Refugee Challenge Shortlist

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“Less pretty products, more smart services”


An app that explains the rights and duties of refugees in each country, direct democracy in the asylum seekers centre, a cosy bed for traumatized refugee children, and repopulation by refugees of eroded and declining regions in southern Europe. These are just some of the numerous innovative ideas selected for the shortlist of the What Design Can Do Refugee Challenge 2016.

The Refugee Challenge is a collaboration between What Design Can Do, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and IKEA Foundation. Over the past month designers, artists and creatives from 70 countries submitted 631 ideas aimed at improving the lives of refugees. Challenge leader Dagan Cohen referred to the hundreds of entries as ‘few pretty products, plenty of smart services. The bulk of entries clearly focuses more on ethical and emphatic design and less on aesthetics, demonstrating that service design as a discipline is clearly on the rise’.

Download the Shortlist Poster Exhibition here.

WINNER 3: EAT & MEET

BY Kinnunen, Legleye, Marshall, Sougrati / Various Countries

WINNER 5: REFRAME REFUGEES

BY Marie-Louise Diekema, Tim Olland / The Netherlands

ACADEMIC HUB TO MEET & CREATE

BY Cross Hands Architecture / PORTUGAL

A VOTE TO GIVE REFUGEES A VOICE

By Giacomo Boffo, Oana Clitan / The Netherlands

SHORT-CUT TO EMPLOYMENT

BY The Working Refugees / The Netherlands

INSIGHT INTO RIGHTS GIVES PEACE

BY Ishiyetaa Saxena, Jaivardhan Singh / India

COVERS TO CHASE AWAY MONSTERS

By Lodewijk de Vries, Diederik Derkzen / The Netherlands

REFUGEES IN THE SPOTLIGHT

By Brenda Waegemaekers, Michael Bien / The Netherlands