Designing the future: the Creative Conscience Awards
by Adam Woodhall — The communicators and creatives who will help design and mould the future gathered overlooking the Thames in London for the 2016 edition of the Creative Conscience Awards.
The aim of Creative Conscience is to promote socially valuable, human centred design that will enable and inspire people to change their lives and the lives around them for the better. The Awards recognise and reward students from across the design spectrum; from advertising and architecture to film and fashion and everything in between.
The Awards definitely have the backing of high profile figures, with judges including such luminaries as the fashion designer Wayne Hemmingway, Michael Wolff, the founder of Wolff Olins design agency, and Ambassadors such as Professor Helen Storey MBE and Sir Quentin Blake
The support reached into the business world too, with the advertising giant, WPP and the global consumer goods manufacturer Unilever as sponsors, who, in addition to hosting the event had their Chief R&D speak. David Blanchard declared: "This is an amazing fusion of creative thinking, design excellence, technology innovation and fresh approaches to business model development. The results are ideas that can change the world, and there has never been a more important time for disruptive innovation that can transform our planet."
The event was hosted by the speaker and writer John-Paul Flintoff, who stated: "I have been involved in Creative Conscience for three years, and I absolutely love it as it offers creative people a taste of what working with real commitment - and with a conscience - can feel like". Keynote speaker on the night was the well-known environmentalist and author, Jonathan Porritt, who enthused the gathered socially responsible glitterati with the invocation that young people have the opportunity to open eyes, minds and hearts.
There were many, many awards given on the night. To give a flavour of the inventiveness on offer, below are a five examples.
Paul De Ridder and Yme Gorter advertising campaign has already made a difference, and it made them worthy of a Gold Award. These Edinburgh Napier students created a superhero ‘Subunman’ (Soap-man) aimed at Nepali children. He gets his superpowers from washing his hands, and this has encouraged children to wash theirs to combat disease and spreading infections. They told the story through song and dance which was developed with local artists.
Arts University Bournemouth student Matthew Jefferies generated an advertising campaign for a concept he invented called ‘WWF Hive’. This would be a system that would combine Airbnb with conservation opportunities. Existing WWF members can then search, connect and volunteer with conservation conscious hosts for a reduced rate.
The Entopod is an idea conceived by Courtney Yule, from Edinburgh Napier University. This product design would be a food preparation kit, encouraging experimentation with insect based recipes, as these contain as much protein as beef, but are much more sustainable.
Something that might interest Unilever is Art University Bournemouth's Jack McFall's Breast Cancer Awareness Bottle. Another product design, this would have a physical representation of the symptoms of breast cancer on a bottle of Dove shampoo, to encourage women to check their breasts as part of the regular routine.
Pictured at the top of this article is Alice Philipson from the Manchester School of Art who entered CityPark into the Engineering & Interior Design section. This would provide a space to re-establish the communication between people, whether that is friends, family or people you have never met. Alice enthused: "To receive the award felt like what I had designed, and believed in, actually mattered to a world outside my degree. It wasn't something to do to get a grade; it was something that could actually be important in our society. "
The founder of Creative Conscience, Chrissy Levett sums up why she set this initiative up: "I have a really strong belief in creativity being able to solve huge global problems. Creativity and innovation are the way forward, and it's really hard to change existing models, so my passion is to work with young people and graduates, inspire them, and then they will be the CEOs of the future."