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“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.
- Create well-designed, practical solutions that improve well-being across the lifespan
- Encourage a new generation of students to become knowledgeable about issues associated with long lives
- 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?
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.
2016-2017 | “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
2015-2016 | “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.
2014-2015 | “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
2013-2014 | “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