Design for Poverty International Contest

CALL FOR ENTRIES

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.

Timelines

  • 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

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.

Prizes

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

Copyright

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.

Eligibility

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

Resources

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 contest@yankodesign.com.

70 Comments

  • pketh says:

    I’m really scratching my brain for this one as I come up with ideas. I’ve always thought of poverty as something best addressed by the abstraction of services and legislation than a product of design.. But I’m workin’ on it still 🙂

    • L.T. says:

      Remember, you can focus in on just one component of poverty such as accessibility to clean drinking water. Take for example the LifeStraw concept – a filtering straw you can distribute to anyone. They can use it to drink straight out of lakes, creeks, rivers.

      Think about systemic problems of poverty. Choose one and address it.

    • cartman says:

      Turn the homeless into tires. That way we can use them, for our cars.

  • zippyflounder says:

    good choice sir, lets hope a whole boat load step up and show their stuff.

  • Denver says:

    Those are nice pants

  • Benni Blanco says:

    Education is the solution.

    • Me says:

      Money is the solution…

      • Jon says:

        They have no money so why bother.. I understand the concept of the contest, and it is noble. But if a design actually lead to something the poor would have to buy it.

        Thus, back to square 1, why design something that the target market can’t afford?

      • nishita gill says:

        Design a system?

  • Rodrigo says:

    Birth Control is the solution.

  • Rodrigo says:

    Not for the poors. For everyone.

  • kkool says:

    Genocide. mission complete!

    comeon, at least tell us what the prizes are, so I will know if this is even worth thinking about!

  • victor fortuna says:

    i understand what you guys at Yanko are trying to do , but get serious about it.
    for example , the person that is laying down on the ground is so healthy, dressed with full clothes for cold (with sneakers!)weather,and biggest surprise , totally clean !!!
    well,i don´t know where you all have been studying to become designers, but i do know that you don´t have ever see a real poor people.
    it seems like this guy was drunk and is taking a little nap to go home…..
    one more: this kind of “modern design products to eliminate poverty”…..come on…
    and hey! where´s the trash that poor people usually carry with them ?
    blame your photographer….

  • victor fortuna says:

    and yes, Denver, those are nice clean pants,maybe from a great designer´s store!!!!

  • kkool says:

    well victor lets not get caught up in the ad for the competition.

    But I think what the real problem is is that people living in poverty, or by the look of this poster, “homeless” people are not a good market to design for, at least there is no physical designed product that can help, rather, “design thinking” implemented into policies and legislature is the only true way to help.

    but come on, what politician would implement honest, true, and logical thought into there daily lives!

    people below poverty do not have to the opportunity to “shop” around for products to improve their lives, rather, they can only get whats given to them, thus, defeating the purpose of a selective market for a designed product.

    that means we are really designing for a charitable organization (or the government, scough!) that can actually implement such product.

    however, if this is purely a styling project, then it could be fun, at the cost of mocking the poor, but hey, they don’t have internet so they will never find out.

    yanko… at least tell us what the prizes are.

  • Rodrigo says:

    Here in Brazil some entitie made a car so poor people who sells old paper could carry the paper they pick up around a little more confortable! So, let’s help them keep poor! But with some beautiful product in their hands!

  • Rodrigo says:

    By car I mean Wheelbarrow. I just forgot the right word for it.

    🙂

  • Riley says:

    I cannot believe the amount of trash talking towards the homeless population on this message board. I believe the competition concept is excellent and Yanko is doing a good thing by exploring this side of design. Some people in previous postings decided to say that no product can fix this problem, but as designers we can make lives for those people who don’t have a permanent dwelling a bit easier. As for those of you that addressed the target market issue, there are plenty of organizations that do their best to assist the homeless population and would be interested in finding an efficient product to assist in their mission.

  • Riley says:

    I apologize for repeating most of what KKool said in his post, while reading the thread I must have jumped over his comment.

  • elgallo says:

    A sharp wit is a great thing but, I find it hard to believe anyone would be so base as to post such sarcastic comments as the ones above.
    Go make fun of Paris Hilton. Or Donald Trump.
    Picking on the poster and the concept for this competition is in poor taste.
    If you are as smart as you think you are, come up with a better idea.
    It is way too easy to poo-hoo others.

  • mr know no says:

    elgallo is right. However unrealistic, impractical, trivial you may think this competition is, come up with something better before you start to cut it down.
    Negativity is not a substitute for brains.
    Neither is sarcasm.

  • IGreenSpot says:

    what is the prize ? how many winners?

  • Whatever will happen to the useable and good designs?
    Who is going to implement them and actually put them in use by homeless and poor people? In other words – who is going to benefit from them?

  • Did Somebody Order a says:

    From the Merriam Webster dictionary:

    pov-er-ty:
    The state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions.

