Nominees for Proekspert’s Life-changing Smart Solution Award announced

The grand prize at the Estonian Design Awards – the Life-changing Smart Solution or Service Award – will go to one of three organizations: Avatud kool (Open School), Metsaühistu (Forest Cooperative) or the Memoris Funeral Home. A jury consisting of representatives from Proekspert, the Estonian Design Centre, and the Ministry of Culture have evaluated the graphic, web and service design entries with the goal of showcasing designs that create the most positive change in our lives.

“We looked for design that summoned forth some positive change in society or in our behaviour, features that put a more human face on technology, solutions, products, services or the environment, and take into account people’s actual needs,” said Jane Oblikas, head of the Estonian Design Centre. “As we evaluated the projects, we looked for definite evidence that the end users of the service are included in the design process and that their needs have been studied and solutions prototyped on service users.”

Proekspert’s Lead Marko Sverdlik said design has to be given a greater role as an integral part of people’s everyday activities. “We need more creativity and design in projects and initiatives in Estonia. Proekspert wants to recognize companies that use design in a mindful way to develop their services, processes and products and which are seeding a leap in people’s quality of life.”

Life-changing design is simple, intuitive and natural. Life-changing design doesn’t need user manuals or user support. It’s often the outgrowth of cooperation between many different disciplines and parties. While eight entries met one or more of these criteria, three remained in the race after the evaluation. The nominees for life-changing smart solution are:

Open School

The first school in Estonia with design principles coded into its DNA – design forms the basis for making strategic decisions on curricula and other aspects of scholastic life. Although the Open School will get its first students only in 2017, we are already seeing a significant change in philosophy of the type that the Open School could affect throughout the Estonian school system. The school focuses on practical, project-based education, with the end users (the students!) as the priority. The desired result is children who are more caring, tolerant, open, bolder and truer to their own unique selves. The Open School has a user-friendly web environment backed by graphic design that supports and explains its principles, making it easy to grasp just how the school is different.

Client: SA Kogukonnakool (Community School Foundation)
Design agency: Velvet
Designer: Magnus Haravee
Project manager: Kadri Pukk

Forest Cooperative

In this project, design is the connecting glue between private forest owners, timber processing companies and the state. A service standard symbolized by a common trademark has been designed in a systemic and innovative manner. Metsaühistu (Forest Cooperative) is now the quality standard for forest management. The outcome is an optimum work process, synergy, and increased efficiency, all of which lead to higher revenue. All stakeholders have gained from the process, and it’s expected the sector’s image of trustworthiness will improve, private forests will be sustainably managed, and the value of the forests will grow as a whole.

Client: Keskühistu Eramets TÜH
Design agency: Brand Manual
Designer: Silver Tibbing
Researcher, service designer: Eveli Glinjanski
Project manager: Timo Suvi
Service designer, strategist, art director: Dan Mikkin

Memoris Funeral Home

Memoris is an example of service design that’s simple, intuitive and natural. Any service can be designed, and it’s great if it becomes just a bit more streamlined and comfort-providing in life’s hardest moment. Memoris has succeeded in creating an entirely new experience for people who have lost a loved one. The inevitable funeral process has now been made understandable and simple. Alternatives, client wishes, and payment methods have all been factored in. Feedback has been positive. In just a few months’ time, this new company, whose main competitive advantage is service design, was able to take a 10 percent market share in Harju County.

Designer: Andrus Lember
Web designer: Peep Ploom
Service designer: Kadri Tuisk
Web project manager: Laura-Maria Freiberg
Art director, designer: Tõnis Kipper

The winners of the Life-changing Smart Solution Award will be announced at the awards gala on 16 September at 8 p.m. at Tallinn’s Culture Hub.

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