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index: 100 stories of design to improve life


INDEX: 7

WElCOME TO THE WORlD OF DESIGN TO IMPROvE lIFE

INDEX: was founded in 2002. After worldwide research, we launched the now globally celebrated concept of “Design to Improve Life” in an era when design was widely embraced for beauty and aesthetics. The launch of INDEX: coincided with several change-stimulating events in a world that many felt was becoming increasingly unbalanced. INDEX: complemented the “Bottom of the Pyramid” writings by C. K. Prahalad; a growing focus on social entrepreneurship as highlighted by the Nobel Prize for Mohammed Yunus; media attention to Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth; and the advent of the United Nations’ Millennium Goals. Kigge Hvid CEO INDEX: Design to Improve Life

With friends and colleagues, we fostered a widespread understanding of design as a powerful, integral component of solutions to major challenges. We established a network of 78 countries, with an outreach effort to hundreds of thousands of the best and brightest designers, students, and thinkers. In the process, we started a movement that will continue to press ahead as we learn more and reach towards shared, better future horizons. A small step can be seen in this chronicle of selected finalists from INDEX:Award 2005, 2007, and 2009. The project of launching the very first book on INDEX: Design to Improve Life could not have been realized without the generous support of Nykredit Fonden and the never-fading support of our network, including our chairman Jens Wittrup-Willumsen, our board, our international jury, our senior advisors, and all the movers and doers always willing to lend us a hand. The design stories in this book aims at presenting a widespread, lively, and engaging image of Design to Improve Life – from all over the world, from very different contexts. Neither we nor the designers of the products, services, and systems presented in this book claim that the designs presented are the final solution to the challenges. They are so much more. They are the stepping stones, the visionary paths, and the important elements of a needed pool of new and better solutions. Only this – the many steps, the many minds, the many solutions – will lead us in the right direction. Even now, when INDEX: has grown into a global movement, we can accommodate many more. From the entire INDEX: team, please join us!


COMMUNITy

This category contains all designs of things that we share communally: Examples could be roads, public spaces and parks, cities, infrastructure, means of transport, signage, and mass media and communications, including the design of strategies, services and concepts for society, networking and communities.

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A bRIDGE TOO FAR AIGA DESIGN FOR DEMOCRACy AllUvIAl SPONGE COMb bAMbUlANCE PROJECT bETTER PlACE ElECTRIC vEHIClE (Ev) SERvICE CAROMA H2ZERO™ CUbE URINAl CONCRETE CANvAS SHElTER DISPOSAblE MUG DONGTAN I-FlASHER KEEP THE CHANGE MONEyMAKER DEEP lIFT PUMP ONE lAPTOP PER CHIlD (OlPC) OPTAlERT™ RESI – A bREATHING SySTEM FOR FIREFIGHTERS RESUSCITATING THE FEZ RIvER: PROCEDURES FOR CREATING NEW OPEN SPACE IN THE MEDINA OF FEZ, MOROCCO SKyPE SOlAR STREET CONCEPT SOlAR WATER PlANT SPACE SAFE TOyOTA PRIUS TRIObIKE UNIvERSAl GENERATOR WATER FOR All WHAlEPOWER TUbERClE TECHNOlOGy


172 PlAy

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SMARTUS

Designed by Juha Laakkonen, Reijo Koivula, Katariina Lahtinen, Arto Riimala, Minna Mylly, Ilkka Kettunen, Pirkko Hyvönen, Visa Pahtaja & Timo Urhemaa, Finland

Video games, computers, and information technology are often blamed for obesity among children. The SmartUs product range is an environment of play, activity, and learning designed for children and families.

Manufacturer Lappset Group Ltd., Finland

Video games, computers, and information technology are often blamed for obesity among children in industrialized countries, “stealing” time from more physical activities. Childhood reflects society and changes along with it. While childhood obesity and learning inequality rise, playtime drops, and cross-generation interaction declines. But imagine the combination of interacting with a computer and at the same time moving and playing as a result of the interaction. Maybe there are ways to combine the technology of today that seems so appealing to children with a more traditional way of playing. SmartUs provides a stimulating environment for combining playing, moving, and learning. It merges interactive technology with traditional outdoor play elements. The SmartUs concept emphasizes the creative and active role of children, who use their whole bodies for playing and learning. SmartUs inspires people of all ages to feel the joy of playing together, and it challenges the players’ motor, social, and cognitive skills. By offering users limitless opportunities to create connections with other people and develop their own culture of play, SmartUs holds the universal potential to function as an important social investment in the future. The SmartUs product range is an environment of play, activity and learning designed for children and families. It adapts itself through activity and ideas provided by the user and, at its best, it is an “exertaining” environment built by the whole user community.


