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“Reducing the Inequity Gap: Designing for Affordability”
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 seventh year, the Challenge is focused on ideas that support long, healthy, and happy lives for everyone by focusing on designing affordable solutions.
- 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
Why Design for Affordability?
The rising level of inequity in societies around the world is one of the key challenges of this century. In 2015, the World Economic Forum reported that for the first time in recent history, the richest 1% of individuals held more global wealth than the remaining 99% combined. While design and technology are increasingly being deployed to help individuals reach old age mentally sharp, physically fit, and financially secure; innovations far too often only reach people at the upper levels of socioeconomic status.
The 2020 Stanford Center on Longevity (SCL) Design Challenge will target this issue by asking young designers around the world to identify and design for opportunities to significantly reduce the cost of innovations that help people at all ages do the things needed to increase their odds ofalong and healthy life. The Challenge will be informed by the SCL’s New Map of Life project, which has identified areas for improvement in the quest for helping people live healthy and productive 100-year lives. Designers will be asked to identify and address an opportunity and propose a low-cost solution.
What is “Low Cost?”
The terms “low-cost” and “solution” can mean quite different things in various parts of the world. As a result, part of the challenge will be that teams will need to identify both the context in which the solution will be deployed, and an analysis of affordability in the target user. Thisapproach is rooted in Stanford’s “Design for Extreme Affordability” program (https://extreme.stanford.edu/), which has successfully created very low-cost and practical solutions for developing countries.
What Kinds of Designs are Included?
Any design significantly reducing the cost of an existing solution that contributes to longer and healthier lives will be accepted for consideration. New solutions are also welcome, but should include justification that they are affordable to the majority of the target population. Building on SCL’s New Map of Life,the following are a few examples of categories that could be targeted:
- Solutions that contribute to the health and well-being of young people in ways that eventually lead to better long life outcomes.
- Solutions that allow individuals to remain in their homes. Retrofitting solutions that increase safety and ease of use are an especially rich source of potential design opportunities.
- Solutions that bring nutritious food to individuals at lower cost.
- Solutions that help individuals monitor health and manage chronic disease at lower cost levels than currently available.
- Solutions that encourage higher levels of activity and engagement at the community level.
- Solutions that reduce the cost of improving literacy.
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