Operating with the overall theme of ‘design to improve life’, the INDEX award has become the most international important design award offering a prize value of €500 000 (over five projects), highlighting those creative developments which have contributed to enhancing human life on a variety of different levels.

INDEX award seeks to acknowledge those projects which have enabled design as a tool to address our world’s biggest challenges. The INDEX: award is divided into five categories: body, home, work, play & learning and community.

INDEX award 2015, BODY category winner – PEEK RETINA
INDEX award 2015, HOME category winner – TESLA POWERWALL
INDEX award 2015, COMMUNITY category winner – THE OCEAN CLEANUP ARRAY
INDEX award 2015, PLAY & LEARNING category winner – DUOLINGO
INDEX award 2015, WORK category winner – SKY URBAN VERTICAL FARMING SYSTEM

INDEX award 2015, HOME category winner – TESLA POWERWALL

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The ‘Tesla Powerwall’ is the 2015 INDEX: award COMMUNITY category winner. the design is a rechargeable battery that aims at revolutionizing energy generation, smooth out power consumption, and cut down one’s energy bills and carbon footprint. Solar-powered by lithium-ion batteries, the ‘tesla powerwall’ will allow individuals to store energy generated during the day and use it at night, eliminating the need to buy electricity from utility providers in the evenings at peak rates. This implementation will lead to increased independence from the power grid, as well as provide a back-up solution in the case of a power outage. according to tesla CEO and founder elon musk, although the ‘powerwall’ charges using solar power, it will also be integrated with the grid ‘to harness excess power and give customers the flexibility to draw energy from their own reserve.’

INDEX: award 2015, COMMUNITY category winner – OCEAN CLEANUP ARRAY

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Joining the ‘Tesla powerwall’ as INDEX: award 2015, COMMUNITY category winner is the ‘Ocean Cleanup Array’. Conceived by 20 year old dutch designer boyan slat, the system is set to be the first of its kind to sustainably clean the plastic pollution from the world’s oceans by using its natural rotating currents to its advantage. The design is envisioned for large-magnitude deployment, covering millions of square kilometers, with the floating barriers placed in the center of the circular gyres; passively collecting the debris much like a giant funnel, while the current flows freely underneath. completely safe for marine life, ‘ocean cleanup array’ is almost entirely self-sufficient, functioning predominantly on energy harnessed from the sun and waves.

INDEX: award 2015, WORK category winner – SKY URBAN VERTICAL FARMING SYSTEM

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The jury has named the ‘sky urban vertical farming system’ the INDEX: award 2015, WORK category winner because it stands as a powerful representation of the future of sustainable urban agriculture. The design is the world’s first low-carbon, water-driven plot that grows vegetables through efficient and highly sustainable production methods. Designed by jack ng, who has more than 27 years of experience in the construction and engineering industry, the gardening infrastructure utilizes minimal land, water and energy resources, while providing the community with fresh, locally grown vegetables. The result is a dramatically smaller carbon footprint than traditional farming and import systems.

INDEX: award 2015, BODY category winner – PEEK RETINA

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With the potential to reduce global blindness by 80 percent, by bringing professional eye care to remote areas of the world without compromising the quality of examinations, the INDEX: award 2015, BODY category winner is ‘peek retina’. The jury gave the initiative the accolade because it represents the new generation of smart phone diagnostics. the portable eye examination kit uses apps and simple adapters to allow almost anyone to perform quality eye tests. The technology employed takes photographs of one’s eye that allow the user to look inside of the patient’s eye in order to identify problems, leading to a more timely diagnosis for treatment, and ultimately prevention of disabling eye conditions and blindness.

INDEX: award 2015, PLAY & LEARNING category winner – DUOLINGO

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‘Duolingo’ is a platform that is changing the way we learn languages, offering free, quality education for anyone with internet access. Selected as the INDEX: award 2015, PLAY & LEARNING category winner, ‘duolingo’ uses game-like modules to cover almost every element in language education, teaching users to write and speak accurately. Offering 39 courses in 23 languages, the program is broken up into lessons, in which players cover everything from animals to everyday phrases, to correct pronunciation and even politics. each time gamers complete a section, they receive rewards in the form of virtual currency called ‘lingots’ and bonus rounds. Players are encouraged to practice each module on a regular basis to keep their progress bars full, and ensure that the grammar and words they have learned remains fresh in their mind.

Source: Design Boom