Four social impact winners of A' Design Awards

There are hundreds of winners in 89 different design disciplines in the A' Design Awards & Competition. Here are four that could have the greatest impact.

The winners of the A’ Design Awards 2014-2015 are in! There are 836 winners from 83 countries in 89 different design disciplines. Given the number of participating countries and competition categories, the A' Design Award is the Worlds' largest design accolade that brings designers, architects, artists, brands and companies from across the globe under the same roof.

The 2014-2015 A' Design Award winners will get their work physically exhibited in Ireland, the World Design Hub 2015; Italy; and Holland. The A' Design Award and Competitions' Gala-Night and Award Ceremony will be held in Lake Como, Italy, on 18 April, bringing leading figures in the design industry, press members, award-winning designers and companies together.

Coinciding with Milan Design Week 2015, the winners’ work is also on show in a 750 sqm exhibition at MOOD – Museum of Outstanding Design Ex Chiesa di San Francesco, Como, opening on 18 April.

It has been noted that this year was much harder then previous years due to increased competition by increased quality and quantity of works. Entries were carefully evaluated by an internationally influential 70-person jury panel of established academics, prominent press members, creative design professionals and entrepreneurs who devoted great care and attention to details while voting for each entry and award category.

While the 2014-2015 Edition is over, entry to the 2015-2016 competition is now open. Interested designers, artists, architects and companies can register and submit their works and get further information regarding the design competition such as evaluation criteria, key dates, list of jury members, entry forms and presentation guidelines.

The A’ Design Awards were established to create awareness for good design practices and principles. The ultimate aim of the A’ Design Award & Competition is to build strong incentives for designers, companies and brands from all countries to come up with better products, services and systems that benefit mankind.

Here we feature four of the winning designs in the social impact category.

Post Disaster House by Anna Rita Emili

This entirely transparent structure, a Silver A' Design Award Winner, is based on modular design principles. It is composed of three inflatable elements anchored on the ground by steel platforms and assembled together with zip closings. Each housing unit is 10 sqm. Once the total length of the structure has been determined, each module is finished off with non-inflatable plugging panels containing a door or window. These last elements allow for the ventilation of the internal space.
Italian architecture firm altro_studio takes an experimental approach based on research into natural and social disasters. Working in response to earthquakes, flash floods, landslides and social issues such as immigration enables the studio to find new architectural languages.

Be Girl Pad Holder by Diana Sierra

This reusable product addresses the lack of access to affordable menstrual hygiene solutions for many women in the developing world. A washable waterproof pad holder/pouch gives the user the option to use any safe and absorbent material – disposable or reusable. This flexibility allows the product to be adapted to water availability and gives women the option to customise it according to local resources. The Be Girl concept originated from observations during chief designer Diana Sierra’s work with Millennium Promise in rural Uganda, where a schoolteacher reported that 40% of her schoolgirls drop out due to the lack of viable sanitary pad options. It was first prototyped with locally available materials: an umbrella and mosquito netting.
In collaboration with Columbia University and Millennium Promise, Be Girl has conducted successful use pilots in four countries (Rwanda, Malawi, Uganda and Tanzania) with 200 girls in Millennium Village Project sites. The responses and feedback of 150 girls who used the kit for a period of up to a year where recorded to test, improve and validate the design features, performance, ergonomics and acceptability of the product. Be Girl is a social enterprise focused on empowering women by design, dedicated to creating extremely affordable, aspirational and high performance products that support women and girls’ autonomy and generate opportunities to radically improve their quality of life.

Tentative Post Disaster Tent by Hakan Gürsu

This design was inspired by the recent earthquakes that took place in Turkey, where there was a lack of suitable shelters for temporary living. The compact disaster shelter is made of a durable weather-resistant textile derived from seaweed with thermally insulated perlite in between. The roof collects water and provides lighting and ventilation. The floor consists of thermal insulating recyclable composite decks set on legs off the ground to avoid heat loss. The tent expands by opening the covers used as a roof and floor, raising the aluminium structural parts and the doors to provide stability and stretching the fabric between the roof and the floor.
Each tent accommodates space for two adults and two children to sleep. Its compact size makes it possible to transport 24 tents by a single semi-trailer truck to the disaster zone. Designnobis is a Turkish industrial design consultancy specialising in product development and brand identity.

WReuse Laundry Water Recycler by Angela Granados

The water resources availability per capita in Colombia was 45,408 cubic meters in 2007, way above the world’s average of 8,209. Colombians began seeking ways to recycle water when the utilities cost went up. Designer Angela Granados noticied that many people collect the water from the rinse cycle of their laundry machines in buckets and use it for the next wash or for cleaning or gardening. This machine saves the rinse water from the last laundry load and filters it in a treating tank using a sand filter.
Granados is an art director and “technology addict” in Colombia. She began working on the WReuse project in January 2014 and is continuing to prototype it.