Changing the World by Design

A global competition challenging young designers to change the world has been launched at the University of Dundee.


The competition was announced at the 13th International Conference of the European Academy of Design (EAD), which has been hosted by the University over the past three days. The EAD is collaborating with Design Indaba to set the challenge to designers around the world to creatively engage with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.


EAD and Design Indaba will award £5,000 to a group submission that proposes ambitiously creative ways of addressing the challenges.

This new initiative marks the first of what is intended to be an ongoing collaboration between Design Indaba, the largest design festival in the world with a programme of over 1,100 exhibitions this year, and EAD, one of the leading international platforms for design research. The challenge is supported by investment from entrepreneurial platform Elevator Dundee.


Professor Louise Valentine, Vice President of EAD and Chair of Design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, said, “Legacy is at the heart of this superb new partnership project because the world that our children and their children inherit from us will be very different from today.


“Our legacy can be one of waste, destruction, and inequality or we can change our collective thinking and actively make a better future. For this reason, EAD and Design Indaba are working together to promote local actions that have global consequences.”


The announcement was made by Ravi Naidoo, founder of Design Indaba, during his keynote speech at the EAD conference. The internationally renowned entrepreneur, commercial activist and design educator, said, If we are to find new solutions to the development goals set out by the United Nations, we need to put design and design thinking processes at the centre and tap into our collective creative conscious to resolve the Sustainable Development Goals.”


The submission process will be articulated on the websites of EAD and Design Indaba and shared widely through social media via @ead2019Dundee and @designindaba.


The EAD conference has seen Dundee, the UK’s only UNESCO City of Design, welcome 300 delegates from 39 countries. It has been hosted by the University’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design and co-chaired with Imagination Lancaster at Lancaster University.


The University of Dundee was last week placed 20th in the world in the Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings, which measure the global higher education sector’s success in delivering the Sustainable Development Goals.