Run throughout Denmark and abroad, the Design to Improve Life Challenge teaches children of all ages how to address real world challenges through design. Once a relevant challenge is selected for the participating municipality or region, each class works as a team to design and submit a potential solution. In Elsinore, almost 7,000 students, throughout January to March, helped design solutions to improve local refugee integration. We received over 60 submissions, which were then boiled down to just 21 finalist projects. These design teams then came together to battle it out for the top prize. Click here for more details.
After putting themselves in the shoes of refugees, the winning team identified language as the key tool for inclusion and bonding – resulting in the ‘Welcome Suitcase’. Made to help refugee children learn Danish in a fun and interactive way, the empathy-driven design is a ‘suitcase’ containing educational games, folding books and handmade puppets for role-play.
The designers of the ‘Welcome Suitcase’ (pictured holding the large cheque) are a class of first graders, aged 6-8, from Byskolen. Although not all of them can read or write yet, they all helped design a solution to help refugee children live a new and fulfilling life in Denmark. The class recently welcomed a new classmate from Syria, who received the first ‘Welcome Suitcase’ prototype.
Two other awards were presented during the day including:
- The People’s Choice Award to project “Årets traditioner” (Year Traditions) by Tibberupskolen. Informational games and ‘smart boards’ to help both refugee adults and children learn about Danish traditions.
- The Cooperation Award to “Friends” by Hornbæk Skole. An app for refugees that crowdsources Danes who can offer friendship or other forms of help with settlement.
Congratulations to all the winners. Stay tuned for news about the next Design to Improve Life Challenge, coming VERY soon!