One of the world’s major design awards today in terms of money – theINDEX award - was established in Denmark, and is presented every two years. The works of 60 finalists from 2011 are currently on display in a travelling exhibition which had its first stop in Copenhagen in the autumn of 2011 and will be on view from May – June 2012 on special black futuristic stands in the urban environment of Helsinki. The exhibition has plans to travel the world until 2013. This year 966 designers submitted their work to the competition. TheINDEX philosophy is not to give a prize simply for high-quality design, but specifically for work which significantly improves human life around the world and is socially active. Overall, the competition has five winners in categories such as Body, Home, Work, Play, and Community. The total budget of the prize is USD 800,000, split fairly among all five winners.
In 2011, winner in the Body category was the See Better to Learn Better programme within which free corrective eyewear is to be distributed among Mexican children; designer – Yves Behar from Switzerland. The best offer in the Home category was acknowledged to be the revolutionary new housing model Elemental Monterrey, which is also meant for Mexico and has been developed by Mexican designers from the ELEMENTAL alliance. In the Work category, the main prize was received by the Design for Change project from India, a design-based school competition for children, which would allow students to express their ideas for a better world and put them into action. Am ‘invisible helmet’ for cyclists, originating in Sweden, won in the Play category. As a solution to the problem of many cyclists seeing a helmet as a hindrance, Hövding have created an airbag for the rider’s head, which looks like a collar in its inactivated form, but inflates on impact and produces a soft helmet around the head. In the fifth category –Community – victory was achieved by the impressive initiative Design Seoul from South Korea, the first ever coherent design-based approach to improving the daily life of city dwellers.
The exhibition takes place in Helsinki as the World Design Capital 2012, read more here.