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FastCo honors two ID projects in 2022 Innovation by Design Awards

October 2, 2022

Students use technology to mitigate climate change, express loss

Every year for the past 11 years design publication Fast Company has honored the designers and businesses solving the most crucial problems of today and anticipating the pressing issues of tomorrow.

This year, Fast Company has honored two student projects in its Innovation by Design awards that use technology to different ends—both critical to sustaining our humanity.

Just as we were pioneers of systems design and human-centered design, our students and faculty are pioneering the next chapter of design. We don't know the name of this chapter yet, but we know that human collaboration, human-technology relationships, and responsible, long-term thinking are central to what happens next.
—Anijo Mathew, Interim Dean, Institute of Design

The first honoree, ID students’ Reduction Now Plan, was also the winner of the Rotman Design Challenge this year. Students reimagined the current business model of SMBC Aviation Capital, an aircraft leasing company and designed a carbon offset investment fund created for LCCs that will help the industry to decarbonize.

The second honoree was a COVID data visualization project. Having felt the deep human loss resulting from COVID, students didn’t find a data visualization that went beyond number tallying to tell the greater story of human impact. So they devised a new visualization that would leverage data from the CDC, but also appeal to our humanity.

A common theme among this year’s Innovation by Design honorees, which range from healthcare interfaces to autonomous driving technology, is permanence. The products that leaped out to our editors and judges went against our quick-fix consumer culture, while also manifesting a more inclusive vision of design.
—Brendan Vaughan, Editor-in-chief, Fast Company

Fast Company judges include renowned designers, business leaders, and the magazine’s own writers and editors. Entries are judged on the key ingredients of innovation: functionality, originality, beauty, sustainability, user insight, cultural impact, and business impact.

Winners, finalists, and honorable mentions are featured online and in the October issue of Fast Company magazine, on newsstands September 27, 2022.

Many other ID projects have been honored by FastCo’s Innovation by Design and World-Changing Ideas awards programs in recent years.

Bravo, award-winning ID students and alumni!

Aman Bhardwaj (MDes 2023)
Sze-Chieh Sophie Chen (MDes + MBA 2022)
Simon Dunne (MDM 2023)
Zeya Chen (MDes 2021)
Jesse Gao (MDes 2021)
Hugo Hsiao (MDes 2021)
Takayuki Kato (MDM 2022)

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