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Contests / Design against war / Brief

Contest detail page.

What should i do now?

  • Read the brief
  • Download the material files (if available)
  • Upload your design


  • upload phase
  • community vote
  • client choices


20 Sep 19

165 entries




New ideas contest on EMERGENCY, SOSDesign and Desall invite you to design Spaces, Products and Services to meet lifestyle and medical needs in regions affected by war.

Company description

EMERGENCY is an independent and neutral non-governmental organisation, founded in Italy in 1994 to provide free, high-quality medical and surgical treatment to victims of war, landmines, and poverty. EMERGENCY promotes a culture of peace, solidarity, and respect for human rights.

SOSDesign is a fundraising and brainstorming programme founded in 2001 by Biba Acquati, Lucio Lazzara and Massimo Bruto Randone, conceived in order to support non-profit organisations such as EMERGENCY.

DESALL is an open innovation platform dedicated to the world of design and innovation, which has decided to support EMERGENCY with this initiative, offering its own resources to allow the project to be carried out in an international context. Desall offers businesses a tool for participatory development, one which involves the global community in the creative process. currently works with over 100,000 creatives from over 200 countries across the world.

Cumulus International Association of University and Colleges of Art, Design and Media is the only organisation in the world which offers training and research in the field of art and design. It is a forum for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge and good practice. Cumulus currently works with over 280 members from 56 different countries.

Association for the Industrial Design.

Design against war is a project by SOSDesign, devised for EMERGENCY and promoted and supported by Desall and Cumulus, under the patronage of ADI (Associazione per il Disegno Industriale – Association for the Industrial Design).

What we are looking for

The brief is available in the following languages:
- Italian
- English

Download the Material files

Start creating your inspiration wall using the Inspiration tab and get inspired by the hints of other creatives!

Competition of ideas for Spaces, Products, Services on the needs and desires of life and care in affected areas, devastated and conditioned by war.

Spaces, Products, and Services which would solve, contain, facilitate, sustain, and emphasise the practical, psychological, relational, or cultural aspects of contexts shaped by conflict – this can be severe and widespread conflict, such as those in Afghanistan and Iraq, or more contained, insidious conflicts, like those that can be found in parts of Italy.

Submissions capable of informing a concept (abstract), a solution (practical), or a process (conceptual) that could aid treatment, protection, assistance, preservation, information, analysis, transportation, connection and payment (and so on) in contexts severely affected by war.

We have long sought to define ‘war’, and how we might interpret it in terms of the wants and needs, both implicit and explicit, of those in living in war-torn areas. We have come to the conclusion that it would be more productive to leave the question of definition to the participants – case by case – to be answered through their projects. We hope that this will enable entrants to provide answers which reflect their research and/or areas of expertise.

We are interested in Spaces, Products, and Services. These can be small, medium or large; fixed, mobile or temporary; disassemblable, reusable, or convertible; promoting sustainability and self-sufficiency; physical, digital, or in ‘app’ form; and so on. Submissions can range from practical and functional to imaginative and thought-provoking.


Please keep in mind the following guidelines when designing and submitting your projects:

Project categories:
• Spaces
• Products
• Services

For more details on the theme(s) of the contest, please see the attached Material Files

Required materials: Please upload all the images best representing your project – sketches, renderings, file descriptions, CAD files, etc. If necessary, you can also attach a Zip Archive file with additional material.

Evaluation criteria: in evaluating the submissions, EMERGENCY and the jury will assess the following:

Social Impact
Degree of Innovation
Technical Feasibility

Contest timeline
Upload phase: 18th March 2019 – 25th July 2019 (1.59 PM UTC)
Community Vote: 25th July 2019 – 9th August 2019 (1.59 PM UTC)
Jury’s Vote: from 25th July 2019
Winner announcement: approximately by September / October 2019

Optional deadlines
End of hidden option: 07th May 2019 (1.59 PM UTC)

End of “hidden option”: deadline for setting the design privacy of your submissions to “hidden” (cf. FAQ )

Eligibility and submission
Participation is free of charge and open to designers and creative talents of any nationality aged 18 years or older (at the time of submission). Participants can present one or more projects, but only the projects published on the web site, via the upload page related to “Design against war” will be accepted.

