Three World Changing Designs For A Syringe, A Stove, And A Shelter

The winners of the World Design Impact Prize have figured out novel ways to improve the health and well-being of millions of people around the world.


The World Design Impact Prize is a twice-yearly award highlighting designs that improve “social, economic and environmental quality of life.” It’s organized by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design, an industry group, and it just announced this year’s three finalists. The winner is announced at the end of February.


ABC Syringe

Some 1.3 million deaths a year are caused by unsafe injections, mostly from Hepatitis C infections. The ABC Syringe, developed in the north of England, turns bright red within 60 seconds of someone opening its foil package, indicating that it shouldn’t be used. The syringe contains an ink that changes color when exposed to CO2. The ABC is meant as an alternative to the AD syringe, a one-use device developed in the 1980s that proved too expensive for wide use.

BioLite HomeStove

Smoky indoor cook-stoves are a well-known hazard in the developing world, contributing to ill-health and pollution. This unique stove, developed in New York by Jonathan Cedar and Alec Drummond, reduces toxic emissions from biomass by up to 90% through a system that converts heat into electricity and powering a fan. There’s also a USB port for powering phones and lights.

Refugee Shelter

Millions of refugees live in flimsy, undignified canvas tents that are cold in winter and too hot in summer. This flat-pack shelter, put together by the Ikea Foundation, is something better: larger, longer-lasting, and cheap to build, transport and construct. See more in our story from last year.

About the author

Ben Schiller is a New York staff writer for Fast Company. Previously, he edited a European management magazine and was a reporter in San Francisco, Prague, and Brussels.