The Design To Improve Life Awards are a Danish reader voted annual set of rewards that sets out to reward design that tries to answer social and sustainable solutions to global challenges. Originally setup in 2005 the biannual Awards have gone from strength and recently announced the 2015 winners from the 1123 nominees. The judges first cut the list down to 46 finalists and then this list was cut down by public vote to winners in five categories – community, work, home, body and play and learning.


If you’ve tried learning a new language in the last couple of years the chances are that you’ve used Duolingo. The app on both iPhone and Android both offers an excellent teaching environment and direct translations for 14 languages currently with 7 more in development.

Peek Retina

This is an app and lens that fits on a smartphone and lets you examine the inside of the eye. This lets you identify problems earlier and makes treatment easier and reduces the chances that there will be problems. If you consider that there are 285 million blind people in the world and that 80% had preventable conditions that caused their blindness the possibilities of a cheap simple detection system are obvious

Sky Urban Vertical Farming System

Locally grown food is something that there is a higher and higher demand for and in cities and in particular dense isolated cities like Singapore this can be very hard to produce. The SUVFS builds 9 metre towers in greenhouses and recaptures water using only half a litre a day per tower. The crucial fact – it is 10 times more productive per square metre than traditional farming.

Tesla Powerwall

Solar power and wind turbines are getting better and better at making electricity but without somewhere to store it simply cannot be relied on. The Powerwall is a huge rechargeable and simple lithium ion batter that stores the power from a solar panel and stores it for when it is needed.

The Ocean Cleanup Array

The oceans are getting more and more filled with pollution and floating plastic is a a huge problem. The Array will be a huge funnel that concentrates the plastic to a single location where it can be easily collected. It’s currently being designed and should be deployed in 2020.

The full list of the 46 finalists can be found here and is well worth browsing through.


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