    Link:
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poverty

    Opinion:
    People who are earning income below the national average or at the bare minimum wage are at the poverty line. So no, this does not merely apply to the homeless and the like.

    Now that we have got the dimwits that got the definition of poverty wrong out of the way, lets focus on some constructive design ideas.

    How about designs that focus on low cost as its top priority? This design would have some drawbacks as to lifespan and cutting edge technologies and techniques. So something along these lines are good place to start.

    o.o

  • Did Somebody Order a Knuckle Sandwich? says:

    From the Merriam Webster dictionary:

    pov-er-ty:
    The state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions.

    Link:
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poverty

    Opinion:
    People who are earning income below the national average or at the bare minimum wage are at the poverty line. So no, this does not merely apply to the homeless and the like.

    Now that we have got the dimwits that got the definition of poverty wrong out of the way, lets focus on some constructive design ideas.

    How about designs that focus on low cost as its top priority? This design would have some drawbacks as to lifespan and cutting edge technologies and techniques. So something along these lines are good place to start.

    o.o

  • i think this is a good idea,thinking about “one notebook for every under developing world kids”project,that idea just improved technology and opened new market (netbook) for huge companies(intel,asus,…)also shows that in 1th world country peoples like cheap and useful innovative products and spend money for them!
    for this contest
    i think this will open new product-category in RICH people basket! but don’t be impressed they also can be used by POOR mans because they are cheap/useful.

  • Monkey says:

    My 2 cents:

    i’ve given this some thought and think that people are just confused. but yanko doesn’t really explain the competition that well either.

    poverty and homelessness are two different ideas.

    Poster for contest shows homelessness, but actual contest is for poverty.

    Can poverty be addressed by design?
    No.
    i.e. lack of economics (Africa) = require resources to boost economic development.

    Can problems that arise from poverty be addressed by design?
    Yes. i.e lack of clean water = life straw, portable filtration (as yanko has pointed out)

    So the concentration of this contest is more about the problems that arise from poverty. Lack of clean water to be the main issue, but there are other issues that compare, such as lack of medical treatment, lack of resources, lack of education…etc.

    Any thoughts? am I way of base here?

  • Sandeep Lokapur says:

    I agree with L.T design has help poor and needy people….
    but will anybody tell me design has to be purely product design?

  • carl says:

    the weak feeding off the strong. they need discipline. id like to see the stats how many of them smoke drink use drugs.?

  • Miles says:

    Wow- reading may of the careless, humanless posts above kinda makes me not want to participate. After all, why try to do anything when some of the assholes above are gonna piss all over the effort?
    I know that it is in our nature to be judgemental. But to be so absolute about it? Sad and pathetic. Homelessness and poverty will never be corrected: Not by design and not be resources.

  • Did Somebody Order a says:

    First and foremost there are people in the US of A that live in poverty. So, if you think that poverty is limited to under developed countries, please get your head out of your ass and take a trip down to a poor neighborhood.

    To all the people referring to Africa and other countries as poor, please re-read the contents of this topic. It doesn't talk about poor countries and what you need to do to help them. Neither does it say that you must come up with solutions for the lazy and substance abusers.

    Those claiming that only administrative policies from respective government could eradicate poverty, well the purpose of this competition is not about eradicating poverty but specific solutions. This is a design competition, not how to run a country.

    Like I have mentioned in my previous post, products that are cheap and could serve many purposes are examples. This would however mean that it would not be the most cutting edge stuff or provide the most comfort. Keep in mind design does not equals cutting edge technology.

    You may want to think along the lines of tools/ideas that the poverty stricken could use to improve their livelihood or attain social mobility.

    If you still have no clue, try doing some research (the topic does provide some useful resources) instead of blaming the organizers for your laziness and ignorance. Also, only stupid people ask stupid questions. Please ask questions that are relevant to the the topic.

    Thank you all and good night.

  • Did Somebody Order a Knuckle Sandwich? says:

    First and foremost there are people in the US of A that live in poverty. So, if you think that poverty is limited to under developed countries, please get your head out of your ass and take a trip down to a poor neighborhood.

    To all the people referring to Africa and other countries as poor, please re-read the contents of this topic. It doesn’t talk about poor countries and what you need to do to help them. Neither does it say that you must come up with solutions for the lazy and substance abusers.

    Those claiming that only administrative policies from respective government could eradicate poverty, well the purpose of this competition is not about eradicating poverty but specific solutions. This is a design competition, not how to run a country.

    Like I have mentioned in my previous post, products that are cheap and could serve many purposes are examples. This would however mean that it would not be the most cutting edge stuff or provide the most comfort. Keep in mind design does not equals cutting edge technology.

    You may want to think along the lines of tools/ideas that the poverty stricken could use to improve their livelihood or attain social mobility.

    If you still have no clue, try doing some research (the topic does provide some useful resources) instead of blaming the organizers for your laziness and ignorance. Also, only stupid people ask stupid questions. Please ask questions that are relevant to the the topic.

