22 Oct 2021


The world's best up-and-coming designers win fame, glory and EUR 50,000 in prize money

  • Almost 10,000 concepts from 50 nations have been registered for this year’s iF DESIGN TALENT AWARD.

  • All works pay tribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.

  • A total of 161 groundbreaking ideas and solutions were honored with the iF DESIGN TALENT AWARD 2021.

The fact that the iF DESIGN TALENT AWARD is one of the world's most important design awards becomes clear when you consider the origin of the entries: The participants come from 50 nations worldwide! Almost 10,000 ideas and solutions were submitted to the competition – and all of them offer approaches to solutions for the SDGs of the United Nations, which at the same time represent the categories.

Now, in the second round of the competition, 35 design experts from 14 nations have honored the 75 best concepts and awarded the seven most outstanding ones with prize money totaling EUR 25,000 (the first round of the competition already paid out EUR 25,000 in prize money).

All the Jurors at a glance

The evaluation criteria

In order to be awarded with an iF DESIGN TALENT AWARD 2021, the concepts had to
achieve above-average scores in the following questions:

  • Does it solve a problem?

  • Does it reflect or promote high moral-ethical standards?

  • Does it strengthen group relations?

  • Does it make economic sense?

  • Does it create a positive experience?

The iF DESIGN TALENT AWARD 2021 (round 01 + 02) at a glance:

  • Almost 10,000 submitted concepts

  • from 50 nations

  • 56 design experts from 19 nations formed the jury (round 01 + 02)

  • 161 award-winning concepts

  • EUR 50,000 in prize money went to 13 outstanding concepts


These seven concepts were awarded in the second round with EUR 25,000 in prize money:

EUR 4,000 in prize money:

Entry Name: CERBERUS | Algae cultivation concept
SDG: 12 Responsible Consumption + Production
Design: Bernhard Büttner, Ony Yan, Arthur Worbes
University: University of Applied Sciences Berlin (HTW), Germany

The CERBERUS algae cultivation system opens up the revolutionary prospect of truly sustainable agriculture or, more precisely, aquaculture. Varied types of algae are likely to become a major resource in the future. Fast-growing algae can be grown for food but also used in medical technology, 3D prototyping, the production of e-fuels, textile processing, and many more applications. The processing technologies are already advanced but little
progress has been made in developing systems of cultivation and harvesting. This semi-autonomous system creates a basis for a sustainable working cycle. CERBERUS provides raw material without creating air or water pollution, sparing precious aquatic resources.

Jury Statement: „Great design solution that is economically and environmentally feasible.”

EUR 3,500 in prize money:

Entry Name: A T-Shirt is not just A T-Shirt | Environmental awareness
label auxiliary

SDG: 12 Responsible Consumption + Production
Design: Bin Li
University: University of the Arts London, United Kingdom

Excessive consumption is a serious problem. People buy unnecessary things, and those things eventually become waste. Business promotions lure consumers to buy. However, consumers only see the purchase, not the waste of resources and environmental pollution. Clothing labels only indicate the material and washing instructions, which misleads consumers. The LONG clothes label offers consumers much more insight into the story of what they wear. They will discover, for example, how much energy is consumed in the complicated process of making a T-shirt. "Long" means “more consumption", like a long receipt, which can stimulate people to think and reduce their consumption.

Jury Statement: „Sometimes responsible consumption starts by making sure people have
access to reliable information, from which they can make informed decisions and
change behaviors. This entry humorously and informatively tells shoppers about
the provenance and production lifecycle of new clothes. The ‘long label’ is
sure to grab attention and help persuade people to purchase sustainably sourced
and produced clothing. It’s a brilliant and neat solution that will also raise
smiles (and shocks) amongst conscious shoppers.”

EUR 3,500 in prize money:

Entry Name: Hávitat | Nursing home
SDG: 10 Reduced Inequalities
Design: Ruth Mota Villalobos
University: IED Madrid, Tres Cantos, Spain

Hávitat is a social center designed for the elderly or people in palliative care, allowing them the chance to enjoy an active social life. The space balances private and public areas, and includes recreational spaces where the community is invited to be part of the center. The project does not hide from the fact that most residents are approaching death, and many elements of the design seek to create an environment where people can accept death and their loved ones can say goodbye to them in the best way possible.

Jury Statement: „The users’ needs were clearly centered in the design process, resulting in a designed space that is highly sensitive to the fact that this, for most residents, is their final home.”

