Design to improve life in a post-pandemic world: Index Award 2021 Finalists announced


8. juni 2021

Copenhagen, 7 June 2021: The Index Project has announced the 46 finalists for Index Award 2021, the biennial awards programme that celebrates design that improves quality of life. The shortlist includes initiatives to tackle censorship, foster civilian travel, improve FemTech offerings and revolutionise the fashion industry. Previous winners include MARSHA, the 3D-printed vertical home for life on Mars (2019),  interactive language app Duolingo (2015) and the Tesla Roadster (2007).  

Awarded to five designers every other year since its inception in 2005

The awards’ mission is to ‘design to  improve life’, seeking to promote design solutions to social, environmental and economic problems. Beyond  celebrating progressive creativity, the organisation also celebrates diversity, inspires hope and acts as a  catalyst for groundbreaking innovation. 

The five category winners will each receive a prize package worth over €200,000, including, but not limited  to, business development sessions with a top-tier global consulting agency, a feature on the Google Arts and Culture platform, and bespoke design thinking and innovation workshops with The Index Project. 

Following a year of immense upheaval and uncertainty as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the 2021 cycle showcases the power of design thinking and sustainability to tackle global challenges and produce  better outcomes for all.  

Each awards cycle recognises five designers from across five categories, as well as a People’s Choice Winner:  

Body – Design that keeps us physically and mentally healthy 

Home – The products that improve our quality of life at home 

Work – Ideas that make our jobs safer, fairer, more accessible and sustainable 

Play & Learning – Design that makes learning more fun and effective through play

Community – Large-scale design solutions that we all share 

“After more than a year of extreme challenges at the hands of the pandemic, never before has solution driven design deserved such recognition and celebration. It’s the innovative thinkers who hold the key to  unlocking more sustainable, diverse and inclusive futures for all, so it’s high time we invest in their potential.  The Index Project couldn’t be more excited to announce this year’s finalists at a time when our aim of designing to improve life feels exceptionally pertinent.” 

Liza Chong, CEO of The Index Project, commented

Beyond award-giving, The Index Project helps select pioneers in design and innovation reach their full  potential through their investment entity, Design to Improve Life Capital Management. The Index Project  intends to seek further investment opportunities in this year’s finalist pool, having invested in 12 companies  to date including medical drone delivery service Zipline and global addressing system what3words. 

With supporters including HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and The Danish Industry Foundation, The  Index Award is considered a forward-thinking voice in the global design industry. This year, 46 nominees  from around the world have been named finalists for the prestigious award, finalists will have to wait until 30 September to find out whether they have won an Index Award. 

About The Index Project  

The Index Project, a foundation established in 2002, was initially tasked with running a large-scale design  award to further brand Denmark as a progressive design nation. The first Index Award launched in 2005, like  most award programmes, was initiated to celebrate the world’s best and brightest within the field. The  humble concept of design to improve life grew into a global movement. And now, people all over the world — from kids as young as six to celebrated visionaries — are using design to bring humanity forward. Now in its  nineteenth year, the awards programme has come a long way. Since its inception in 2005 a robust  investment programme has been developed to ensure that we don’t only celebrate important design but  also support the implementation of design throughout the world.

General Enquiries 
Lesley Price 
Communication Director, The Index Project   
+45 6128 1777 

Press Enquiries – TDC PR, London Alice Pickthorn, TDC PR 
Jack Hazeldine, TDC PR

See all finalists here.

More about Index? go to members profile here.

Photo credit: Nike Space Hippie, an Index Award 2021 Finalist, image courtesy of Nike.