Skip to Main Content
of desiGn

ID Earns Top Recognition from Core77 in Social Impact

June 30, 2022

Core77 2022 notable
Honored nine times across six categories

Core77 has announced the honorees of its eleventh annual Design Awards.

The Institute of Design, home to the only US design school devoted completely to graduate students and the first to offer a PhD, has won and earned more honors than any other school in the Design for Social Impact category, including the Savannah College of Art & Design, Carnegie Mellon University, Pratt Institute, and Royal College of Art.

Recognizing excellence in all areas of design enterprise, the Core77 Design Awards “celebrate the richness of the design profession as well as the insight and perseverance of its practitioners.” The awards honor students and professionals across 18 distinct design disciplines.

Among the honorees are five distinct projects born at ID. These projects have been recognized nine times across the six categories of Design for Social Impact, Speculative Design, Service Design, Research & Strategy, Visual Communication, and Health & Wellness:

  1. Anti-Racist Pop-Ups, Student Winner in the Design for Social Impact category and Student Notable in the Speculative Design category
  2. Redesigning Contextually Appropriate Education Materials for Incarcerated Women, Student Notable in the Design for Social Impact and Service Design categories
  3. Microgrid as a Civic Infrastructure, Student Notable in the Design for Social Impact and Service Design categories
  4. You Need to See It to Understand It, Student Notable in the Strategy & Research and Visual Communication categories
  5. A New Model for Hybrid Life, Student Notable in Health & Wellness

Together, these ID projects take on some of the most complex challenges of modern life: racism, recidivism, mental health, and climate change. At ID, we find novel approaches to these types of pressing issues and transform the systems that underpin them—from cities, education, and finance to food, healthcare, and technology.

Each of these projects was made possible by a student team in partnership with an external organization. At ID, we believe such collaboration is key to creating long-term value.
—Anijo Mathew, Interim Dean, Institute of Design
Anti-racist pop ups

Anti-racist pop ups

Anti-Racist Pop-Ups was the student winner in the Design for Social Impact category. This project was led by ID Assistant Professor of Practice Chris Rudd, and involved a set of activities that enabled participants to identify racism, imagine equitable futures, and co-design anti-racist infrastructures where they can be protagonists of change. Students and faculty created a new framework and playbook for engaging participants, who came away from the engagement feeling that a future where racism no longer exists is indeed possible—and that we all, together, are the ones who can build it. The team plans to expand the project in the coming months. Rudd is also the founder and CEO of ChiByDesign, which was honored twice in the Research & Strategy category.

In Redesigning Contextually Appropriate Education Materials for Incarcerated Women, Associate Teaching Professor Tomoko Ichikawa partnered with WIND, Women Initiating New Directions, to solve for the many challenges of teaching in jails and re-entry centers during a pandemic. Students in Tomoko’s Communication Design course reimagined carceral education at the Cook County Department of Corrections (CCDOC) and Grace House, a residential re-entry program. ID’s work enabled WIND to relaunch classes and deepen learning even during the pandemic. Beyond the pandemic, WIND seeks to bring the program to other parts of Illinois and potentially other states.

Through Microgrid as a Civic Infrastructure, Charles L. Owen Professor of Design Carlos Teixeira and students in his Sustainable Solutions Workshop responded to a problem articulated by ID’s 2021 Lucas J. Daniel speaker, Gretchen Bakke, a month ahead of the 2021 Texas power crisis: our crumbling grid. Students used design to envision a more sustainable energy infrastructure: microgrids. The approach would move our society to a distributed system of production and consumption. This new energy paradigm would benefit not only the environment, but also the people connected to the grid as we pursue a healthier relationship with energy.

You Need to See It to Understand It title page

With You Need to See It to Understand It, Associate Teaching Professor Tomoko Ichikawa and students partnered with Chicago nonprofit SocialWorks to create a suite of visualizations that make information about mental health more accessible to the layperson. The visualizations bridge information gaps and connect Chicagoans with mental health services in myriad ways, including by sharing common warning signs of six common mental health issues, mapping locations and features of certain mental health services in Chicago, and educating viewers on the broader context of mental health issues in the city.

Orion System

Orion System

In A New Model for Hybrid Life, ID students partnered with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health on a summer 2021 MasterChallenge. The Harvard Chan School challenged ID students to understand how people were coping with COVID-19 and explore ways to make “a less toxic world.” ORION, a system that aims to enhance work-life balance and bring a new outlook to hybrid living, was the result of this challenge.

This Core77 recognition comes on the heels of similar recognition from Fast Company‘s 2022 World-Changing Ideas awards and a tradition of award-winning work at ID. Earlier this year, ID students won the Rotman Design Challenge. Last year, Core77 recognized ID’s student project, Envisioning Sustainable Food Sourcing Solutions, and Fast Company‘s Innovation by Design Awards recognized three student projects.

These five honored projects have great potential. You can: help us scale these efforts or start another award-winning project with us, and vote for ID to win Core77’s Community Choice Prize.

Congratulations to ID’s award-winning students, faculty, and alumni.


Ujjwal Anand (MDes 2022)
Aamena Ansari (MDes 2021)
Gauri Bhatt (MDes 2022)
Urvi Bidasaria (MDes 2023)
Zeya Chen (MDes 2021)
Sami Cohanim (MDes 2022)
Samar Elhouar (MDes + MBA 2021)
Elizabeth Engele (MDes 2021)
Jesse Gao (MDes 2021)
Ruohua Huang (MDes 2022)
Parker Joyner (MDes + MBA 2022)
Sue Kim (MDes 2022)
Mithila Kedambadi (MDes 2021)
Mrinali Gokani Rajesh (MDes + MBA 2021)
Jocelyn Jia (MDes + MBA 2022)
Priyanka Lalwani (MDes 2023)
Haiping Liao (MDes 2021)
Anand Nagapurkar (MDes 2021)
Sun Park (MDes 2022)
Sara Park (MDes 2022)
Arijit Patra (MDes 2022)
Kavya Rai (MDes 2022)
Monica Villazon San Martin (MDes 2022)
Catherine Wieczorek (MDes 2021)
Alpha Wong (MDes 2021)
Kelvin Yu (MDes 2021)
Zack Schwartz (MDes 2021)
Veronica Paz Soldan (MDes + MBA 2021)
Azra Sungu (PhD Candidate)
Siwei Sun (MDes 2021)
Julian Walker (MDes 2021)Victoria Marie Williamson (MDes + MPPA 2022)
Kelvin Yu (MDes 2021)
Minyi Zhang (MDes 2021)
Callie Zhou (MDes 2021)


Faculty and Advisors

Weslynne Ashton
Gretchen Bakke
Daniel Chichester
Gerry Derksen
Tomoko Ichikawa
Jessica Meharry
Chris Rudd
Ruth Schmidt
Azra Sungu
Carlos Teixeira