Design Academia - 国公立デザイン系大学会議

SDGs Design International Awards 2020

In response to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations, the SDGs Design Unit of the Faculty of Design, Kyushu University has established the SDGs Design International Awards 2019 to tackle the challenges facing humanity through design. The goal is to solicit design ideas that may change society from students worldwide, share their solutions widely, and apply them to create a sustainable society. In 2020, the competition theme was “Overcoming the Pandemic, Design for Evolution” and we received 184 submissions from high schools and higher educational institutions from 15 countries around the world. There were a wide range of ideas, including ideas for immediate responses to an unprecedented crisis, ways of living and working for the post-coronavirus era, and proposals for social systems and international cooperation. The Final Presentation and Awards Ceremony was held on November 10, 2020, through the online platform, as befits an SDGs Awards for the new era. A total of 1563 people around the world watched the event live. All the award-winning works made us think about what design can do to create a better society in the wake of the crisis.

Grand Prize
The Vessel
Viany Sutisna, Bonaventura Kevin Satria, Faith Lim Rui En(National University of Singapore, School of Design and Environment)
In Indonesia, the bodies of the people killed by COVID-19 are immediately covered with simple plastic and buried underground below several meters of cement. The team focused on the fact that among the things that the coronavirus has taken from us, we cannot say a final goodbye to our loved ones. They designed a “vessel” that allows the bereaved families to say goodbye face to face during the funeral ceremony. The “vessel” is in the form of an airtight pod with layers of robe-like material inside to safely wrap the body. The pods are fitted with transparent windows so that the bereaved can look at the face to say their final goodbyes during the funeral. The inner layers are made of an absorbent material that prevents leaks of body fluids, etc., making it possible to resume funeral practices without the risk of cluster infection.

Comments from Winners
During the first few months of the COVID-19 outbreak, it has been both a challenge and a journey, and we are forced to confront harsh and brutal reality and, in fact, affect people globally. And in our haste to respond to the urgent need for the public health emergency, our emotional and environmental needs were neglected. This proposal is not an ultimate solution, but we hope it is the beginning of the conversation that hopefully opens the discussion of what is truly essential and would be for a better future.

Comments from the Judges
How people deal with death is both a universal and inherent cultural issue. In a global pandemic, death is a difficult issue that requires not only rationality and functionality but also an in-depth consideration of humanity rooted in culture. This design proposal addresses human dignity directly, while at the same time eliminating the risk of infection and pursuing functionality as a product through a detailed consideration of materials and structures that are also environmentally friendly. It is an excellent proposal that approaches the issue of mental health, which is often an afterthought in emergencies, from a product design perspective.
Jury Chair, Associate Professor Minako Ikeda, Kyushu University Faculty of Design


The other finalists’ proposals were also aimed to solve difficulties that face in society during this crisis, such as elderlies who have difficulty buying vegetables, healthcare workers who cannot get necessary supplies, children who do not understand infectious diseases, and children with special needs who are deprived of learning opportunities. The proposals submitted have various ideas to solve mismatches in society and concrete examples of how to implement them.

The following are the four Excellence Award winners.

【Best Innovation】
Alate Mobile Kaleyard No.9 Neighborhood of Weifang Community’s Portable Vegetable Truck and Community Activity Vehicle
Huang Zhilin, Shen Sixian, Wang Qi(Donghua University)
In response to the Corona Disaster, the team focused on the problem of elderly people having difficulty buying vegetables at the “small vegetable market” which is the culture of Shanghai, due to the closure of several entrances during the epidemic. As a result, the team observed that the mutual cooperation and interpersonal communication within the community are weakened. Hence, they designed the “Alate Mobile Kaleyard,” a community activity vehicle that not only sells vegetables but also encourages community cleaning and communication.


【Best Quality】
Service Design to Protect Medical Workers
The PPE identification and donation service platform
Fang Yuchan, Zheng Ce, Gu Tianrun, Shen Yiwen, Luo Song(TongJi University)
The team found out that as of 24 February 2020, a total of 3387 of 77,262 patients with COVID-19 (4.4%) in China were health care workers or others who worked in medical facilities due to the lack of protective gear. The usual public hospital material procurement process was too slow. Though non-governmental organizations are donating personal protective equipment (PPT), very few meet the clinical medical standards. The team aims to establish material donation screening and information docking service that help private donors and hospitals to dock demand and material information and providing timely feedback to the medical staff at the “zero experience period” of the outbreak. They designed and developed an App which is linked to the service connection of various stakeholders such as the donors, suppliers, government, logistics companies, media, family members, hospitals, healthcare workers, etc.


【Best Feasibility】
Hi ! Gesture
Service Design of Epidemic Prevention Education for Lower Elementary School Students in accordance with Their Nature
Choi Yonggen, Zhang Yimeng, Fan Wenyi, Chen Yinglu, Li Yu(TongJi University)
The team focused on the fact that children in elementary school (grades 1 to 3) do not fully understand infectious diseases and have difficulty understanding prevention methods. They designed a service design to educate lower elementary school students about the epidemic prevention in schools using gestures to make infection prevention education more participatory and fun, taking advantage of children’s characteristics of being creative, playful, and physically active. The team observed students, worked with teachers, and recruited volunteers through the WeChat app to design and produce the teaching strategies and materials that involved students in co-creating knowledge.


【Best Impact】
Anandi Learning Spaces
Shruti Umesh Chakke(National Institute of Design)

The student realized that only 55% of special needs students in India were able to attend school due to the Corona Disaster. Hence, she designed an app that enables children with cognitive disabilities to learn and guides the parents in facilitating learning for the children at home. This app provides a “learning space” where children can learn and interact in a fun with way their parents. It would help to improve the mental health of the students and alleviate some of the added stress on the parents during this pandemic.