Team Foris Labs has been named winner of the Stanford Center on Longevity 2020-2021 Design Challenge competition receiving $10,000 prize after defeating 222 other entries from 37 countries over the course of the competition.
The Foris Labs team comprised of John Onuigbo from Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Nigeria (COOU) and Kyrian Obikwelu from Federal University of Technology Owerri, Nigeria (FUTO).
The team experienced the difficulty of trying to learn science lab skills while online schooling with poor internet connectivity during the COVID-19 pandemic. They presented their design for an offline platform that simulates a science lab for high school students, in which they can perform individual or group experiments.
The second place prize was awarded to PhoneBook from the Metropolitan State University of Denver in the United States of America (USA). The pandemic both caused and shined a light on strained resources at this team’s school, including a limited supply of loaner laptops. The PhoneBook is a 3D-printed electronic device that transforms a smartphone into a laptop computing experience.
The third place winner was Wulu from Harvard Kennedy School, USA (though the team is located in India). Responding to increased mental health issues during the pandemic, Wulu is a chatbot, which provides a safe space for adolescents to seek mental health and gender-related help and resources.
The 2021 Design Challenge theme encouraged students to examine their lives for lessons they learned during the huge cultural shift brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to use those lessons to innovate for a healthier future for people of all ages. Students were also encouraged to use the expert perspectives gathered in the Stanford Center on Longevity’s New Map of Life: After the Pandemic project as inspiration for their designs.
According to Ken Smith, Director of Programs at the Stanford Center on Longevity and Founder of the Design Challenge:
“We found that the entrants and the types of designs submitted highlighted both the global nature of the Challenge and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost all aspects of life. With finalists’ solutions ranging from remote education to handwashing to mental health to a technology concierge service for seniors, the entries span virtually the entire New Map of Life.”
Marie Conley-Smith, who coordinates the Design Challenge, stated:
“I was so impressed with the creativity and originality these designers showed as they navigated their own hurdles during the pandemic, and actually turned them into opportunities to design for a better future.
Getting to know each team virtually over the last few months has been an absolute privilege.”
The finalists all received a $1,000 prototyping award, as well as an additional $1,000 as a consolation prize for having been unable experience Stanford and the Finals in person. The entire competition is industry-sponsored and free to enter, enabling students from all circumstances to participate.
Acties (University of Maribor, Slovenia) – An app designed to motivate children to do daily exercise at home using an “advent-calendar”-like reward system.
Foris Labs (Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Nigeria) – An offline platform that simulates a science lab for high school students, in which they can perform individual or group experiments.
Intelligent Health Promotion Service System (National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan) – A service which enables patients to complete physiological rehabilitation from home with remote help from medical professionals.
Jolly Jolie (King’s College London, UK) – Soap-coated stickers which reveal themselves as a child washes their hands to encourage thorough handwashing
Me Time (NMIMS School of Design, India) – A multi-device home system aimed at helping mothers working from home have more control over their work and family time.
Near (Northwestern University, USA) – A service which helps families find personalized monitoring solutions for older adults aging at home when their loved ones live far away.
PhoneBook (Metropolitan State University of Denver, USA) – A 3D-printed electronic device that transforms a smartphone into a laptop computing experience.
Wulu (Harvard Kennedy School, USA/India) – A chatbot which provides a safe space for adolescents to seek mental health and gender-related help and resources.
Finance of America Reverse
Honda R&D Americas, Inc.
Procter & Gamble
Staci Alexander, Director, Thought Leadership, Office of Policy, Research and International Affairs, AARP
Alan Goldstein, Managing Director, P&G Ventures, Procter & Gamble
Todd Murch, President & CEO, Eskaton
Jane Nakagawa, AVP, Automotive Design & UX, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
Kristen Sieffert, President, Finance of America Reverse
About the Design Challenge
The Stanford Center on Longevity Design Challenge is a global competition aimed at encouraging students to design products and services to improve the lives of people across all ages. Established in 2013, the Challenge is focused on ways to motivate and empower people in their daily lives both inside their homes and in their community, particularly as they remain healthy and vigorous long past the traditional beginning of retirement.