20090410-stanford-monsoon-capture1Stanford’s d.school design institute has just published the winners of their quarterly d.prize competition, recognizing the top 4 student projects of the term. The best aspect of the submission process is that teams must write their entries in haiku form.

capture a monsoon,
don’t only collect water,
build an “extreme” team.
 

20090410-stanford-monsoon-capture2A project called “The Deathstar” won this year’s monsoon challenge from the Design for Extreme Affordability class. This challenge gives teams 48 hours and $20 to design and build a device to maximize the capture of rainwater from a simulated monsoon.

Team Deathstar took advantage of the fact that the “monsoon” comes from a set of sprinklers mounted on a ladder; their solution surrounded the sprinklers and captured water from all 360 degrees, draining through a gutter system to a collection receptacle. Not exactly an option in a real monsoon, but the team did demonstrate innovative thinking. The video proves that they accomplished the third requirement of the competition: have fun!

20090410-social-design-awardsNominations for The Tech Awards 2009 close today! Build Change represented the United States among the 2008 Laureates.

Awards programs like these are crucial to world-changing designers. The recognition from a university, nonprofit, or corporate award program can give a design startup the endorsement they need to win grant funding or justify government aid that helps distribute the new design to folks who cannot afford it.

Here’s a quick summary of development-related awards programs:

Program Tagline Dates Past winners
The Tech Awards Technology Benefitting Humanity Nominations due 4/10 Build Change
Google 10 to the 100th May those who help the most win Voting period coming soon; request reminder First annual, but Hippo Roller is featured in the YouTube animated video!
Microsoft Imagine Cup The world’s premier student technology competition Round 1 winners announced 4/20 to advance to Round 2. Team SOAK achieving sustainable agriculture with software and hardware.
$100,000 Lemelson-MIT Award for Sustainability Improving Lives through Sustainable Invention Submit nominations by October for the January 2010 award. Amy Smith was the first female winner of the Student prize in 2000
MIT IDEAS Competition Develop and implement projects that make a positive change in the world Final submissions due 4/15; Judging session at MIT 4/27.

If you know of others, please comment and let us know!

This post dedicated to Marc, who has encouraged me every day for the past six weeks to make time for blogging!

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We’re excited to see that Microsoft has chosen to focus its 2009 Imagine Cup theme around the Millennium Development Goals. The Imagine Cup challenges students around the world to solve world challenges in nine technology categories:

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Design // Short Film // Photography

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Robotics // IT Challenge // Mash Up

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Software // Embedded // Game

This year’s worldwide finals will be held in Cairo, Egypt in July. Last year’s winners, chosen from over 200,000 contestants, seemed mostly to focus on technogadgets to raise awareness of personal consumption patterns in the developed world, so we’re glad to see Microsoft encouraging all this brainpower to consider the bottom-of-pyramid developing world population. Winning 2008 teams will receive business and technology training as part of the Imagine Cup Innovation Accelerator program, to be held in Mountain View, CA in early April this year.

CbD will be watching the Design Invitational category most closely; entries to Round 1 are due March 1.