Longevity Design Challenge 2021


After the Pandemic: Designing the
Next Version of Our World

The Stanford Center on Longevity Design Challenge offers cash prizes and free entrepreneur mentorship in a competition open to all university students around the world who want to design products and services which optimize long life for us all. This year’s challenge focuses on building longevity solutions inspired by cultural changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. $17,000 in cash prizes will be awarded, and finalists will receive paid travel to Stanford, where they will present their designs to renowned industry, academic, and government leaders.


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About 2 days ago from Longevity Design Challenge's Twitter

Stanford Center on Longevity Announces Finalists for 8th Annual Design Challenge

The Stanford Center on Longevity is pleased to announce eight Finalist teams for the 2021 Longevity Design Challenge. These Finalists were selected from 223 submissions received from 37 different countries. The Challenge, now in its eighth year, is open to teams from any accredited university in the world.

Stanford Center on Longevity Announces “Closing the Inequity Gap: Designing for Affordability” Design Challenge Winners

After the first ever online Longevity Design Challenge Finals, the Stanford Center on Longevity has named Shishu, Sui aur Dhaaga the winner of the 2019-2020 Design Challenge competition. This team beat out 159 other entries from 35 countries over the course of the competition to win the $10,000 grand prize.


After the Pandemic: Designing the Next Version of Our World

The Stanford Center on Longevity Design Challenge is a global competition that encourages students to design products and services to improve well-being across the lifespan. In its eighth year, the Challenge is focused on ideas inspired by the cultural shift that has occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic that support long, healthy, and happy lives for everyone. 


  1. Create well-designed, practical solutions that improve well-being across the lifespan
  2. Encourage a new generation of students to become knowledgeable about issues associated with long lives
  3. Provide promising designers with a path to drive change in the world

The COVID-19 pandemic is bringing into sharper focus the cultural norms that guide us through life and is providing insights about what a new future might look like. The suddenness of this transformation is allowing us to examine daily practices, social norms, and institutions from perspectives that are rarely possible. For a short window of time, before new routines and practices replace familiar old ones, we will see with greater clarity how our lives might be improved, how current shifts could become enduring changes, what new norms might emerge, and how a new future might look. 

This year, we are challenging students to design solutions for this new post-pandemic future, keeping in mind both how these solutions affect people throughout the life span, and how they can be designed in ways that are accessible to all. They should take into account what we are learning during the pandemic and how it is changing our lives. 

How is the pandemic changing our lives?
In parallel to this Challenge, the Center on Longevity has launched an online project, called A New Map of Life – After the Pandemic, to gather expert opinions and perspectives about how our social and cultural norms might change as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These perspectives are available to designers as a source of inspiration and ideas.

What kinds of designs are included?
Solutions for remote or virtual access will be included in the scope of the challenge, but we encourage participants to think more broadly. These products, programs, or services can be for work, school, healthcare, fitness, personal relationships, or any other aspect of life. Here are a few examples of questions raised by the pandemic that could be addressed: 

  • If remote work is to become more common, are there ways in which we can re-invigorate local community connections as people spend more time at home?
  • How can more people of any age access quality education from anywhere?
  • How can healthcare be administered equitably with limited resources?
  • What are the best ways for different generations to connect when they live apart?
  • How can we maintain our health and fitness without going to the gym?
  • What have we learned from our change in activity about how we can reduce our impact on the environment, and how can we apply those lessons going forward?







Richard Adler
Distinguished Fellow, Institute For The Future

Staci Alexander
Director of Thought Leadership, AARP

Susan Alexander
Former Chief Human Resources Officer, Sotheby’s

Adriana Betiol
Principal Consultant, Interfácil Usabilidade

Mariel Bolhouse
Venture Fellow, Sante

Stacy Canan
Director of Community Care Corps, Caregiver Action Network

Mark Clapper
Former Chief, San Diego Kaiser Dept. of Orthopaedics; Captain, US Navy (retired)

Michael R. Costa
Former Managing Director, Mergers and Acquisitions, Merrill Lynch & Co.; Independent Director, Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc.

Zahra Ebrahim
CEO & Co-Founder, Monumental

Jim Emmerman
Vice President and National Director, Encore Fellowships, Encore.org

Tom Flores
Senior R&D Engineer of Emerging Technologies, Presidio Medical

NoelLeon Gauthier
Senior Designer, Procter and Gamble Ventures

Elizabeth Halifax
Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Physiological Nursing, University of California, San Francisco

Pradeep Jotwani
Former President, Consumer Business and SVP, LaserJet Business, Hewlett Packard Company

Ryan Kawamoto
Regional Director, Senior Planet @Avenidas

Lesley King
Social Justice Advocate, Partners in Health

Liz Loewy
Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, EverSafe

Megan McCarthy
Vice President, Operations and Finance, Encore.org

Diana Miller
Seniors’ Agenda Project Director with the Department of Aging and Adult Services, Santa Clara County

Lisa Narenberg
Executive Director, California Elder Justice Coalition

Scott Norman
VP Field Retail and Director of Government Relations, Finance of America Reverse

Janet Oh
Director of Innovation, Encore.org.

