The award, initiated by the European Economic and Social Committee in 2009 was established to increase global awareness of social and civil society issues.

The 2011 brief was to create ageless design to encourage users across generations, to take part in a design process, or to co-design by uniting young and older users.

The winning concept, Keep Cool, by Belgian designer, Vincent Gerkens is based on the traditional use of dampened terracotta to keep food cool, as an alternative to power hungry refrigerators.

As the winning concept, Keep Cool will be produced in a limited edition run and distributed as part of the EESC’s communication strategy for 2012, celebrating the European Year of Active Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity.

ORTOgether by Francesco di Luzio, Giulia Bartolucci and Sonia Fornea from Italy won second prize. Their system provides tools to create a vegetable garden in jute containers in a collaborative, fun and eco-friendly way.

The concept promotes the experience that older generations have had in growing and cultivating their own food, so they can teach younger family members the art of growing their own vegetables in a fun way.

Third prize went to Mari Korgesaar and Liina Tiidor, from Estonia for their reincarnation of an old textile mending tool, called the Darning Pear.

The Darning Pear supports the traditional way of darning or mending clothes or textiles to extend their use.

A reminder to people of all generations of the mending tradition.

An exhibition displaying the 20 most significant prototypes, including these winning designs, opens at the EESC in Brussels on 21 September, as part of the Design September program.

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