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ID Honored Twice in 2023 Fast Company Innovation by Design Awards

August 22, 2023

Innovation By Design 2023 Badge
The Only Design School Recognized Outside of the Students Category, Alongside Organizations Like Google, Kohler, Pentagram, and Mailchimp

Fast Company has honored two ID projects in its 2023 Innovation by Design awards: a suite of solutions created by a team of students for ID partner United Airlines, and the entrepreneurial Blue Lotus App from student Eva M. Althaus (MDM 2024).

The competition, now in its 12th year, is one of the most sought-after design awards competitions in the industry.

These are two very different ID projects. What they share is an ability to design for both the humans central to the innovation as well as the larger systems within which these humans, and innovations, act.
—Anijo Mathew, Dean, Institute of Design

Innovation by Design

Recognized in the categories of Data Design and Social Justice, ID is the only design school recognized outside of the Students category.

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

So much innovation news these days is focused on AI. This year’s Innovation by Design honorees are a reminder that it’s human ingenuity that drives invention.
—Brendan Vaughan, Editor-in-Chief, Fast Company

No Lost Bags

No Lost Bags Team

Jorge Martínez Arana (MDes + MBA 2023), Urvi Bidasaria (MDes 2023), Ayaka Uriu (MDes 2023), Rosanna Lederhausen (MDes + MBA 2022), and Aman Bhardwaj (MDes 2023)

Recognized in the category of Data Design, ID students collaborated with United Airlines in a 14-week project that identified various ways technology could intervene to streamline their operations.

The students’ work, which included producing a Living Lab, “harness[ed] the power of data to create better experiences for users.”

Other honorees in the Data Design category this year include Radicle Science and Orange.

Blue Lotus App

Blue Lotus is a women-led startup involving Mrinal Bhatia (MDes + MBA 2024), Illinois Tech undergraduate Octavia Louis, and Eva M. Althaus (MDM 2023).

Blue Lotus is a women-led startup involving Mrinal Bhatia (MDes + MBA 2024), Illinois Tech undergraduate Octavia Louis, and Eva M. Althaus (MDM 2023).

Spearheaded by ID student Eva M. Althaus, the Blue Lotus App was recognized in the category of Social Justice.

Now a women-led startup supported by Illinois Tech’s Kaplan StartUp Accelerator program, Blue Lotus addresses issues of menstrual equity that can only be remedied by connecting a system of actors and allowing them to work together. The app acts as a bridge between partners, knowledge experts, providers, tech, and influencers to provide access and break stigmas for the girls and menstruators of our world.

Other honorees in the Social Justice category this year include Google, Kohler, Pentagram, and Mailchimp.

A Tradition of Recognition

Both honored projects came directly out of graduate ID coursework.

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

Bravo, award-winning ID students and alumni!

Eva Mariana Althaus (MDM 2024)
Aman Bhardwaj (MDes 2023)
Mrinal Bhatia (MDes + MBA 2024)
Urvi Bidasaria (MDes 2023)
Rosanna Lederhausen (MDes + MBA 2022)
Jorge Martinez Arana (MDes 2023)
Ayaka Uriu (MDes 2023)