Design for Poverty International Contest


Deadline: October 10, 2008

Design for Poverty International Contest hosted by Yanko Design in collaboration with Blog Action Day. Participation is open to applicants from every country in the world; professionals, students, and design enthusiasts.

Subject matter

Global issues like poverty are extremely complex. There is no simple, clear answer. By asking thousands of different people to give their viewpoints and opinions, Blog Action Day creates an extraordinarily lens through which to view these issues.

Yanko Design wants you to put on your thinking caps and use design to address poverty. Maybe it’s clean drinking water. Maybe it’s portable shelter. Poverty is a systemic problem. Pick an aspect of it and show how the power of design can bring unity and speak up for the hundreds of millions that can’t. We’ve seen wonderful examples of this in the past; portable water bottle filters and lightweight shelter modules to name a few. What can you come up with?

Design criteria

  • Entries must address poverty.
  • Entries must be submitted by individuals or teams.
  • Projects should not already be in production.
  • Previously published or exhibited projects are prohibited.
  • Sketches, renderings, and descriptions are required.


  • All submissions must be received by October 10, 2008.
  • 10 finalists will be announced to the world October, 15, 2008 on Blog Action Day.
  • The judges will announce the winners on October 20, 2008 here on Yanko Design.


Judging is private by select members of Yanko Design spanning many fields of design. Submissions will not be made public until the unveiling of the top 10 finalists. Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards will be given to the top three. Additional honorary awards will be given to select entries.

The judges will award designs and concepts which are innovative in terms of their formal / technological aspects addressing poverty. Both idea and presentation are key so no vague submissions please.


There will be prizes thanks to our sponsors but will be kept secret until the winners are announced.


By participating in the competition, all participants authorize Yanko Design and Blog Action Day to publish and exhibit all the designs including project data submitted – waiving compensation – at exhibitions and events and/or use them in any publication that the organizers may deem suitable. Yanko Design will not pursue production of any design submitted.


The competition is only open to humans, 18 years or older. Other than that, skies the limit.


Blog Action Day has a wonderful list of general web resources regarding poverty that may help in your research and design process.

Submit your entry

Only one entry per applicant regardless if you’re an individual or team.
All images must be 72dpi, no larger than 800 px in width. Hi-resolution assets will be requested if work is shortlisted.

Entry must include an explanation of idea no more than 1000 words saved as a text or word document.

By submitting an entry, you are agreeing to competition guidelines: projects submitted to the competition, must be ORIGINAL works. Projects must be free from copyrights and any kind of obligation. The design shall not infringe on any third party’s right, including but not limited to copyright, logos, trademark, trade names, or other proprietary rights of publicity or privacy. It cannot have been previously published in any capacity or used in a prior competition. Yanko Design has the right to disqualify any entry found violating any of these terms.

Please compress your entry into a zip file and email your entry to


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