Design Week 09, Copenhagen: part 1

In late August, I went to Copenhagen for Design Week 09. The weather was warm and sunny and there were exhibits all over the city. The focus was sustainability and the projects ranged from hand carved bowls made in Ghana to a cell phone ad campaign working to revolutionize the fight against HIV.

The INDEX award exhibition was also on display that week. The recurring, world-touring exhibition presented the finalist for the INDEX: AWARD – visionary solutions created by designers to improve life for people around the world.

Design Week 09 : Throughout the week there were presentations by companies such as IKEA, Interface FLOR, and Frog Design sharing sustainability practices, new products and discussing the many challenges. While I was unimpressed by IKEA (in fact, I found their sustainability practices dated and lacking innovativion), I thought InterfaceFLOR and Frog Design to be inspiring and felt they had the true nature of sustainability at the core of their projects.

InterfaceFLOR, a carpet tile manufacturer, is not only working to reclaim their carpets and re-manufacture them into new high quality carpet tiles, they have started an ambitious project titled "Fairworks." Their commitment to environmental and social sustainability shines through in this line of flooring. Working with local craftspeople in India, they are integrating the designs of the area and implementing local manufacturing. The tiles are made from locally-available natural products: banana bark, river grass and cotton. I was very impressed with the beautiful designs.

Another project I was taken back by was Project Masiluleke, a collaborative effort between iTeach, the Praekelt Foundation, frog design, MTN South Africa, Nokia Siemens Networks and the National Geographic Society.

Project Masiluleke harnesses the mobile phone as a high-impact, low-cost tool in the fight against HIV/AIDS and TB. Nearly 100% of South Africans have access to a mobile device and the project touches virtually every one of them. Conservative estimates indicate Project Masiluleke has the potential to mobilize hundreds of thousands to get tested. IMPRESSIVE!

You can read more on DesignMind.

Part 2 with more pictures coming soon.

1 comment:

Daniela said...

Hope Copenhagen is treating you well! Just wanted to say hello from still hot Florida :))...