Aspen Design Challenge 08 - Designing Water's Future


The Aspen Design Challenge jury convened in New York City February 20–21, 2009 and selected seven projects as Finalists , as well as ten projects for Honorable Mention .


This Challenge is an annual call to students worldwide, inviting them to address an international problem that is not only crucial in today’s world, but critical to our survival and the world that we will one day inhabit.

Category Other Competition / Open to Students / Competition Result
Type International, Idea, Students, Two-Stage
Genre Environment
Country United States
RegDeadline 1 October 2008 GoogleCal iCal
15 December 2008 (via Online) GoogleCal
Eligibility Students

Designing Water’s Future is aimed at generating exceptionally creative and original design thinking to raise awareness of the emerging global water crisis – and to do so in ways that inspire people to act. Reaching beyond all boundaries, the initiative seeks to reframe how we think about water, how we manage it, how we save it. It will address the design problem of the crisis, redefining the outdated, limiting cultural mythologies that have become obstacles to progress on one of the world’s gravest threats.

From Atlanta to Australia to Ghana, water is the axis issue that intersects the world’s challenges: from health, poverty and security to climate, energy, immigration and environment. Even financial and commodities markets are affected. We’re just beginning to grasp the scope of the challenges and their intersection points. Many solutions exist, yet policymakers and the public must first be aware of the complexities and then be called to act, from implementing water management measures in Las Vegas to bringing safe water to rural Africa.
The water saga is complex and requires a 360-degree, multidimensional design approach that includes powerful, fact-based, relevant narratives, accessible information and coordinated channels for action.

Not yet announced


Entry Fee

A statement (maximum of 500 words) and up to 10 images and a comprehensive detailed description (Optional: 2–4 minute video)

Finalists announced: February 2009
Finalists develop polished presentations: February–April 2009
Finalists attend the Aspen Environmental Forum and pitch to designers, scientists, journalists, business and NGO leaders: Late March 2009
Finalists will be invited to Copenhagen for a collaborative workshop in connection with the INDEX Award 2009: August 2009:
Selected projects will be published: October 2009
A select number of projects will be presented to participants of the World Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen: November–December 2009

AIGA and Aspen Design Summit, INDEX:

Official Website