Social Impact Design

Human Friendly Mug

This affordable coffee mug was designed to fit every hand, regardless of its shape or capabilities, reinforcing the idea that the products we use every day should be designed with everyone in mind. 

Designed by: Amin Hasani and Jed Tango

Contact: Email | Website

Badger Shield Open Source PPE

Badger Shield is an open-source face shield platform designed to rapidly distribute desperately needed personal protection equipment (PPE) to smaller medical facilities and essential workers. Global supply chains imploded at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and there was a dire shortage of PPE for frontline workers. Badger Shield was designed in days and uploaded to the internet. Healthcare systems requested 5.5 million units within weeks of launch. An online portal matched requests with manufacturers, and the world went to work. Production lines in 22 countries, representing 400 manufacturers, from giants like Apple to local outfits like Midwest Prototyping, combined to make 2 million per day.

Designed by: Jesse Darley of Delve, Brian Ellison of Midwest Prototyping, and Lennon Rodgers of University of Wisconsin Makerspace

Contact: Email | Website

Circular Plastics – Returning Waste to Use in Africa

Circular Plastics is a collaboration between three universities and one NGO in the UK with project partners in Kenya, Rwanda, and Nigeria. Together they developed a technology-led strategy to reduce waste by transforming used plastic water bottles into products that support entrepreneurship in low-to-middle-income countries. The team devised an extruding process that converts polyethylene terephthalate (PET) from plastic bottles into 3D printer filament. To date, six innovative products have been launched that support self-sufficiency and economic development in the agriculture, mineral extraction, fishing, and mobility sectors in LMIC areas.

Designed by: Mark Evans, Timothy Whitehead, Oliver Evans, and Guy Armstrong of Loughborough University UK and Aston University UK

Contact: Email | Website


Yulindog is a piece of sculpture made from 230 dog bones collected from dog-meat restaurants, markets, and stalls. It was created to advocate for canceling the Dog Eating Festival held in Yulin, China.

Designed by: Danny Li, Minglei Miao, Yu Gao, Yiqiang Liang and Yini Ma of Mcgarrybowen Shanghai for Honeycare

Contact: Email | Website

Easy, Affordable Vision Screening for Developing Countries

Access to eye care is taken for granted in the West, but for over 2.5 billion people living in smaller communities in developing countries, little help is available. ClickCheck is an intuitive device for self-diagnosing eyesight. With a production cost of $5, it is cost effective for NGOs to distribute in developing countries. ClickCheck was designed for the social and cultural environment it aims to aid. It is passed from person to person without the need for a professional. The ultra-simplicity and low cost of this solution has made it a success where other vision screening apps or kits have met barriers to entry.

Designed by: Paul Hatch, FIDSA, Andreas Bell, Holly Howes, Ross Brinkman and Eric Wiegman of TEAMS Design for Essilor

Contact: Email | Website

Music: Not Impossible

Music: Not Impossible is a wearable vibro-tactile vest that enables deaf and hearing fans to experience concerts together by translating music into tactile vibrations. It consists of a vest, two wristlets, and two anklets with a total of 24 actuators linked to different instruments and sounds that distribute vibrations all over the body. When a drummer hits a bass drum, actuators in the anklets vibrate. The snare drum causes the wristlets to vibrate, and as vocals get louder, vibrations across the tops of the shoulders grow stronger. Wearers may adjust the intensity of the vibrations, which are visually represented via customizable color LED lights. 

Designed by: Bresslergroup, Cinco Design and Avnet for Not Impossible Labs

Contact: Email | Website

ATLAS | Community-based telehealth for local veterans

Working closely with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), this community-driven co-creation process brought together key VA leadership, clinicians, veterans, and business partners to gather the deep insights needed to design an enhanced VA telehealth experience. The resulting solution optimizes technology, software, and services to improve veterans’ experience in accessing and adopting telehealth as an adequate and reliable complement to in-office care. The project reimagined how to best deliver clinical care at a distance to make it more convenient for veterans in remote and hard-to-access communities to access the high-quality care they are entitled to.

Designed by: Philips Experience Design Team for Philips

Contact: Email | Website

ElectionGuard Voting Machine

The ElectionGuard voting system combines the flexibility and clarity of touch-screen technology with the reliability of printed paper. Voters mark their ballot on a touch screen, print their ballot to verify their choices, and take it to an election official, who scans the printed ballot, which is saved for a paper trail. Hardwired to the system, the printer is covered with a slip-on shroud that obscures, controls, and prevents opportunities for monkey business. It's all open sourced, so any vendor or manufacturer can use or modify any part or all of the system.

Designed by: Tucker Viemeister of Viemeister Industries, Ed Wood, Israel Fuentes and Jean-Pierre Mutti of Radii, and Whitney Quesenbery of Center for Civic Design

Contact: Email | Website

Microplastics-Sensing Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

This drone can detect and analyze microplastics and enable scientists to understand where they are originating from, where they are most prominent and how to prevent them from contaminating our waters.

Designed by: Jordan Nollman, Jason Wilbur, Rich Orsini, Matt Bettencourt of Sprout Studios and Robert de Saint Phalle for Draper

Contact: Email I Website

Mobile thermoelectric refrigerator

This cost-efficient low-energy mobile refrigerator allows villages in India (the world’s leading milk producer) to store their milk overnight and transport it up to 15 miles to pasteurization facilities.

Designed by: Jordan Nollman, Jason Wilbur, Rich Orsini, Matt Bettencourt of Sprout Studios and Robert de Saint Phalle for Draper

Contact: Email I Website