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Products and Design
Smart Syringe, Refugee Housing, Clean Cookstove Announced as Finalists for World Design Impact Prize

The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) announced today that the following projects have been chosen as the three finalists for the World Design Impact Prize 2013-2014: A Behaviour Changing (ABC) Syringe, BioLite HomeStove and the Refugee Housing Unit. The winner will be honored at the World Design Capital® (WDC) International Design Gala on 28 February 28 in Cape Town, South Africa.

The World Design Impact Prize creates a platform to talk about industrial design as a means to creative problem solving. It also aims to recognize excellence and diverse ways of addressing societal challenges. Through this initiative, ICSID hopes to recognize those projects that highlight the use of industrial design beyond the creation of products and demonstrate that it is also about creating systems and experiences.

The three finalist projects address issues of security, stability and safety in the areas of health and home:

  • The ABC Syringe, developed by the University of Huddersfield, provides the opportunity for patients to easily ascertain if the syringes used in their care are sterile. A simple colour-changing label affixed to the syringe turns bright red to indicate it has been used. This design solution will hopefully lead to a drop in the reuse of syringes and lower the level of resulting disease transmissions.
  • The BioLite HomeStove emits low levels of smoke, therefore providing a cleaner cooking environment for women in the developing world who traditionally burn wood or coal to cook indoors. BioLite’s cookstove also includes a USB port to charge electronics, a feature that could further entice families with limited access to electricity to make the switch to a more efficient stove.
  • The Refugee Housing Unit, a pilot project with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), provides a temporary shelter that facilitates ‘a feeling of normality’ for families living in refugee camps. Facilitated by the IKEA Foundation, prototypes are currently being tested and will dictate the ideal shape and size of the structure.

Projects were first measured against guidelines established by ICSID, then reviewed by a panel of five experts in the field of design for social good who shortlisted seven projects that best embodied the ways in which design can positively impact the social, cultural, economic and environmental quality of life for individuals everywhere.

“The selected projects are great examples of design for social good because design is about collective intelligence, social innovation, networking and all forms of collective knowledge production and all of these projects are based on the fundamental principles of today’s vision of industrial design,” said Roberto Cuervo, a member of the Review Panel. “It’s not just about traditional product development anymore but concerns itself with the social needs of the world’s population.”

The three finalists will present their projects at a workshop following the WDC International Design Gala, where they will have the opportunity to present their research, products and future plans to the South African design community.

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