Copenhagen Design Week 2011

Copenhagen Design Week took place at the 1st – 6th of September in Copenhagen. I got a chance to work as volunteer there and can say now there was very inspiring and rich atmosphere. The event had motto Think Human and it was the main message of every single product presented. Designers presented their ideas not only having human in mind as a customer, but also trying to solve the major social challenges in both national and global scale.

The whole event was driven by The Danish Design Centre and was organised as  sequence of exhibitions, talks, master classes and Index Award ceremony.

The main event at the Copenhagen Design Week was the Index: awards ceremony “Design to improve life”. Index: is a world known design award which is the largest cash design prize in the world 500 000 euro covering the five categories: Body, Home, Play, Work and Community. Many of the finalists works were presented directly at the open air exhibition by the Royal Danish Playhouse, in special designed boxes-pavilions by Greg Lynn & Christian Ditlev Bruun. Inside of the pavilion was a transparent box with one or other product. Among those works were a number of major trends, by that i mean the finalist projects was showing a proven impact and were not just creative ideas but already operational and implemented designs. Main areas of design works were at the educational, healthcare and community scale level.

So let us see the winners and think about how that creative ideas can help to save the world.

Body Category_ The Body Category comprises all designs related to the human body, such as: dress, shoes, different devices and appliances used in treatment and care and body-related technology, and online services. Some of the nominates: Pure Water Bottle, Lung-on-chip, Janma the clean birth kit, 21st century nursing bag, adjustable glasses and others. And the winner is..SEE BETTER TO LEARN BETTER! – free eyeglasses program  for school children in Mexico. It is a collection of customizable eyeglasses for children ages 6-18 years. The glasses are very stylish and by its design change the child’s attitude from  wearing glasses and being drilled as handicap towards a very fashionable and personal choice to break that stereotype. The designer Yves Behar used an engineering plastic with a hyper-flexible property to make the glasses practically unbreakable and suitable for a child’s constantly changing needs. Glasses help kids to see better and give them a better chance to succeed in school and in further life. All states of Mexico are expected to get 400 000 glasses this year.

Collage is made of pictures taken from and

Home Category_The Home Category includes all design works related to theme Architecture, Interior Design, Furniture, Tools, Utility systems and online services. Some of the nominates: Biolite home stove (a cooking stove that cuts emissions by 95% generating off-grid electricity), Bware water meter (a small device that show how much of running water are in use), Evacuation Shelter (a vital place for survivors in a natural disaster situation) and others. And the winner is…ELEMENTAL MONTERREY! – 70 incremental housing complex in Monterrey. Social housing complex provides 70 basic housing with bathrooms, kitchens and staircases – living areas for people who have under middle-income standard. The housing complex will be placed in growing cities that face growing slum challenge. The important thing is to build a house in two steps: first half (36 sq.m.) is built with a public money support and it is a basic construction part that requires coordination (basic utilities and infrastructure). By using the old 70’s incremental housing an open system was suggested, that allows further growth to occur within the structure and at the time when people can afford it. This approach is seen to solve the problem of social housing that is unable to accommodate the diversity of people needs and preferences.

Collage is made of pictures taken by Ramiro Ramirez.

Play Category_The Play Category includes all design works related to sport, play, leisure and culture. Some of the nominates: a Solar powered media player and radio, The Learning Landscape (an educational playground where children can be physically active and learn while they play), The dream ball project (footballs made by recycling famine relief packaging), Un Global Dilemma game (the game that helps businesses to understand relevant issues through the role-play complex situations). And the winner is…HOVDING! – a bicycle helmet that is practical, ergonomic, safe and support you’re wearing style. Designed by Anna Haupt & Terese Alstin (Sweden) the Hovding is a collar that has a folded up airbag that inflates in case of accident. The airbag is deployed by sensors – accelerometers and gyros – that pick up a bicyclist’s abnormal movements in the event of an accident. The sensors then send a signal to the gas inflator to inflate the airbag.  The collar is not only can protect against serious skull injuries, but also is fashionable because of its shape like a hood around the neck. The shell surrounds the collar can change its look when you feel like it. It can appear in different design, color, patterns and fabric that makes Hovdning more like a fashion accessory. Moreover it is easy to carry around, it is washable and it will save your life!

Collage is made of pictures from

Work Category_The Work Category comprises all design works related to work environment, such as Architecture and Interior Design, work tools, education, manufactory machines, online services etc. Some of the nominates: AskNature Biomimicry Website (free open source website that catalogs nature’s survival strategies by biological function), MycoBond (a sustainable alternative to styrofoam, grown using mushroom roots), Puma: Clever little bag (bag and box system that is easy to assembly and completely recyclable) and others. And the winner is…

DESIGN FOR CHANGE! – a method (or a design process) that gives children all over the globe an opportunity to express their own ideas and to create their own future. The process got children to Feel, to Imagine, to Do and to Share with a help of a toolkit that include guidelines, teacher tips and possible examples of a change story. Design for Change aims to help children change their life situation and improve the quality of life. By learning how to act and change their life condition children become more competent and less helpless. In countries where children are forced by life condition to work, to get married and to get birth under 15-16 years old, the Design for Change will allow them to design the future that they wish.

Community Category_The Community Category includes all design works that made to share by community, such as roads, public spaces, parks, infrastructure, means of transport, services and concepts for societies, design strategies, networking etc. Some of the nominates: Refugees United (a global database centralizing information on separated families), T.27 (a pure electric vehicle), Shokay (a sustainable source of employment and income in Tibet region), Watair (dew and rainwater collectors with clean water supply and treatment) and others. And the winner is…DESIGN SEOUL! – the first coherent design based approach to improve city life in a very large city. The design approach has people-oriented solutions to solve social, environmental and public health problems. Design Seoul has five principles: Airy, Integrated, Preserving, Collaborative and Sustainable Design. It was implemented in public spaces, buildings, facilities, visual media, outdoor advertisement etc. Some examples of urban revitalizing in Seoul: the Gwanghwamun Square Project that has transformed part of 16-lane road without a walkway into a new public space, the Dassan Call Center, which is a telephone service that has revolutionized city services in Seoul, the reconstruction of the Mount NamPark District into a public accessible tourist venue and others. Design Seoul is a good example of how the use of design solutions make city more healthy, more ecological, more fun place to work and live in.

Collage made of pictures from and

Gosh, there were so many very talented designs at the Copenhagen Design Week ! Hope you also enjoy to read about some of them:)

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