Not all innovations are disruptive, even if they are revolutionary. For example, the first cars in the late 19th century were not a disruptive novelty, as early cars were expensive luxury items that did not disturb the existing horse-drawn carriage market. It remained unimpaired until the dawn of first cheap Ford T model in 1908. Only mass production of cars could become disruptive. Often, disruptive innovations arise from “critiques” of existing systems, like economic and business methods, and from the reflection on existing systems, where they identify “possible points of intervention” on established practices to establish systemic change.
For this call, we are looking for creative innovations, products and services that foretell systemic change, offer critique of existing market and economic systems, break established, often harmful social habits, envision new uses and have the potential to become a serial product or service that abandons established practices. These can be products for the home and everyday life as well as digital applications that improve the lives of users, or the design of services that have in mind the well-being of society, especially in terms of planning user, infrastructure, communication and material components social change.
The need for systemic change was further fuelled by the pandemic, which brought to light that in the future the production of goods would have to be redirected back to local communities, and that it is important to preserve local tangible and intangible resources (preserving and integrating traditional crafts into new practices, saving energy and other resources, etc.).
With this call, we are looking for concepts, products and services that answer new social questions, interrupt established practices and seek new, socially conscious ways of working that are developed locally and aimed at rationalising resources (closed material circle, reuse, etc.) and new methods of production or use. Above all, we are looking for products with high design and functional value. Based on the proposals, we will select products for group presentation at international design weeks, fairs and exhibitions (in 2022), such as Design Week in Milan.
Each of the shortlisted applicants will be entitled to a gross grant of EUR 2000 to cover the costs of making or improving a prototype or the cost of presentation at an exhibition in Milan.
Submit your proposals to us by 1 October 2021. An individual applicant can submit a maximum of three proposals. Apply using a form that includes a brief description and features of the product and three photos.
Detailed information on the call can be found here.