Tech that Makes a Difference: Designing for Social Good with Technology

DesignSingapore Council’s Executive Director Mark Wee shared that the collaboration between P*DA and the Danish Design Award is born out of similar goals - to celebrate the impact of design and to view design as an enabler and solution to complex economic and social issues.


Through this common vision, both awards have and will continue to collaborate to embark on meaningful and impactful programmes that showcases design excellence.


As the name suggests, Technology that Makes a Difference: Designing for Social Good with Technology draws our attention to how design and technology can come together to make a positive impact for the society at large.


The three speakers for this talk and panel discussion are Asger Steenholdt (Chief Music Architect, Inmutouch), Carl-Emil Jensen (Creative Head, Too Good to Go) as well as Bassam Jabry (Partner & Managing Director of Chemistry). 


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Inmutouch
“10 minutes of good a day is 10 minutes that weren't bad.”

What is it: A pillow designed for dementia patients, that has proven to lower stress levels regardless of demographic.

Who came up with it: A musician, designers and a team of engineers form the dynamic force behind Inmutouch. 

When did inspiration strike: Working on moodboards and research, the idea of ocean waves and kaleidoscopes struck. 

How does it work: Reacts to touch, and interacts with you with gentle tones and pleasant vibrations. 


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Too Good to Go
“Save a meal, make a difference.”

What is it: An app that gives access to the surplus food market.

Who came up with it: A group of designers looking for a sustainable solution to tackle food waste created the Too Good To Go App. 

When did inspiration strike: 44 tonnes of food is wasted every second and this is a global problem of severe consequences. Born out of the want to spread the awareness of food wastage and inspiring others to do the same while running a business all at once. 

How does it work: Users order ‘magic bags’ of food from the stores of their choice and pick it up when it is closing time. 

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Vscan Access
“Rethink and redesign from a user’s point of view.”

What is it: An ultrasound device bringing antenatal care to more people, especially in developing countries where the nearest hospital are hours away. It retains functionality while making the device accessible and easy to use. 

Who came up with it: Design consultancy Chemistry in collaboration with GE Healthcare.

When did inspiration strike: Around 800 women die from preventable pregnancy-related causes globally. To make early detection more accessible, GE Healthcare and Chemistry wanted to empower healthcare workers and midwives to tackle this. 

How does it work: With colour-coded buttons and instructions to guide the scanning process step-by-step, the touchscreen device uses single finger touch. It introduces patient records, clinical results, video and coaching resources for memory aid - making it an intermediary for hospitals. 


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With these examples, it is clear that technology has brought design possibilities to a whole new level - offering endless solutions and opportunities to make a positive impact. 

The panel discussion was brought to a good close with a big question asked by an audience member and definitely one to consider: As developed countries, where can we do good and in what areas specifically? 

Steenholdt responded by saying that we have to develop kindness, the ability to listen to what is being said and to understand. Furthering his point, Jensen goes on to mention that we should help other countries grow as well - such as accessibility to basic needs. Agreeing on both their perspectives, Jabry shared his own take, “Design has an empathy component to it and to ideally, motivate people. We simply need to change habits, which are mostly a matter of convenience and that will make a huge difference.”

Now that you have heard what the speakers have to say, what action will you take to use design and technology to positively impact the society at large? 


PDAxDDA Tech that Makes a Difference

Check out the video below to watch the event highlights of the evening!

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