The INDEX: Design Challenge is a biennial call to design and business students worldwide, inviting them to address global challenges that represent not only crucial issues in today’s world, but critical steps to our survival in a world students will one day inherit. In close collaboration with UNICEF, the theme of “Designing for Education” has been chosen for the challenge.

The INDEX: Design Challenge continues the legacy of the INDEX: |AIGA Aspen Design Challenge, in which hundreds of students from six continents participated. The theme of this second contest is Designing for Education.

This year’s challenge is a partnership between INDEX: Design to Improve Life—a Denmark-based nonprofit organization promoting the application of design and design processes to improve important areas of people’s lives worldwide—and UNICEF—the globally recognized organization that advocates for the rights of children across the world.

The objective of the INDEX: Design Challenge is first and foremost to encourage students from around the world to apply their design skills to global challenges. An additional objective is to teach students about the various processes needed to bring their designs to markets, since that, of course, is a precondition for the designs to make an actual difference.

According to UNESCO’s 2010 Education for All report (EFA) the number of children out of school has dropped by 33 million worldwide since 1999. South and West Asia more than halved the number of children not in school – a reduction of 21 million. But the latest numbers show that 72 million children are still out of school, and if the trend continues, 56 million children will still be out of school in 2015.

Equally important, besides ensuring more children enroll in school, those children already in school must get a good education.

Literacy remains among the most neglected of all education goals, and millions of children are leaving school before acquiring basic skills. In some countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, young adults with five years of education have a 40% probability of being illiterate. About 759 million adults lack literacy skills today. Two-thirds are women.

The gender disparity in education is another problem in developing countries today. Even though the share of girls out of school has declined from 58% to 54%, and the gender gap in primary education is narrowing in many countries, the difference is still a problem. In Sub-Saharan Africa alone, almost 12 million girls may never enroll. In Yemen, nearly 80% of girls out of school are unlikely ever to enroll, compared with 36% of boys.

Prize. The jury will choose a winner among the finalists. The winner will be bestowed with a monetary award of 6.500 Euro.

Teams. Design students are encouraged to lead cross-disciplinary teams of engineers, artists, ethnographers, anthropologists, and scientists. Students are also urged to consider the social, cultural, and scientific significance of education and education environments.

Media. The challenges target students from all the design disciplines. There are no restrictions on the type of solutions that students may submit. Print design, Web applications, environment design, physical devices, data presentation tools, and other approaches are all encouraged, as are proposals for the conceptual framework or method of dissemination that may propel these designs into public consciousness.

Submissions for INDEX: Design Challenge 2010 are due November 26 at 12:00 midnight CET (GMT+1).

November 26, 2010
Submissions for INDEX: Design Challenge 2010 are due November 26 at 12:00 midnight CET (GMT+1).

December 2010
The jury meets in Copenhagen. The advisory board will be planning the inclusion of business and VC on the basis of the chosen finalists.

February 2011
Workshop for the finalists in Copenhagen, followed by an award ceremony.

INDEX: is collaborating closely with and endorsed by UNICEF on this challenge. In addition, Cumulus (the world organization in design education) has offered to assist in reaching out to educational institutions around the world

The Lauritzen Foundation graciously supports the INDEX: Design Challenge for the third time as the main partner of INDEX:’s design student programs.
Read more about the Lauritzen Foundation.

INDEX: is a Danish-based, nonprofit organization established in 2002 that coined the concept “Design to Improve Life.” INDEX: works globally to promote and apply both design and design processes with the capacity to improve the lives of people worldwide. INDEX: is widely recognized for its biennial global design award, the INDEX:Award, the largest monetary design prize in the world, worth €500,000 and encompassing the five categories of INDEX:—Body, Home, Work, Play, and Community.
Read more information about INDEX:.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

Read more information about UNICEF.