All flags hoisted for social challenges – the iF PUBLIC VALUE AWARD 2016!

By Editor DesignBrasil


A green rectangular field. A yellow rhombus. A blue disc and a white, starry sky spanned by a curved banner inscribed with the national motto. Yes, you know what this is – the flag of Brazil. It originally sports the colors of the House of Brananza and of the House of Habsburg and the stars at the time and place of the proclamation of the “Rio de Janeiro” on 15 November 1889, and the national motto of “ordem e progresso”, order and progress. On the one hand, the flag had done tribute to the political situation by showing the stars, 27 reflecting the 26 states and the one federal district since 1992, and also shows green for the county’s agriculture and rich vegetation and yellow for the rich mineral resources.

The fact that the revolutionaries that overturned the monarchy used “ordem e progresso”, the motto of the French Auguste Comte (1798-1857), the founder of positivism and the namesake of sociology, as their own motto makes it more current than ever before. Even if his philosophy, which was derived from empirism and found its base in scientific findings and an evaluation of reality based on facts, still meets with considerable criticism or is even completely denied today (and which Comte himself also refuted in later years), his actual vision does lead to the belief that humankind’s actions find their end in the development of sociology, in other words, the coexistence of people for the greatest possible benefit of all, i.e. the discussion about “public value”: well-being to the benefit of society.

The most pressing issues of the industrial age were replaced by the challenges of the information age, which we still have to face today. Design plays an important, ground-breaking role in all the ways we understand, from the concept to the design of the products, their digital interfaces, their packaging and communication, the (interior) architecture and last but not least their services – in other words, all the categories that have been found in the iF DESIGN AWARD for many years, always adjusted and always updated.

Good design can change the world – and good projects can move it!if

With the introduction of the iF PUBLIC VALUE AWARD 2016 and the iF PUBLIC VALUE STUDENT AWARD 2016 for students, iF International Forum Design devotes itself to the question of social added-value for projects that find creative solutions for local, regional and global problem of the present, i.e. for the public value and use that a company, institution or organization adds to the quality, the improvement of life. Whether it’s about the climate change and political transition, the shortage of resources or a head start in terms of knowledge, or mobility and life for the elderly, biotechnology and changes on the job market – people and their coexistence are as diverse as the creative solutions needed to address the pressing issues of coexistence on our planet. And it is understood that a competition that puts such a high focus on the innovation potential of the projects submitted requires a very careful, detailed evaluation. For this reason, the judging sessions in both competitions is based on the “Public Value Scorecard” and the “Gemeinwohl-Atlas” (Public Wellbeing Atlas), created by the University of St. Gallen, our partner for the iF PUBLIC VALUE AWARD. This guarantees that the project is not measured on a universal scale, but is seen on the basis of the connection between such values as benefit, aesthetics, moral and political dimensions. There are five basic questions that take us to five different evaluation dimensions to provide a profile of the project submitted – and make it comparable on the basis of the systematics. Each judge is also very aware that it is also necessary to take into account special cultural and geographic aspects, not least on the basis of their own personal experience.

Projects can be submitted in 11 different disciplines, including a main geographic focus, which are oriented towards the 11 megatrends in the research of the future:

  1. Power Shifts Globally
  2. Using Resources Smartly
  3. Better Life in Cities
  4. Living Together in the 21st Century
  5. Internet, Media and Data
  6. Climate Change
  7. Vehicles and Mobility of the Future
  8. Ageing Society
  9. Labor Relations Changing
  10. Unleashed Bioengineering
  11. Empowering the Individual

We are firmly convinced that this new iF PUBLIC VALUE AWARD and the iF PUBLIC VALUE STUDENT AWARD will both present a considerable challenge. The range, categories and demands require participants to deal intensively with the countless socially related problems and values. But we are also convinced that proof has been provided with many different examples: experienced as well as young thinkers and doers move the world. Or, as Auguste Comte said: “The truly positive spirit means being able to anticipate the future, to see what is possible, to research and to find the basis of the theorem of the immutability of the laws of nature.” We are excited and look forward to seeing your projects that reflect “public value”!





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