EUR 3,500 in prize money:

Entry Name: Blue Triangle: African Latrine Aid Program | Latrine kit
SDG: 06 Clean Water + Sanitation
Design: Yunhao Zhong
University: Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China

Diarrheal diseases, mainly the result of inadequate sanitation, are the third leading cause of death in Africa. The Blue Triangle Program is designed to support hygiene education and the construction and maintenance of efficient, low-cost latrines. The product is firm and light, so that a single set is easily carried by one adult. Apart from the squatting pan, all other parts of the latrine can be built using local materials. The entire installation process is designed to heighten awareness of hygiene.

Jury Statement: „This is a perfect example of how design can be used to harness benefits at multiple levels of a complex problem. An instantly recognizable mass-manufactured product design is offered for proper disposal of human feces in remote rural villages, but with an important twist. The product is completed using local resources, through training of local volunteers, and ultimately through changing the sanitary practices of the community.”

EUR 3,500 in prize money:

Entry Name: Wama drama therapy | Psychotherapy props
SDG: 03 Goodhealth + Well-Being
Design: Fang-Ping Hsu, Chien-Chen Lai
University: Ming Chi University of Technology (MCUT), New Taipei City, Taiwan | National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taiwan

Children wear Wama drama therapy for group drama activities and to reduce the spread of pathogens during group activities. The psychotherapist uses Wama drama therapy to guide children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders to reflect their feelings in the role play. It has transparent electronic paper for AR role display and internal and external clean layers for quick cleaning, and the voice changer allows children to play at being someone else. Children can also create unique characters by drawing directly on the mask or using the Wama drama therapy app.

Jury Statement: „This is a simple yet powerful design that has been very well realized. Although there is no economic evaluation, this could be understood as a relatively low-cost proposition. Work well done.”

EUR 3,500 in prize money:

Entry Name: CANNE | CPR learning kit
SDG: 03 Goodhealth + Well-Being
Design: Shuai Li
University: Umeå Institute of Design, Sweden

CANNE is a home-delivery CPR kit that is self-directed, low-cost, and sustainable. This corrugated cardboard Basic Life Support (BLS) learning kit allows laypeople to practice CPR techniques, such as cardiac arrest identification, chest compression, and ventilation by themselves. The BLS self-directed smartphone app enhances the learning experience by simulating cardiac arrest scenarios, providing real-time feedback of compression and ventilation. CANNE provides an ecosystem to motivate laypeople to learn CPR at a low cost. It saves time and medical resources and has a minimal requirement in terms of the learning environment. (Video: https://vimeo.com/556115727)

Jury Statement: „Smart and simple solution with high beneficial experiences for health and well-being, as well as high value for social and community development.”

EUR 3,500 in prize money:

Entry Name: Carbon Dioxide Purification Tower | Air pollution filter
SDG: 13 Climate Action
Design: Han-Yu Lai, Chien-Hsun Chen, Chun-Yi Yeh
University: National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei City, Taiwan

Excessive emissions of carbon dioxide have led to increased global warming and extreme climate change, and nowadays industrialization is increasingly affecting human health. This project uses biotechnology to decompose excessive carbon dioxide emissions through the use of bacteria and genetically modified E. aureum or devil’s ivy. The unique new filtering process combined with carbon capture technology fits a vision of sustainable resource use.

Jury Statement: „The design of the air pollution filter tower would make a fascinating addition to any city skyline. Its static appearance means it can serve as a landmark and visual reminder that we need to change our consumer behavior in order to create a healthier environment. Meanwhile, it also quietly works to decompose carbon dioxide emissions and create clean air.”

The award-winning designs will be exhibited in various places:

iF Design website
All winning designs will be sorted according to the SDGs and will be shown for an unlimited time on the iF Design website – the world's largest digital design exhibition.

iF Design App
All the brand-new iF DESIGN TALENT AWARDS 2021 are presented in the new iF Design App in a wide variety of different filter options. The shake function unveils surprising insights and tells design stories in unexpected ways. Expressive, contrasting images and the cube navigation encourage users to dive deeper and go on a journey of discovery.

iF design exhibition
From January 2022 the winning competition entries will be presented as posters and digitally on monitors in the .

The Sponsors

The direction of the iF DESIGN TALENT AWARD and the free participation of students can be enabled by the sponsorship of these companies:

  • Haier, Qingdao / People’s Republic of China

  • Samsung Electronics, Seoul / Republic of Korea

  • Grohe AG, Hemer / Germany

  • Wonderland Nurserygoods, Taipei / ROC Taiwan

  • Compal Electronics, Taipei / ROC Taiwan

  • Dongguan South China Design Innovation Institute, Dongguan / People’s Republic of China

Please note:

The registration portal for the new round, the iF DESIGN TALENT AWARD 2022, will open in November 2021! All registrations are free – the best concepts will again be rewarded with EUR 50,000 in prize money!




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