The Stanford Center on Longevity Design Challenge offers cash prizes and free entrepreneur mentorship in a competition open to all university students around the world who want to design products and services which optimize long life for us all. The 2021-2022 Challenge focuses on designing physical spaces that will better support century-long lives. $17,000 in cash prizes will be awarded, and finalists will receive paid travel to Stanford, where they will present their designs to renowned industry, academic, and government leaders.
The Stanford Center on Longevity Design Challenge is a global competition that encourages students to design products and services to improve well-being across the lifespan. In its ninth year, the Challenge is focused on how our physical environments affect the way that we age.
- Create well-designed, practical solutions that improve well-being across the life span
- Encourage a new generation of students to become knowledgeable about issues associated with long lives
- Provide promising designers with a path to drive change in the world
Successful aging is in part the result of the cumulative effects of years of interaction with the physical environment. Starting even before birth, environmental factors such as air quality, availability of well-designed outdoor spaces and transit options, living conditions, and toxin exposure affect our physical and mental health. These factors are also pathways by which inequality affects physical health – environmental quality is often worse for children and adults of lower socioeconomic status, leading to poorer health as they age. Making communities Longevity-Ready for everyone means recognizing the way our environment affects well-being at all ages in the context of a 100-year life.
This year we challenge student design teams around the world to examine the physical environments in their communities and identify opportunities to design for an environment that supports long lives. Students are encouraged to consider all aspects of their physical environments including public spaces, indoor spaces, and urban design. Designs might target:
- Outdoor and green spaces
- Airborne pollutants and household toxins
- Mitigation of weather extremes (e.g., heat mitigation) and climate change
- Public infrastructure, including housing and transportation
- Moving toward sustainable cities
- The Challenge is open to teams of 1-5 members and is primarily a competition for university students: at least one team member must be a student enrolled at an accredited university or college from anywhere in the world during the 2021-2022 school year.
- Students may be undergraduate or graduate (e.g., masters, PhD) students.
- Finalist teams (announced in January): $1000 US
- Grand prizes (determined at the final competition in April):
- 1st place: $10000 US
- 2nd place: $5000 US
- 3rd place: $2000 US
Each finalist team is asked to designate one team member to receive prize money and that person is responsible for disseminating it to the other team members. That person will be asked to provide bank information for a wire transfer, and a tax identification number (if applicable).
The challenge is organized into two phases that are synchronized with the academic year.
Phase I: September – December 2021
Phase I is the open call portion of the challenge. During this time, teams will learn about the topic and create their solution concept. The Challenge organizing team will be available during this time for questions. Solutions may be submitted at any time during this period, but no judging feedback will be available until January.
Judging Period: December 2021 – January 2022
During this period, our judging panel will select a small number of finalists. Finalists will be announced in late January.
Phase II: January 2022 – April 2022
During Phase II, finalists will be asked to further develop their idea and to prepare a presentation. Mentors from corporate partners and industry experts will be available during this period. The location of the final competition in April 2022 (on-campus at Stanford University or online) will be determined closer to the finals date and will depend on COVID-19 restrictions.
- Kick-off: September 13, 2021
- Phase I submissions due: Thursday, December 2, 2021
- Finalists (5-8 teams) announced: January 26, 2022
- Finals: April 2022 (exact date TBA)
Application Deadline: Thursday, December 2, 2021
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