Sheri Peifer
Chief Strategy Officer, Eskaton

Hannah Shen
Director of Asset Acquisition, BridgeBio

Kristen Sieffert
President, Finance of America Reverse

Stephanie Smith
Director of Design Strategy, Thrivent Financial

Chris Tarchala
UX Strategist, Strategy & Solutions Division, Honda R&D Americas, Inc

Joe Testani
Associate Vice Provost for Career Education Initiatives & Executive Director for the Greene Center for Career Education, University of Rochester

Barbara Waxman
Gerontologist; Founder, Odyssey Group Coaching, LLC

Steve Welker
Former Commercial Director, Land O’Lakes

Bruce Wessel
Partner Emeritus, Irell & Manella LLP

Amy Yotopoulos
Program Manager, Stanford Caregiver Center


2019-2020 | “Reducing the Inequity Gap: Designing for Affordability”

The 2020 Longevity Design Challenge focused on significantly reducing the cost of innovations that help people at all ages increase their odds of a long and healthy life.


  • First Place – “Shishu, Sui aur Dhaaga” from the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Bengaluru, India
  • Second Place – “School in the Sky” from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, USA
  • Third Place – “The First Desk” from the Beijing Institute of Technology in Beijing, China

2018-2019 | “Contributing at Every Age: Designing for Intergenerational Impact”

We invited teams to submit proposals for designs that promote and facilitate intergenerational interaction.


  • First Place – “Family Room” by Anand Upender, Daniel Chan, Mina Bhatt, Nadine Levine, Stanford University
  • First Place – “So You Think You Know Your Grandma” by Ismail Azam, Inaara Charolia, Rani Cochran, Ashna Mangla, Lillian Tran UC Berkeley
  • Second Place – “Pillow Fight!” by Hung-Yu Chen, Chor-Kheng Lim, Ching-Chia Renn, YuanZe University, Taipei

2017-2018 | “Promoting Lifelong Habits through Design”

We invited teams to submit proposals for designs to create and support healthy habits –including financial, physical, and social behaviors—which are shown to improve quality of life.


  • First Place – “Ride Rite” by Eric Bottelsen, Eric Lord, Maya Pines, and Drew Sigler from Virginia Tech
  • Second Place – “Gesturecise” by Nakul Kasture, Nikhil Kumar, Akshat Mandloi, and Purvish Shah from the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati
  • Third Place – “Grow and Gather” by Seira Yasumatsu of San Francisco State University.

banner_12016-2017 | “Aging in Place”

The challenge invited submissions to address the factors that allow individuals and families to remain in their homes throughout the lifespan and into old age.


  • First Place – “TAME” by  Hooriya Anam, Awais Shafique, and Arsalan Javed  from the  National University of Sciences and Technology in Islamabad, Pakistan
  • Second Place – “Rendever” by Charles Lin and Kyle Rand at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Third Place – “UPPO” by Lane Hering, Emma Lee, Charlene Lertlumprasert, Genesis Solano, and Gerrold Walker from Virginia Tech

Skipso_graphic_22015-2016 | “Using Happiness to Optimize Longevity”

The challenge invited submissions to address three tracks: Mind, Mobility, and Financial Security, reflective of the Center on Longevity’s mission to enable people to reach old age Mentally Sharp, Physically Fit, and Financially Secure.


“Delight the Mind” (Mind Challenge)

  • First Place – “Memoir Monopoly” from Cho Szu-Yang and Cheng Ya-Fang of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology
  • Second Place – “Bath Chair” from National Yunlin University of Science (Taiwan)
  • Third Place – “Echo” from National University of Singapore

“Discover the Motion” (Mobility Challenge)

  • First Place – “City Cart” from Brandon Lopez and Eric Renard of San Francisco State University
  • Second Place – “Yedi70” from Koc University at Istanbul
  • Third Place – “POTALK” from National Chiao-Tung University (Taiwan)

Note: Insufficient entries were received to select finalists and make awards in the financial track.

Home_22014-2015 | “Enabling Personal Mobility Across the Life Span”

The 2014-2015 Challenge invited designer to create solutions for empowering mobility among older adults at a personal level by: (1) reducing sedentary lifestyles, (2) encouraging and enabling physical movement and exercise, and (3) reducing barriers and increasing facilitators to mobility in the home and community.

  • First Place – Nicholas Steigmann and Maiya Jensen from the California College of the Arts and their project “SPAN
  • Second Place – “HandleBar” from the University of California, Berkeley
  • Third Place – “Luna Lights” from Northwestern University
  • Stanford Longevity Technology Prize – “Flipod” from National University of Singapore

design_challenge_home32013-2014 | “Maximizing Independence for those with Cognitive Impairment”

This 2013-2014 challenge focused on designing new solutions to keep individuals with cognitive impairment independent for as long as possible. The challenge asked designer to identify issues around quality of life, personal independence, and helping people experience the best parts of life for as long as possible.

  • First Place – “EatWell” by Sha Yao from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco
  • Second Place – “Taste+” from the KEIO-NUS CUTE center at the National University of Singapore
  • Third Place – “Memory Maps” from the Copenhagen Institute of Design

Read more about the winners >