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NEW YORK, December 1, 2008. Challenged to consider the global
water crisis, design students in Atlanta are thinking about ways that
excess hair from beauty salons could be used to soak up oil spills,
while students in China are planning an online magazine for
6–12-year-olds to promote water conservation.
Both groups hope to be among the finalists for the first annual
INDEX: | AIGA Aspen Design Challenge, this year dubbed “Designing
Water’s Future.” Each group has created an elegantly simple solution
with a powerful impact—but only selected finalists will be invited to
refine their ideas with global thought leaders in 2009. And only one
design team will be awarded $10,000 to bring its idea to life.
Water scarcity has emerged as a serious threat to people across the
world. More than 5 million die each year due to contaminated drinking
water, and the UN estimates that 5.5 billion will lack adequate access
to fresh water in the next 20 years. “It is of great importance that
designers and design students understand their role in addressing the
challenges of this world—and the freshwater crisis is definitely one of
the graver ones, given the number of people afflicted and the number of
other issues that it involves,” said Kigge Hvid, CEO of INDEX:.
More than 450 students at 45 universities across 6 continents are currently hard at work on creative projects to solve this crisis, and will submit final proposals by December 15.
Launched in August 2008, the Challenge tasks students with developing
design solutions that encourage responsible water use, provide access to
fresh water to those in need or communicate the importance of water
conservation. From Australia to Ecuador, students are using their
diverse and disparate backgrounds to help solve a truly global crisis.
“The idea behind the Aspen Design Challenge is that creative design
can change the way people think and behave, and that young people are an
essential source for precisely the design thinking we need,” said
Richard Grefé, executive director of AIGA. “AIGA has kept in touch with
these students throughout the semester, and all indicators show that we
can expect some wonderfully surprising results in December.”
Following the announcement of finalists in February 2009, students behind the selected proposals will have the opportunity to share their ideas with environmental specialists at the Aspen Environment Forum
in March 2009, and to improve their concepts with feedback from top
designers, scientists, journalists, and business and NGO leaders.
Selected finalists will also present their concepts at the United Nations Climate Change Conference
in Copenhagen next November, and the winning team will receive the
$10,000 INDEX: | AIGA Aspen Design Challenge Prize—sponsored by the JL
Foundation—to implement its solution.
“We have recently seen American politics shaped by young people who
could see beyond divisive fear tactics and move toward hope,” said Brian
Collins, chairman of COLLINS:, the New York-based design firm and
partner in “Designing Water’s Future.” “Now imagine these same kinds of
creative minds working on the water crisis from all corners of the
globe. The great response to ‘Designing Water’s Future’ indicates to us
that the next generation is ready to take action.”
The Aspen Design Challenge is a joint project developed by AIGA and
INDEX: with the purpose of engaging the millennial generation in solving
an emerging set of global issues. The idea for “Designing Water’s
Future” grew out of discussions at the World Economic Forum in Davos,
Switzerland, led by Brian Collins and journalist J. Carl Ganter,
co-founder of Circle of Blue, the international network of leading
journalists, scientists and communications designers that connects
humanity to the global freshwater crisis.
INDEX: and AIGA have recruited experts in design, environmental
policy, economics, and development to serve as the Challenge jury. The
jury members will convene in February 2009 to review all project
submissions, select finalists for participation in the Aspen Environment
Forum and INDEX: Summer Camp, and ultimately, award $10,000 to the
winning team. The jury is comprised of experts from the United States,
Canada, Denmark and Singapore:
For more information, visit www.aspendesignchallenge.org or sign up for updates from "Designing Water’s Future” on Facebook.
Circle of Blue is the international network of leading
journalists, scientists and communications designers that reports and
presents the information necessary to respond to the global freshwater
crisis. Circle of Blue is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative and
is a nonprofit affiliate of the internationally recognized water,
climate and policy think tank, the Pacific Institute. Circle of Blue
also publishes WaterNews, the daily go-to source for global water news
and data. For more information about Circle of Blue, visit www.circleofblue.org and www.circleofblue.org/waternews.
COLLINS: is a design and innovation firm based in New York
City. The firm creates communications, environments and interactions
that transform how organizations connect with people. Their team of
strategists, designers and technologists work with some of the leading
organizations in the world.
Founded in 2002, INDEX: is a global nonprofit network
organization based in Copenhagen which draws attention to design that
substantially improves people’s lives. INDEX:, a subsidiary company of
the Danish Design Centre, works through a global network to ensure
access to the best knowledge on design and the cutting edge of
contemporary thinking. The network consists of designers, businesses,
organizations and design institutions that collaborate in disseminating
and applying the latest knowledge in the field of “Design to Improve
Life.” Every other year, INDEX: awards the world’s largest design prize,
INDEX: AWARD. www.indexaward.dk
AIGA, the professional association for design, is the premier place
for design—to discover it, discuss it, understand it, appreciate it, be
inspired by it.
AIGA’s mission is to advance designing as a professional craft,
strategic tool and vital cultural force. AIGA stimulates thinking about
design through journals, conferences, competitions and exhibitions;
demonstrates the value of design to business, the public and government
officials; and empowers the success of designers at each stage of their
careers by providing invaluable educational and social resources.
Founded in 1914, AIGA remains the oldest and largest professional
membership organization for design. AIGA now represents more than 22,000
design professionals, educators and students through national
activities and local programs developed by 62 chapters and 240 student
groups. AIGA is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) educational institution.
For further information, please contact:Kristen Titus/Martha McGill
Resnicow Schroeder Associates
212 671 5173/5169
AIGA | the professional association for design
Tel 212 807 1990 Fax 212 807 1799amy_chapman [at] aiga [dot] org
New York, NY—September 29, 2014. As the definition of
“design” continues to broaden, so too will the scope of AIGA’s biennial
design and business conference. Next month, leading
thinkers-practitioners-writers-educators will converge in New York City
at “Gain” to consider many facets of the design of business for the
New York—September 23, 2014. Next week, AIGA, the professional
association for design, opens “Dan Friedman: Radical Modernist”—a
vibrant and inspiring retrospective of a designer who pioneered New Wave
design while carving his own path from academia to corporate design,
experimental European commissions and AIDS activism in the East Village
art scene. This exhibition is organized and designed by AIGA Medalist
Chris Pullman and Laura Varrachi of LVCK Environmental Graphics with
support from Dan Friedman's brother Ken Friedman.
New York, NY—September 25, 2014. AIGA and Wacom announce the launch of “Rise & Shine,”
a new video series that goes behind the scenes of the diverse practices
of six up-and-coming communication designers. Viewers are invited to
travel across the United States with AIGA, the professional association
for design, and Wacom, the leading producer of intuitive design tools,
to visit a range of talented, emerging designers working today and find
out what fuels their creativity. The series offers a closer look at
everything from creative processes and big career breaks to the
techniques and technology they use to realize their visions.
NEW YORK—September 18, 2014. AIGA, Design Observer and Designers & Books today published results of the 2013 “50 Books/50 Covers” competition. A panel of jurors including Michael Bierut, partner at the New York design firm Pentagram; Jessica Helfand, founding editor of Design Observer; and Peter Mendelsund, associate art director of Alfred A. Knopf Books chose 50 outstanding books and 50 exceptional covers.
This task force is charged with reviewing the role AIGA might play in recognizing, communicating and advocating remarkable design that has emerged from the graphic design tradition—experienced in many media and forms today.
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