The Index Project has revealed the winners of the Index Awards 2021. The biennial awards programme aims to celebrate design that improves quality of life.
The awards mission is to ‘design to improve life’, seeking to promote design solutions to social, environmental and economic problems. Beyond celebrating progressive creativity, the organisation also celebrates diversity, inspires hope and acts as a catalyst for groundbreaking innovation. Each cycle recognises five designers from across five categories:
- Body; design that keeps us physically and mentally healthy,
- Home; solutions that support and enhance better living at home,
- Work; ideas that make our jobs safer, fairer, more accessible and sustainable,
- Play and Learning; design that makes learning more fun and effective through play,
- Community; large-scale design solutions that we all share.
These are the winners for each category:
OUI are being awarded for their innovative non hormonal contraceptive. Based on a completely novel approach to birth control, the OUI capsule reinforces the natural mucus barrier that exists in the cervical canal thereby making ovulatory cervical mucus impenetrable for sperm cells. OUI aims to encourage women to take ownership of their bodies by utilising the female body's own defences to aid birth control.
Flash Forest is an elegant and well-executed way of applying technology in a meaningful way to heal our shared home. The reforestation company uses aerial mapping software, drone technology, pneumatics, automation and ecological science to accelerate reforestation worldwide and secure the future of our home and planet. Flash Forest is dedicated to developing a community around their work, including NGOs, governments and corporations in order to successfully reforest.
Biohm produces environmentally regenerative and natural insulation grown from mycelium: the root network of mushrooms. The building industry is one of the industries with the largest environmental footprints in the world, with limited recycling and often harmful side effects for workers. Sustainable insulation is drastically needed, both in cool and warm climates to lower operational energy consumption, to reduce our energy consumption.
Play and Learning
Truepic uses technology to authenticate images and videos as they’re captured to ensure what goes online is real. Truepic addresses a huge global challenge and will help in democratising technology. The online world can be a misleading place but Truepic is using universal technology to bring clarity to what's really real out there and what's not.
Algorithmic Justice League is a movement trying to uncover racial and gender bias in AI systems to shift the wider AI ecosystem towards an accountable, transparent and equitable future. As well as being an awareness movement, Algorithmic Justice League offers a range of practical solutions to tackle AI bias. They offer ways to report AI biases, datasets available for AI research, workshops to help educate people about AI bias and harms, and services to audit company AI systems to see how they stack up in terms of ethics.
Liza Chong, CEO of The Index Project, said, “It is an honour to award these five teams with an Index Award. Over the past year humanity has endured extreme hardships and as such never before has solution-driven design deserved such recognition and celebration. From companies addressing social, racial and gender bias to designers seeking to restore and support the natural world, this year’s winners reflect the shift we have seen globally in the past 18 months towards a more egalitarian, sustainable and progressive future. I wish each of our winners much success and look forward to supporting them in their endeavours.”