- The jury is tasked with announcing the three category winners; a SpaceMouse Award will be presented to the winner of each of the three categories (Spaces, Products and Services).
- From these three submissions, the jury must also select an overall winner, who will be presented with the Experience Award.
- The jury will select, where possible, a winner in the Products category, who will be presented with the Prototyping Award.
- The jury reserves the right to give honourable mentions to any submissions of sufficiently high quality.

In 2017, EMERGENCY allocated over 81% of its funds to humanitarian programmes; 6.7% to administration costs; 5.8% for the promotion of a ‘Culture of Peace’; 5.8% to essential fundraising. In line with this budgetary policy, the present contest envisages prizes exclusively in terms of experiences and opportunities.

EMERGENCY will select a winner among the three categories (Spaces, Products, Services) and will offer him/her the opportunity to visit one of their hospitals (dependent on security considerations). The winner will be welcomed and accompanied by EMERGENCY staff for the duration of the trip. All travel, board, lodging, insurance, and visa expenses will be covered by the organisation.


1. SpaceMouse Wireless Kit (more info ) - 3DConnexion
N.3 mice will be awarded to the winners of the three categories (one per category).

2. Prototyping – Elmec 3D
The organisation reserves the right to prototype the winning entry or any other entry selected by the final decision of the jury, based on the degree of complexity that the relevant technical partner can attain. It is specified that the prototype will be produced using HP Jet Fusion technology, material PA12. The total dimensions of the prototype must not exceed 190x330x240mm. Upon production of the prototype, the filing of the relevant patent will not be the responsibility of EMERGENCY, nor the technical partner. Any relevant costs will be borne by the designer of the product being prototyped.

Winning, Mentioned and Shortlisted projects (and generally deemed suitable for exhibition) will receive extensive visibility as part of activities linked to the competition, such as: the promotional campaign, the exhibition and a thematic workshop.
Between September and October 2019, on the occasion of EMERGENCY’s 25th anniversary, an exhibition will take place at CASA EMERGENCY. This will showcase submissions and formally announce the winning entry. Additionally, a meeting/panel discussion will take place to analyse and further develop promising ideas submitted as part of the competition.

Stefano Boeri – Triennale Milano (President)
Angela Fittipaldi – EMERGENCY Ong Onlus (Graphic Design Manager)
Luciano Galimberti – ADI Associazione per il disegno industriale (President)
Simonetta Gola – EMERGENCY Ong Onlus (Communication Manager)
Raul Pantaleo – TAM Associati (Associate)
Massimo Bruto Randone – SOSDesign (Founder)
Davide Scomparin – Desall (Founder and CEO)
Francesco Zurlo – Scuola di Design, Politecnico di Milano (Deputy Head)
José Allard – School of Design, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile – Director (Cumulus Board Member)

Supported by the ADI-Associazione per il Disegno Industriale (Industrial Design Association)

The selection of the winners will be the result of the incontestable decision of the jury.

For more info, please login and read the Contest Agreement from the upload page and the Privacy Policy .

For questions about the brief please use the “Have a question” button or write to

We invite you to download the PDF of the brief for some extra guidelines and advices for your submission.

Revision 1 21 Jun, 19

Upon request by EMERGENCY, we’re glad to inform you that participants have been granted some extra time to finalise the projects. The deadline to present the final submissions has been postponed to 25th July (1.59 PM UTC).


Since we are an international Community, all texts provided with your uploads (abstract, description, tags, etc.) should be written in English.

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Desall required files

Minimum 1 image, up to 5.
Recommended dimensions: 960 x 720px (player size) ; allowed format: .jpg , .gif , .png; color mode: RGB;
allowed resolution: 72 dpi ; max file (for each one) size: 1 mb.






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