by Salvatore PelusoNov 17, 2021
The World Design Organization (WDO) has grown since its conception in 1957; from 12 founding professional design associations, the organisation now includes over 170 member organisations from over 40 nations. The key binding them together is their collaborative spirit that provides all of them the opportunity to be heard on an international platform. One of the programmes hosted by the WDO is the recently-held World Design Impact Prize, which was established in 2011. WDO President, Srini Srinivasan, said in an official statement, “The World Design Impact Prize creates a platform to talk about industrial design as a means to creative problem-solving and these projects are very much a testament to the inventiveness and ingenuity of designers. These are real-world solutions for real-world problems, and we see it as a privilege to be able to bring the world’s attention to these projects.”
The award aims to bring to the forefront socially responsible design initiatives across disciplines. With a record number of submissions from more than 20 countries, 10 projects were shortlisted for this year’s prize by an international review panel. This year's nominated projects were reviewed by a panel of five multidisciplinary experts namely, Chetan Choudhury, Teresa Franqueira, Wenny Kusuma, Don Norman and Adele Peters. From the 10 shortlisted entries, three finalists were selected. JERRY: The Jerrycan Waterfilter; My Safetipin; and TRASHPRESSO. The three finalists address the issues of water scarcity and sanitation, gender equality and urban safety, and plastic waste. On November 23, 2021, TRASHPRESSO was announced as the winning design for the World Design Impact Prize.
Winner | One man’s trash is another man’s treasure
Designed by design studio MINIWIZ from Taiwan, TRASHPRESSO(TP) is a mobile industrial-grade plastic trash upcycling product that is the size of two industrial refrigerators. Building on existing technology, the project feeds into the idea of the circular economy. TRASHPRESSO collects single-use materials such as plastic, metal and glass, and gives them a new value by converting them into sustainable building materials, building modules, and products. The idea has already been implemented in 10 ten cities including Shanghai, Beijing, London, Milan, Singapore, Bangkok, and Sardinia.
The project engaged with its users at the grassroots level with 500 days of gamified activities, educational events, creative workshops inspiring consumers to bring in their plastic waste to produce their unique durable product to take home on site. The main objective of the project is to advance and facilitate a global transition to a zero-waste system by promoting positive recycling habits. This is done through educating and highlighting issues with waste products and building a deeper sense of community.
Finalist | Safety first
Developed and managed by Active Learning Solutions from India, My Safetipin is a set of technology applications designed to make public spaces safer and more inclusive for women. Intending to build a world where everyone can move around without fear, the app allows any user to enter data about the status of physical infrastructure. The collected data is collated and made visible to all the users. The date is also provided to city governments, urban planners and other stakeholders to further analyse and perhaps encourage the implementation of larger changes in urban design. At the core of the app is the ‘Safety Audit’, a participatory tool for assessing information about perceptions of urban safety in public spaces. The audit is based on eight parameters that impact safety, including physical infrastructure such as lighting, openness, walkability and public transport as well as social usage of spaces.
Finalist | Not a drop to drink
The Netherlands-based Studio Forthemany’s self-cleaning water filter was one of the finalists for the prize. Made specifically to fit on all standard-sized jerry cans, hence the name ‘JERRY’, the product aims to tackle the growing need to source and access portable and safe drinking water. Addressing larger global systems to help keep our water sources clean is an ongoing battle. The studio’s solution, however, focuses on the issue at point-of-use. Designed as an attachment that can be connected to a jerry can, the product functions as a filter and a tap for drinking water. The design contains two filters, which is said to eliminate over 99.999 per cent of bacteria and parasites and 99.9 per cent of viruses from the water. With usability at the heart of the design, the process of pumping water out of the can is simple and easy to use allowing young children and the elderly to filter water with ease. With each pump, the filter is cleaned automatically, resulting in a maintenance-free water filter that is simple to use daily.
The World Design Organization was formerly known as the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID). A renewed vision and mission were approved by the members at the general assembly in October 2015 along with an approval to change the name of the organisation to the World Design Organization. WDO has United Nations Special Consultative Status.