INDEX: Design to Improve Life® is a non-profit organisation focusing on awarding, teaching and promoting sustainable design thinking and solutions to global challenges. Among other initiatives the organisation hosts the prestigious INDEX: Award every other year awarding €500,000 to five talented designers. The award had its 5th anniversary in 2013, and that meant rethinking the whole award ceremony concept and creating a new experience for the 1,300 special invited guests from all over the world.
As inhouse art director I was in charge of creating the visual universe around the award and design and implement the overarching concept of “Good News” on a number of different platforms. The aim was to tell the good stories about designers that are using their creative skills in making life-improving design solutions in a serious, concise and visually appealing way.
The award ceremony was designed to be a hybrid between a live TV news broadcast and a theatre production, complete with sound effects, live interviews and a composed news anchor in the shape of renowned Danish journalist Steffen Kretz.
I designed the visual identity and look and feel of the fictive news channel “Design to Improve Life News”. Click below to watch the entire INDEX: Award 2013 ceremony. It was filmed at Kulturværftet in Helsingør in front of a live audience of 1,300 people from 35 different countries.
The winner prizes had previously been re-designed from year to year, but I wanted to make one iconic INDEX: “statuette”—like the Oscars—to keep consistency and a stronger brand alignment. My idea was to design a sculpture that could vary in materials if needed but keep the same recognisable shape. The sculpture was an interpretation of the INDEX: colon squares and made of dyed concrete and acrylic plates with foil.
Folded A3 programme for INDEX: Award.
As a spin-off to an existing exhibition concept, a lighter more travel-friendly version was needed to help tell the good stories of the finalists for INDEX: Award around the world.
Inspired by an abacus and its ability to fuse play and learning, I designed three different sizes of cube-shaped installations made of galvanised steel pipes with rotating building blocks made of foam, thus enabling the audience to play and interact with the exhibition.
The challenge was to communicate complex stories about design solutions in very little space, so I sought inspiration in the news media and created a format where the information was structured in three different sections: Design to Improve Life—Global Challenges—Info. To tell the stories of the finalists they were each assigned a cube in the large installation sculpture. Here their stories were told step-by-step when rotating a cube: one side containing a concise, inspiring headline, the next an image of the design object and thirdly a quick response code where the audience could dive deeper into the story if intrigued and lastly a black, blank side.
As a wrap up we created a newspaper with the good stories and achievements of INDEX: where we discussed the challenges and outcome of the organisation’s different initiatives such as an innovative education programme, impact investment and the coverage of the INDEX: Award on CNN.
The tabloid newspaper was published in both English and Danish and it was my job to design a publication that could form the basis for a series of publications under this concept. Unlike the typical text-heavy newspaper, I aimed to create a light, easy-to-dive-into editorial structure with lots of images and a clear typographic hierarchy. The mid section was dedicated to images from the award ceremony and on almost every page there was made room for easily digested fun facts and bonus info related to the articles and subject on each spread.
Flip through all the pages here.