Nominations for the INDEX: Award 2009 have just been announced. A total of 72 designs representing 18 countries and spanning six global regions now compete for the most celebrated design prize on the planet. The winners in five categories will each receive 100,000 euros.

Of the 720 designs initially submitted by the world´s leading institutes of design the INDEX: international jury has selected a shortlist of 72 finalists that meet the INDEX: criteria to improve life.

The selected designs concentrate on water shortages, air pollution, communication, health, environmental sustainability, games, affordable housing, food provision, micro-loans, insect protection and eradication, and much more.

The international jury will select the winning designs ahead of the INDEX: Award prize ceremony scheduled for August 28, 2009 in the Concert House of the new Danish National Broadcasting Centre.

All 72 design finalists will be on public view at the INDEX: Award Exhibition, Kongens Nytorv, Copenhagen, starting August 21, 2009.

This year marks the third INDEX: Design to Improve Life allocation of international prizes. INDEX: was founded in Denmark in 2002 following a worldwide research initiative with the objective of identifying and publicizing design committed to improving life.

From the outset, building worthwhile and competent networks capable of encouraging design concepts - as well as actually selecting winning designs - has been a vital aspect of the work INDEX: undertakes.

When announcing its 72 nominated designs May 20, INDEX:’s CEO, Ms. Kigge Hvid, highlighted several of the exciting designs competing this year, including:

  • A disposable birthing kit for midwives in the developing world ?
  • A water-purification system for use in refugee camps, etc ?
  • An efficient, safe, low-consumption kerosene burner ?
  • Nike’s basketball trainers made from its own production waste ?
  • The Magno-radio from Indonesia, made from wood ?
  • The Cabbage Chair made from paper already used in Issey Miyake’s collections ?

In her address, Ms. Kigge Hvid emphasized that the INDEX: Award differs in essence from all other design prizes by insisting that design itself should improve human life.

"At INDEX: we do not confine our focus to form and appearance, but look rather at a design’s context, taking into account its ethical and cultural perspectives, its social and economic impact, paying attention to the need for the design and its sustainability in the environmental sense", stressed Ms. Kigge Hvid. Accompanying Ms. Hvid on the podium was the chair of the international INDEX: jury, Mr. Nille Juul-Sørensen, head of design at Arup, the world’s largest engineering firm, who gave details of the adjudicating process and evaluation criteria.

The four Danish finalists also presented their designs:

Medilabel Safety System©
e-Types - A finalist in the Body category.

The Good Kitchen
Hatch & Bloom - A finalist in the Home category.

PenGuin Army
Penguin Army - A finalist in the Play category

3b cart System
CPH Design - A finalist in the Work category.

Several focus areas come under the INDEX: wing in its efforts to promote design that improves life. The texts attached here outline a number of these areas, supplemented by ex-amples of how - with the help of the INDEX: Award - appropriate design solutions have been found to tackle the problems involved.

Efforts focused on Design to Improve Life engage INDEX: in presenting, debating, publicizing and evaluating designs to improve life everywhere, both in industrialized and in developing nations.

The INDEX:Award is the culmination of immense efforts in a selection process to decide on the world’s leading designs in prizes, the presentation of which is INDEX:’s most important tool in generating awareness of Design to Improve Life. As part of this promotion campaign, INDEX: will mount an exhibition, first in Copenhagen and later travelling to several international cities, to coincide with the award ceremony in August.

A number of information and educational programmes focused on various target groups crucial to the future of Design to Improve Life will be organized at the same time.

If you require in-depth details of this year’s INDEX: Award or particulars on any of the nominated designs do not hesitate to contact Ms. Lisbeth Juul, Head of Press, who will supply you with short summaries of all the nominated designs.

njalsgade 106
dk-2300 cph s
+45 33 89 20 05

Lisbeth Juul
head of press
mob: +45 28 88 84 16