After much deliberation the INDEX: Award jury have revealed the 2013 finalists, which all showcase innovative design solutions to address the world’s most pressing challenges and importantly improve life.

The INDEX: Awards, arguably the world’s largest design awards and richest with €500,000 in prize money up for grabs, was set up in 2002 by INDEX: Design to Improve Life®, the Danish non-profit organisation. The first biennial INDEX: Award took place in 2005, and 2013 marks its fifth award ceremony, which will take place in Copenhagen on 29 August 2013, under the attendance of HRH the Crown Prince of Denmark, who is patron of INDEX: Design to Improve Life.

Over 1022 nominations from 73 countries were received. The international jury of designers, design scholars and thinkers, business people and curators then had the hard task of deciding who would make the final 60 finalists.

“In the elimination process, some darlings were kissed goodbye, but ultimately all jurors feel that we ended up with exactly the right mix of high-quality finalists that individually and collectively demonstrate exactly what INDEX: Award and what Design to Improve Life is about. It’s been great, rewarding and a lot of fun to see so many different solutions sharing this great purpose of designing better solutions for people all over the world,” said Mikal Hallstrup, INDEX: Award jury chairman.

INDEX: Award is split into five categories: Body, Home, Work, Play and Community. The organisation has established that the designers of the world primarily focus on problem solving within 12 global challenges, of which there are three new ones: Money and New Value; Food; and Environment and Climate Adaptation.

An interesting nomination within the global challenge of food is a solution that addresses food waste. FreshPaper, which was invented by Kavita Shukla who was just 17 at the time, is simply a sheet of paper that keeps food fresh for two to four times longer. Infused with edible organic extracts including fenugreek, the paper can be placed into a fridge drawer, fruit bowl, bag or container to keep food fresh. The ‘magic’ is that it inhibits bacterial and fungal growth as well as degradative enzymes.

Another innovative nomination that addresses the global challenge of environment and climate adaption is +Pool, a floating water-filtering pool for rivers and lakes. Designed by a multidisciplinary design team at PlayLab in New York, the ambition was to improve the use of the city’s natural resources by providing a clean and safe way for the public to swim in New York’s waters.

For a full list of all the nominations visit designtoimprovelife.dk. All finalists will be displayed in the world touring INDEX: Award 2013 Exhibition.

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