Global design publication Core77 honors 3 CIID projects in its 2020 Design Awards

Friday, 19th Jun 2020

From an interactive exhibition about the future of energy to a service designed to support caregivers’ emotional well-being, the three CIID projects recognized in the 2020 Core77 Design Awards convey the breadth and impact of our work. Below, a deeper look at each project.

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Escaping the Strange Loop
Runner Up, Speculative Design Award
Notable, Strategy & Research Award
Notable, Design for Social Impact Award

CIID Team: Annelie Berner, Cyrus Clarke, Peter Kuhberg, Calle Nordenskjöld, Raffaella Róvida, Monika Seyfried, Joshua Walton


Embrace complex futures. Make data tangible. Uncover diverse futures. Explore deep time. These were the key principles of the design process behind Escaping the Strange Loop, a traveling exhibition about the future of energy that was created as part of EUROfusion—a consortium of national fusion energy research institutes in the European Union and Switzerland.

Designed for three visitors at a time, the exhibition is an immersive, participatory experience that showcases diverse scenarios about the role of energy in near and far futures by exploring its unpredictable impacts on real-life problems. Participants learn about different kinds of futures they could create through their group decision-making by moving through various scales of impact in multiple missions, each representing a different level of society and timespan. After experiencing each mission, the participants discuss and decide which path they will continue to follow. Their decisions are fed into the system, which outputs custom stories (told through videos, objects, and sculptures) according to the team’s trajectory through time. At the end of their missions, participants observe the results of their choices and reflect on how they impacted the world. Once they leave the game space, the players can access a website that shows the many possible journeys they could have taken and welcomes their input.

The goal of the CIID team was to concept and prototype an interactive, transmedia, participatory game that would allow for exploring a tree of possibilities of the future by moving through the physical space of the installation. Each participant plays a different role, learning about and challenging one another’s preconceived ideas or opinions about the impacts of energy, sparking a lively discussion throughout the experience. The spatial design was inspired by the feeling of being stuck in a strange loop. Visitors navigated through time scales and societal levels while moving in a circular path around the room in a meditative, reflective way.

“This was a great example of an immersive experiential future that gives some agency to the audience.”
—Robert Bolton, Foresight Strategist at From Later and Core77 Jury Member

Vote for this project in the Community Choice Prize until July 7:



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The Ethical Stack
Runner Up, Strategy & Research Award
Notable, Design for Social Impact Award

CIID Team: Annelie Berner, Francesca Desmarais, Blair Johnsrude, Peter Kuhberg, Calle Nordenskjöld, Raffaella Rovida, Monika Seyfried


It’s not easy to “be ethical”—and even harder when it comes to new technology, which when embedded in consumer products has deeply complex political, social, environmental, and legal impacts.

Created as part of the collaborative project VIRT-EU, the Ethical Stack is an interactive website and service designed to guide creators of new technology through a series of exercises to practice their ethics in their product development. It supports creators of new technology to prepare for and reflect upon the unpredictable ethical and social impacts their product may have. 

Participants begin by making an overview of their product’s layered impacts and aligning with their team about shared ethical values and vision. They then connect the materials of their product with these values and are prompted to consider and re-think the social and ethical impacts of their product. The Ethical Stack gives feedback in the form of ethical challenges in relation to the product’s values and materials. Finally, participants can try out a variety of paper-based tools (built through co-creation and iterative design) to further understand the ethical challenges and address them in a practical way.

The Ethical Stack allows for an ethical evolution over time, pushing participants to question “flat” values that are not attached to actual product choices. It gives feedback as participants progress, with targeted critiques of each value’s connection to its materials. The feedback, accompanied with scenarios of conflicts, helps simulate issues before they may actually arise. Through the accompanying paper-based tools, participants are able to rethink their technologies and guide them through alternate decision-making processes.

“The research methodology was very thorough and impressive, but so is the result—not only a web platform but talks, workshops, and other touchpoints.”
—Maria Silva Mora, Brand Strategist at Mucca Design and Core77 Jury Member

Vote for this project in the Community Choice Prize until July 7:




Student Runner Up, Service Design Award

Honoree: PJ Teh

Aging is a demographic trend affecting many countries across the world. In rapidly aging societies such as Denmark, the demands on institutional caregivers of elders will increase, worsening the stress of an already-demanding job in a talent-crunched profession. This is reflected in the high annual turnover rates for professional caregivers of the elderly. Caregiver burnout also causes a loss of empathy, which in turn creates downstream problems of “bad elderly behavior.”

How might we help institutional carers of the elderly in Copenhagen to maintain their empathy & energy to care for 5, 10, 20 years? 

The solution strategy behind Stille is to recharge the energy and empathy of the caregiver by appreciation and gratitude (which are positive expressions of empathy), either through individual mechanisms of care, mindfulness, and reflection, or through appreciating their co-workers. The positive empathy would then cascade through the eldercare institution. 

Co-worker Care Module

This module allows co-workers to boost each other’s morale through audio messages of verbal appreciation, systematizing the current ad-hoc emotional support they get. Subtly, it also shifts the co-worker’s mindset from one of fault-finding to that of gratitude, which also helps them be more mindful of the positive than the negative. This service module is delivered digitally via a mobile app, allowing co-workers to record and send audio messages after their shifts.

Self-Care Module

This module supports caregivers’ self-care by allowing them to reflect individually. The module allows caregivers to view their recent moods and microbreaks history with a dashboard; track their moods; reflect on prompt questions, curated to help them process their emotions (based on their moods); and record an audio journal.

Microbreak Station Module

This module augments the caregivers’ existing rest areas in the nursing home, with a “phygital” vibrating “chestnut”* that helps take their mind away from their stress. It is activated by the caregiver surrendering their phone to the station, and by picking up the “chestnut”; this also logs the microbreak in the dashboard.

Core Design Principles

  • Address the stress: create a break.
  • Focus on the emotional, not the physical.
  • Reinforce social bonds and support among co-workers. 
  • Tactile interactions to calm and soothe.
  • Non-written reflection mechanism. 

Vote for this project in the Community Choice Prize until July 7: