In the set of rules below we’ve compiled a bunch of facts you need to know if you’re nominating for INDEX: Award. Here you can find out who and what is eligible, how the award process works, how the jury evaluates a nominated design – and much, much more.

What is eligible for INDEX: Award?
  • Design that improves life or holds the potential to do so.
  • Tangible design (products, digital design, architecture, urban planning) or intangible (concepts, policies, strategies, services, systems) design.
  • Genuinely new design. Sheer restyling of known designs is not sufficient unless it creates a genuinely new use or adds new value.
  • Design that is at prototype stage (at a minimum).
  • Design that dates back no more than five (5) years.
  • Design that was not previously selected as a finalist or winner for INDEX: Award.
Who can nominate?
  • Designers, private individuals, public and private companies, schools, universities, organizations, associations, students and design enthusiasts from all over the world can nominate for INDEX: Award. Basically, everyone!
  • Members of the INDEX: Award Jury provided that the juror does not take part in assessing the design/s they have nominated. In addition, any design that a juror has been heavily involved with cannot win the INDEX: Award, however, it can be selected as a finalist.
  • The INDEX: Design to Improve Life® organization.
  • Members of the INDEX: Award ‘Spotters’.
How are nominated designs assessed?

INDEX: Award has a unique focus on design that improves life for people by addressing global challenges with sustainable solutions. Our INDEX: Award Jury identifies winners and finalists for INDEX: Award by assessing how the nominated designs feed into the UN Sustainable Development Goals or the Design to Improve Life Goals.

The INDEX: Award jury evaluates all nominated designs on three separate parameters: Form, Impact and Context.

Form is concerned with the general aesthetics of a design such as the color, materials, user interface, surfaces etc.

Impact is about the positive effect of a design. How does it improve life and for how many people? How socially, economically and environmentally sustainable is the design?

Context is about meeting the needs of where the design will be used. How well does it work with the society, culture, religion, climate, geography and ethics?

The judging process of the INDEX: Award Jury includes the following rounds:

  1. In the first round, the INDEX: Team qualifies all nominations to make sure they comply with the Rules.
  2. In the second round, the INDEX: Award finalists are selected by the jury from the pool of nominations selected in the first round, based on the submitted material (text, images, video etc). PLEASE NOTE: Following the jury’s selections, all finalists will be contacted and each one must approve the status as finalist and provide additional material about the design (text, images, prototype, model, sample, etc.) to be used in the second jury round in Copenhagen.
  3. In the third round, the five INDEX: Award winners are selected from the pool of finalists by the jury based on the additional material sent to Copenhagen.


Nominated designs must be original and may not infringe on the rights of a third party. Designs failing these requirements will be excluded from INDEX: Award.

All rights to the nominated designs belong to and stay with the legal bearer of the rights. The INDEX: Design to Improve Life® organization does, however, reserve the right – without payment – to use any nomination-related text and electronic material (images, video) uploaded to the online nomination form for communication purposes; including, but not limited to, press material, catalogs, websites and third-party marketing. For example in printed or electronic media. The nominating person/entity must in advance ensure that these rights can be transferred to INDEX: with the permission of the designer.

Winners of INDEX: Award are obliged to represent both their design and the INDEX: Design to Improve Life® organization at various global events. Further details on this will be explained in the winner contract.

INDEX: Award Jury members cannot invest in any investment fund related to INDEX:.