    Thank you all and good night.

  • vin says:

    The competition is only open to “humans”???

  • marie says:

    can the design be applied specifically to the poor in third world countries?

  • carl says:

    the best idea has already been made.

    its the Condom.

  • Celtia says:

    Here here “Did Somebody Order a Knuckle Sandwich?” In the UK Poverty isn’t just the homeless!!The stats for impoverished children in our country is disgusting and the standard of education the majority receive is very basic..it is hard to believe but millions of British citizens cannot read or write…basic life tools! This is mostly due to the cost of living, government, and uneducated life cycles, if the parents dont learn then their is a good chance the children follow….and I am not just talking about the 3 ‘r’s’ I am talking about fulfilling there potential!!

    How do you design for the that?

  • Locry says:

    i agree with carl… the condom is one of the better solutions… but they’d have to buy that… i suggest an inoculation drive…with a few secret ingredients added. 🙂 (no child policy for those who cannot afford it)
    seriously… no matter how absurd the challenge… there’s always a design that’ll work (for the challenge)… take the “design a useless thing on two wheels” challenge for example… there’s an entry somewhere in the site that’ll win hands down. hahaha

    as artists we should learn to take it “below the belt” once in a while… we don’t have to like it, just survive the blow and move on. 🙂

  • why not have poor people as judges for this competition?…who are we do decide what is good-bad-relevant-irrelevant…???

  • academic one says:

    First I agree with Riley. Second, how about starting a serious dialog to help define the problem so that a solution can be forthcoming. Third, the best prize would be having the design/solution actually implemented so that it does help the poor. So lets start the discussion by looking at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and go from there.

  • academic one says:

    Forgot to say that condoms are a great idea but not only for the poor but for all. We need to reduce the population because our natural resources are being depleted and technology may not solve every problem we face. “Soilent Green is people”

  • clodo says:

    who the PH is the N who came up with the idea of this selfpleasing competition idea.
    sorry! you are such a nice and thoughtfull person! BAD ME!!!

  • www.adf.lt says:

    Very interesting!

  • L Jannuzzi says:

    I think that the idea of the contest is good, but it might be useless.
    The reason that I’m writing is because I really believe design can help poor people. But if there isn’t a plan behind the design, it probably won’t. I think this topic goes beyond design, it involves profound knowledge of the problem. If the project is about solving a specific problem it isn’t enough just design some product that works, how it will be applied in society? It is society ready to this product? How poor people will get in touch with this product? Where and whit what it will be produced? It will really solve a problem? And most important: are poor people really interested in it?

    We need to make ourselves this question before starting the project or some of the “poor taste” comments posted above will be right, it will be a selfpleasing competition idea.

  • monkey face says:

    Food for thought:

    http://www.wyclef.com/press/Newsday52508.html

    What’s interesting is that poverty stricken land and its people do not just want aide but “an opportunity… to help themselves”. everybody knows the age old proverb “… teach a man to fish and you will feed him for the rest of his life.” Should this not be a staple as a design requirement?

  • sarah says:

    It is hoped that this world there is not poverty!

  • Whale,,, says:

    I’ve just stumbled upon all-of-this and am apalled by the Naive and Mundane,Arrogant andinhumane responses from any whodon’t have a stitch ofkindness for the Meak…I can’t applaud those among”U”that self-center your lives on the”Great-Lie”and”Utter-lack of compassion…J.Locke(Thinker/Philosopher)spoke of a populus of people(Humans)that will never know their full potential;will never make-it near’The Cutting Edge”as he denotes…I for one have pondered this tradgedy in our World,Our Planet Our America,s for some-time:The collective input of several plans,ideas and genius will solve this and many others…The Little Red Hen Is a great starting point for those amoungst us thatwish to have but not to participate…Non-Sequential Neuron Misfiring is no longer an excuse for thelack of Love.we are all like sheeps led to slaughter…Have any of “U” non-participating flatulent heavy critics ever observed an Ant…The Sun-or-The Wind,Which is capable of removing a Poor-Mans Cape/Blanket the easiest(0r at all?)The reward for our help should not be for us but rather for those in need.This great Nation of ours has forgotten its poor,widowed,meak and disheartened.Every Great Empire,at its final Hour of failing,has had one common theme………The Lack and deteriation of moraliity and ethics…..It is indeed a sad state of existence for we American’s.Maybe the great ceasar or pharoe can help…Maybe its Obame or McCain….or good ole Compassion?…Some of you have read and critiqued my punctuation and spelling:If I told you I was Blind what would you say to your Heart?If i told you I’ve baited you w/these errors;What would you say about my Heart?Again I say….Where do any of us take a part in our growth and survival as a Planet People-or-simply American’s(A smelting Pot of Peoples,nationalities,ideas,gives and the lot)

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