Index, the Danish organization that honors and exhibits “design to improve life,” today announced the finalists
in its Design Challenge 2010. A collaboration with UNICEF, the challenge is an international student competition to support education in the developing world through innovative products and services.
Students from 29 countries submitted 115 concepts aimed at assisting the second United Nations Millennium Development goal of primary education for all. (The world is currently 72 million children shy of that ambition, Index notes.)
Among the seven finalists are educational games (a toy that teaches the alphabet, a textured mat for visually impaired children craving sensory stimulation); classroom furniture (a chair and desk set of woven fibers, a cardboard desk converted from a school bag, a seat of ribbon-folded hemp); and products that support comfort and hygiene, the absence of which keep children out of school (a system for producing and distributing sanitary pads and a game that turns a grid of soap bars into a giant abacus). The authors of these designs are students in India, Indiana, Korea, California, Australia, France and Spain. All 115 submissions can be viewed here
Work will continue on the finalist concepts with the assistance of advisors Index has paired with each design team. Refinements will be made at a two-day workshop in Copenhagen, and the revised projects will be submitted to the jury next month. One winner will receive a prize of 6,500 Euros ($8,460).