The Index Project,
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Design students from Carnegie Mellon take on the Design to Improve Life challenge

From January through May, students from Carnegie Mellon's School of Design will be tasked with designing a product or service that improves life. Their creations will need to be innovative, serve a clear need and leverage current technologies.

Carnegie Mellon Univesity, based in Pittsburg USA, is one of the world's leading institutions for innovation, technology and engineering. Delivering on the promise of "bright ideas start here", the university has produced visionaries such as Luis von Ahn, founder of Duolingo, David M. Kelley, co-founder of IDEO and software architecture pioneer Mary Shaw.

The program is run in five different phases based on the Design to Improve Life Compass. Overseen by Professor Peter Scupelli and supported by Index Award Jury Vice Chairman Arnold Wasserman, students will tackle a broad range of challenges such as the future of work, climate change and more.

So far, the students have explored ideas about the context ― which designs are intended for ― the users, and the supporting technologies. They're now conducting field research where they're exploring different contexts, 'living' in other people's shoes and discussing a range of possible alternatives. You can check out a snapshot of their work here.

The next steps will be to frame the areas of product opportunity, create a framework to drive the development, as well as revise and improve the first iteration of the final concept. Expert interviews, prototypes and other forms of evaluating the product/service will also be conducted with real-users.

The solutions can be near-term practical or moonshots but, must have a realistic chance of adoption. Following the completion of the program, students will present their concepts to Carnegie Mellon faculty and The Index Project team.

We can't wait!