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168 PlAy

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PIG 05049

Designed by Christien Meindertsma, The Netherlands

Modern consumers often lack knowledge of the products they consume and the materials from which they are made. PIG 05049 tracks all the products made from a single Dutch pig, exposing the gap between raw materials and end products.

Additional credits Julie Joliat, The Netherlands Manufacturer FLOCKS, The Netherlands

Do you know how your cosmetics, porcelain, and ammunition are made and where they originate? To take good care of the Earth, basically, the first step is to know where our things come from: “And a lot of the value you put into an object has to do with knowing where it comes from. Without knowing that, you may not be interested in protecting those origins,� states designer Christien Meindertsma. PIG 05049 is a communications design developed after three years of research to track all the products made from a single Dutch pig, exposing the gap between raw materials and end products. Christien Meindertsma followed all the products made from that single pig – some being ammunition, medicine, heart valves, brakes, porcelain, cosmetics, and even biodiesel. The book is primarily a visual statement, keeping text to a minimum and, in an almost surgical way, a pig is dissected in the pages of the book, resulting in a photo book where all 185 products are shown at their true scale (1:1). The pig is decomposed into seven categories to verify what the body parts are used for. They show how one Dutch pig spreads throughout the world. For example, collagen is derived from its skin and used for beer and aspirin, so the same pig that gives you a headache after drinking relieves you the next day. Although the combination of bullets and beauty injections in the face is food for thought, collagen is processed in the manufacture of both.


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86 HOME

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Designed by Poonam Bir Kasturi, India Manufacturer Produced in local workshops.


HOME 87

DAIly DUMP

Big Indian cities produce tons of organic wet waste every day. Daily Dump Composters enable homemakers to recycle their organic waste through a home composting product.

Big Indian cities produce a minimum of 3,000 tons of waste every day; 60% of the waste in the average Indian urban home is organic wet waste. And only a small amount of the waste generated can be handled by the public renovation. Composting is nature’s way of recycling, but many people have never considered composting as an alternative waste management process. Daily Dump Composters serve present urban needs, enabling homemakers to recycle their organic waste through a home composting product. As a service, Daily Dump Composters help individuals and families manage household waste and convert it to useful, high-quality compost and, via flexible service plans, will achieve many people’s goal of becoming green citizens. Daily Dump has developed a range of composting solutions and products designed to ensure that composting can be done conveniently and hygienically at home. After numerous tests of many different materials, the designers found that terracotta is the best material to support the decomposition process. There is an old tradition in South India of using terracotta for making votives and granary objects, and the aesthetics of the Daily Dump products tap into this cultural and social paradigm. Daily Dump has enabled 18 independent businesses all over India and abroad by posting drawings, methods, processes, and user feedback online. The products are replicated and create livelihoods and wealth, energize local economies, and address the waste issue with a decentralized solution. Today, customers are able to keep more than 4,000 kilos of organic waste out of the landfill every day.


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Designed by Annie Leonard, United States Manufacturer Free Range Studios, United States Sponsors The Sustainability Funders & Tides Foundation, United States


WORK 155

THE STORy OF STUFF

The Story of Stuff is an interactive website and a web-based documentary about the life-cycle of goods and services around us, as well as production and consumption patterns.

All the stuff in our lives – beginning from the extraction of the resources to make it through its production, sale, use, and disposal – affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. “Have you ever wondered where all the stuff you buy comes from and where it goes when we throw it out?” So begins The Story of Stuff – a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns, with a special focus on the United States. This interactive website is designed in a cartoonish style with old-school animation. It addresses the critically increasing problem of pollution caused by overconsumption and a throwaway mentality. By showing the world’s production and consumption patterns, the site seeks to create awareness of the fact that we cannot continue looting and destroying our planet without facing severe consequences. The creator and narrator of the documentary is activist Annie Leonard, a former GreenPeace employee and independent lecturer. More than six million people have viewed the film from the website, and millions more have seen it on YouTube since it was launched in 2007. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues and calls for all of us to create a more sustainable, just world. It teaches us something, it makes us laugh, and it just may forever change the way we look at all the stuff in our lives.


A pig and a hippo, 1 music ensemble, 8 water wonders, 10 solar solutions, 16 rolling revelations. The Danish based non-profit organization INDEX: in 2002 coined the concept of Design to Improve Life, which is now respected worldwide. This book presents 100 of the very best examples of Design to Improve Life. The many unique, different and amazing designs from all over the world are from INDEX: Award 2005, 2007 and 2009, the inaugural years of the largest monetary design award in the world. The 100 different stories address a wide range of problems globally, each design standing as evidence of how design can have a huge positive impact on people and the communities where they live, work and play. Collectively, these examples demonstrate how design can improve life.

ISBN: 978-87-992965-2-1


Preview: INDEX: 100 Stories of Design to Improve Life