From 557 entries worldwide, 33 promising projects have been selected to move on to the final round of the Redesign Everything Challenge. The competition, launched by What Design Can Do in partnership with the IKEA Foundation, called for creative climate solutions across five different disciplines: products, materials, spaces, communications and systems and services. After weeks of careful deliberation, the nominated projects have been revealed to include a wide range of ideas and start-ups, from neighbourhood initiatives to rejuvenate local food systems to solar-powered innovations designed for communities in need.   

As many as 17 countries are represented in this year’s shortlist, including Japan, Turkey, India, Kenya, Brazil, Mexico, the UK and the Netherlands. All applications were reviewed by a Selection Committee featuring 28 experts from various fields, including Taina Campos (industrial designer), Amit Gupta (Founder and Editor, StirWorld), and Lucy von Sturmer (Founder, Creatives for Climate). The 33 nominated projects won over the Selection Committee by exceeding expectations across the competition’s five criteria: impact, creativity & design, feasibility, scalability, and teamwork. Over the next few weeks, an international jury will evaluate the shortlist to decide on 10 winners worldwide, to be announced on 28 May 2024.


Many of the nominated projects are rooted in regional climate urgencies and aim to make cities more livable in the future. Greenfluidics, for example, is a Mexican initiative that transforms urban spaces into sustainable ecosystems with innovative solar panels that purify air and generate clean energy with the support of living algae. Meanwhile, one of the nominees from India, Breathe Easy, is working to revive traditional building techniques to relieve indoor air pollution in low-income neighbourhoods in Delhi. Dutch entry De Proef similarly leverages an undervalued local resource by transforming dilapidated buildings in the historic town of Frederiksoord into a dynamic, 8-hectare community garden and horticulture school.

Redesign Everything Challenge Nominees

From top left: Nominated projects Urban Lungs for Cities, Coral Rescue, A Bite of Extinction and Captain Fanplastic.

Another common thread in the nominated projects is a focus on education and mobilisation. Ghanaian project The Revival impressed with its integrated awareness campaigns and upcycling initiatives to divert over 1 million garments from landfills and oceans. Similarly, Captain Fanplastic aims to raise environmental literacy among South African youth, using creative communications and storytelling to build a movement around plastic waste prevention and management. There is also Coral Rescue, a Japanese initiative which encourages public engagement in coral conservation through workshops and kits to grow coral at home.

Indeed, restoring nature — and collaborating with her — seems to be an important approach among this year’s nominees. It is especially apparent in material research projects such as Fabulous Fungi (the Netherlands), Celium™ by Polybion (Mexico) and Co-Culturing Rituals (UK) which harness natural pigments and processes to offer bio-based alternatives for use in fashion and cosmetics. Meanwhile, projects like Textile Agroforestry (Brazil), Reef Rocket (US) and A Bite of Extinction (Spain) show the importance of reconnecting communities to the living ecosystems around them, and help to reveal the many links between biodiversity and cultural heritage.

Redesign Everything Challenge Nominees

From top left: Nominated projects Celium™ by Polybion, The Revival, Reef Rocket and Fabulous Fungi.


All 33 nominated projects can now be viewed online via the Challenge platform. Over the next month, an international jury will review their projects and announce 10 winning projects across all categories on 28 May. The panel features leading figures from the fields of climate, design, business, and circularity, including René van Geer (Secrid), Sunny Dolat (The Nest Collective) and Daniel Freitag (FREITAG). 

Winners will receive €5.000 in funding and launch into a full-steam-ahead development programme, which includes the opportunity to present their projects at the upcoming WDCD Live event in Amsterdam. Join us to see the winners on stage alongside leading creative figures like architect Afaina de Jong and fashion designer Bobby Kolade. Congratulations to all participants and best of luck to the nominees!