Longevity contest names finalists


STANFORD, Calif. — The Stanford Center on Longevity has announced eight finalist teams for its 2018-19 Design Challenge, “Contributing at Every Age: Designing for Intergenerational Impact.”

Now in its sixth year, the challenge’s primary goal is to encourage a new generation of designers to become engaged in finding creative solutions that support well-being across the life span. The challenge is open to student submissions from any accredited university worldwide. This year’s competition attracted 97 submissions from teams representing 24 countries across the globe.

“Intergenerational relationships are beneficial to all involved. I am very pleased that the student community worldwide recognized this opportunity and engaged in greater numbers than any previous year,” said Ken Smith, director of the challenge.

This year’s competition included a new rule: students were required to include members from multiple generations, making the challenge itself an intergenerational activity.

Finalists were selected by a panel of 32 expert judges drawn from industry, academia and nonprofit foundations. Teams will be awarded $1,000 to develop their designs further and will travel to Stanford for the finals, scheduled for April 16. They will compete for a $10,000 first prize and present their designs to companies and investors.

This year’s finalists are (in alphabetical order):

Enrich (Virginia Tech): An intergenerational service helping tackle social isolation and promoting healthy habits through community engagement and gardening.

Family Room (Stanford University): A low barrier to use app helping families capture and share the histories of their older loved ones through high quality audio stories.

I2 Housing (New York University): A program and related app targeting the issues of student debt and isolation in the older population with a single solution built around shared intergenerational housing.

Invite (San Francisco State): A platform connecting residents of all ages in mobile home parks around activities they would typically do alone.

Pillow Fight (YuanZe University, Taipei): A video game designed to allow people of all ages to play together by embedding the game controls in throw pillows.

Mr. Tough (Shih Chien University, Taipei): A video game using simplified instruments and familiar songs to teach players to play music together.

Smart Volunteer System (Stieglitz State Academy of Art and Design, St. Petersburgh): A system connecting seniors with a network of volunteers through an electronic bracelet, while providing security for the senior.

So You Think You Know Your Grandma? (University of California Berkeley): A storytelling-based card game specifically targeted at breaking barriers between members of different generations due to differences in mindsets, views and perceived stereotypes.

The Stanford Center on Longevity Design Challenge was established in 2013. It is focused on ways to motivate and empower people in their daily lives both inside their homes and in their community. For information, visit http://designchallenge.stanford.edu.