“Longevity-Ready Environments: Rethinking Physical Spaces for Century-Long Lives”
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 ninth year, the Challenge is focused on how our physical environments affect the way that we age.
- Create well-designed, practical solutions that improve well-being across the life span
- 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
Successful aging is in part the result of the cumulative effects of years of interaction with the physical environment. Starting even before birth, environmental factors such as air quality, availability of well-designed outdoor spaces and transit options, living conditions, and toxin exposure affect our physical and mental health. These factors are also pathways by which inequality affects physical health – environmental quality is often worse for children and adults of lower socioeconomic status, leading to poorer health as they age. Making communities Longevity-Ready for everyone means recognizing the way our environment affects well-being at all ages in the context of a 100-year life.
This year we challenge student design teams around the world to examine the physical environments in their communities and identify opportunities to design for an environment that supports long lives. Students are encouraged to consider all aspects of their physical environments including public spaces, indoor spaces, and urban design. Designs might target:
- Outdoor and green spaces
- Airborne pollutants and household toxins
- Mitigation of weather extremes (e.g., heat mitigation) and climate change
- Public infrastructure, including housing and transportation
- Moving toward sustainable cities
- Energy consumption reductions
2020-2021 | “After the Pandemic: Designing the Next Version of Our World”
The 2021 Longevity Design Challenge focused on ideas inspired by the cultural shift that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic that support long, healthy, and happy lives for everyone.
- First Place – “Foris Labs” from Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Nigeria
- Second Place – “PhoneBook” from the Metropolitan State University of Denver, USA
- Third Place – “Wulu” from Harvard Kennedy School, USA (team located in India)
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