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INDEX: Design to Improve Life

INDEX: Design to Improve Life

Well-being, Aid, Environment

8 Supporters


INDEX: is a Danish-based, non-profit organization that was established in 2002 and coined the concept “Design to Improve Life”. We work globally to promote and apply both design and design processes that have the capacity to improve the lives of people worldwide.

INDEX: is widely recognized for the global biennial design award, the INDEX:Award, which is the largest monetary design prize in the world, worth €500,000 and encompassing the five categories of INDEX:: Body, Home, Work, Play, and Community.

Created by Denmark, INDEX: Design to Improve Life is in lockstep with tenets that made Danish design widely renowned in the last century, focusing on humanism; social understanding, and democratic thinking.

We promote the application of designs and design processes to improve vital areas of people’s lives worldwide. To us, the best definition of design has been expressed by Professsor John Heskett, who tells us "Design is the human capacity to shape and make our environments in ways that satisfy our needs and give meaning to our lives."

Design offers environmental, social, and economically sustainable tools to make the world a safe and better environment for people. Design processes are the ways of working that identify solutions based on the knowledge, responsiveness, and methodology of designers.


Our main tools are:

Large-Scale Public Events




INDEX: challenges the traditional concepts and stereotypes of design while highlighting the complexity of the design field, demonstrating very different solutions to problems such as HIV/AIDS, scarcity of potable water, and carbon emissions. We inspire, collect, advocate, communicate, evaluate, connect, and discuss Design to Improve Life on a global scale.


Making Copenhagen the venue of a worldwide design event was an idea that arose in 2000. Shortly after its conception, the idea was presented to the Danish Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs, which granted financial support for a preliminary investigation to determine the value of this concept to the Danish design industry as well as its value in marketing Copenhagen on the international arena. During the development of INDEX:, the focus shifted from traditional design to that of “Design to Improve Life.”

The first INDEX: event was held in 2005 and received widespread international recognition. The idea of INDEX: was now a reality and Design to Improve Life is now a new approach to the definition of good design.

In 2007 INDEX: AWARD was presented for the second time. The INDEX: AWARD EXHIBITION was visited by 438.000 people in Copenhagen and 248.000 in Gwangju, South Korea.

On May 20, 2008 INDEX: became a wholly-owned subsidiary company of the Danish Design Centre (DDC) which was also among the original founders of INDEX: in 2003.

Group Members / View all (8) Group Members

  • Niels Jarler
  • Daniel Karpantschof
  • Kathryn Best
  • Lilith Louise Lysgaard Hasbeck
  • Lise Vejse Klint
  • Mariano Alesandro

INDEX: works globally to promote and apply both design and design processes that have the capacity to improve the lives of people worldwide.

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INDEX: Design to Improve Life

Bredgade 66, st
Copenhagen K, DK-1260
+45 3389 2005

Contact INDEX: Design to Improve Life

Moderator: Niels Jarler