Social Impact Design

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

USee: Vision Screening and Prescription Glasses for All

An estimated 2.5 billion people have vision issues correctable with prescription eyeglasses. In developing regions, access to vision care is minimal with roughly one optometrist for every 1 million people. The USee Vision Kit system works through existing local organizations and infrastructure to meet this need. The USee is a portable self-refractive screening tool with variable curvature lenses. As the lenses move vertically in the frame, the prescription viewed through the slit changes. The user simply rotates the dials until they can see clearly. The dial tip aligns with a color-coded number that indicates which lenses to select from the kit. The lenses easily snap into the durable, lightweight frames. The process takes 15 minutes and delivers prescription glasses for less than $5 per pair. This simplicity enables larger-scale vision care by vastly expanding the number of individuals capable of identifying blurry vision and providing prescription eyeglasses.

Designed by: Brian Everett, John Church, and Jane Spikowski of PolyOne IQ Design for Global Vision 2020

Contact: Email | Website


Sympfiny is a system for dosing and oral delivery of multi-particulate, dry powder and microsphere drug formulations in low-resource settings. According to the World Health Organization, almost 3 million children needlessly die from pneumonia and diarrhea each year. Drugs for the treatment of pneumonia are available in developing countries, but not in the recommended dose or formulation. Multi-particulates, nano-sized bead-like drug formulations akin to microspheres, can solve this problem. However, the delivery of multi-particulate drugs to children has previously required unfamiliar procedures and limited one-size-fits-all doses. Sympfiny eliminates these problems because it uses the same method of dosing as traditional oral syringes.

Designed by: HS Design in partnership with Röchling Medical

Contact: Email | Website


In 2016, i-LINK founder Chen Shibin spent the summer with local children in the Naqu region of the Tibet Autonomous Region. He noticed that children wore unsuitable shoes, or even no shoes, which severely affected their foot health. Therefore, the i-LINK program was established. Every Duozoulu store continuously donates shoes to a corresponding school in impoverished regions. The program hopes to break geographic distance and establish a true connection with the children to bring them closer to the world with love. 

Designed by: Moonwk Culture Technology Co., Ltd

Contact: Email


HODOHKUN Guideway is a soft rubber mat used to guide visually impaired people through an interior space. They can recognize the route by feeling the difference between the surface of the mat and the surrounding floor using their foot or cane. Also, since the surface is flat and smooth, wheelchair and stroller users, people who have difficulty walking, the elderly and others can safely pass over it. The color of the mat can be modified to match the surrounding environment for people with low vision. 

Designed by: Takahiro Yamada of Ripple Effect Inc. for Kinjo Rubber Co., Ltd.

Contact: Email | Website

Hacking STEM

Microsoft Hacking STEM provides affordable inquiry and project-based activities that use everyday materials to visualize data across science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum. Middle school standards-based lesson plans written by teachers for teachers.

Designed by: Microsoft Hacking STEM Team