to help combat malnutrition. The three 2013-2014 finalists were A Behaviour Changing (ABC) Syringe, the BioLite HomeStove, and IKEA’s Refugee Housing Unit.

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