INDEX Awards Celebrate Achievements in Design

In Copenhagen on Friday, a group composed of public and private organizations presented its third annual INDEX awards for innovation in design. Among the winners were an electric sports car, a prosthetic foot for landmine victims, and a potentially lifesaving device that keeps unconscious patients from choking on their own tongue. According to a published account, the INDEX Prize awards grants worth US $136 000 to recipients in five categories of design achievement.

The manager of the award foundation, Kigge Hviid, told the Associated Press that the winners were singled out "to celebrate design that not only looks good but also improves lives of people all over the world."

This years INDEX winners consisted of:

  • The Tesla Roadster, an electric sports car made by California-based Tesla Motors.

  • A prosthetic foot designed by Canadian Sebastien Dubois, which can be manufactured for as little as $8.

  • The Tongue Sucker, a first-aid device used to open the airways of an unconscious person, designed by British engineers.

  • The XO portable computer, designed by the One Laptop Per Child Project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  • The Solar Bottle, which utilizes a water treatment method named SODIS (Solar Disinfection System).

Yves Behar, a Swiss designer who was part of the team behind the XO laptop said he will donate the prize money to the MIT team that is pushing underdeveloped nations to supply their schoolchildren with the inexpensive devices. "Great design is a way to tell people that you value them."

Traffic to the Web site for the INDEX Awards today was so heavy that it was unable to operate.

IEEE Spectrum featured the Tesla Roadster on the cover of our April 2007 issue in our annual "Top 10 Tech Cars" by Contributing Editor John Voelcker. Spectrum has also featured several stories on the XO computer over the last few years.

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