This year’s Innovation by Design Awards offer more than 500 reasons to feel hopeful during dark days of unprecedented challenge. While no silver bullet will solve all of our most urgent problems—from the global pandemic to outrageous income inequality, from our rapidly escalating climate crisis to systemic racism—the IBD honorees reveal inspiring visions of a better future. Learn more about the jurors who selected them.

All Honorees

A Brooklyn tech hub that has enabled entrepreneurs to develop solutions to urgent public-health problems during the COVID-19 pandemic

New York Times COVID-19 front pages
The New York Times

A nontraditional front-page layout using graphics to spotlight the unprecedented scale and horror of the COVID-19 pandemic


A virtual-reality fitness app that transports users to far-flung corners of the earth, from the Galápagos’s Isabela Island to the ruins of Machu Picchu, to make exercising at home feel like a vacation

New Story 3D printed housing concept
New Story, Icon, Fuseproject

A 3D-printed community for families in Latin America living on less than $200 a month

Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

A web platform that visualizes thousands of architectural design options, empowering clients and community members to co-create buildings and neighborhoods

Illusory Material: 3D Printed Optical Textiles
Jiani Zeng, Honghao Deng, and MIT

A method for designing and 3D printing objects with dynamic color, texture, and reflectivity


A cushioned, liquid-repellent shoe designed to make healthcare workers safer and more comfortable on the job

Swing Left

A donation website that encourages users to support Democratic candidates in competitive races to maximize the impact of their giving and advance a progressive agenda

Hong Kong protests: The full story in infographics
South China Morning Post

A series of illustrations, maps, animations, and videos that tell the complex story of Hong Kong’s anti-government protests in an accessible, visual way

The Resolution Medical Lattice Swab
Resolution Medical and Carbon

A 3D-printed nasopharyngeal swab (developed in less than three weeks to meet critical shortages in COVID-19 testing) that has a unique lattice structure that improves patients’ comfort and makes it easier for healthcare workers to collect samples

Bearaby Tree Napper

A weighted blanket that’s filled with Tencel fabric weights, instead of plastic, to promote a good night’s sleep without damaging the environment

TWA Hotel
MCR/Morse Development

A transformation of Eero Saarinen’s iconic 1962 TWA Flight Center at New York’s JFK International Airport into a chic hotel

A for-credit college-education platform that uses sleek design to help students pass classes, and reduces the cost of courses by more than 80% compared with traditional universities, potentially saving American students billions of dollars a year

Move Lab by Free Now

A navigation app that lets you choose your journey based on parameters such as the best-lit streets or the most beautiful landmarks, rather than just the fastest way to get from point A to point B

Redesigning the Yellow School Bus

A system for efficiently transporting schoolchildren in Oakland, California, that reduced the percentage of kids traveling more than 60 minutes each day from 70% to 3%


A foldable paper cup designed to eliminate the need for wasteful, single-use coffee lids

Logitech G Adaptive Gaming Kit

A $100 kit, featuring an array of buttons and triggers, to enable more than 46 million people with disabilities to play video games

“The Truth Is Local” Storefront Installations
Local Projects

An audiovisual installation in vacant New York storefronts that brings The New York Times’s local reporting to life

Carlo Ratti Associati

An intensive care unit for COVID-19 patients made from converted shipping containers

Courtyard Kindergarten
MAD Architects

A kindergarten built around a traditional siheyuan courtyard in Beijing, with a rooftop that doubles as a playground

WNDR Alpine Intention 110

A ski made of an algae-based composite that dramatically reduces the amount of petrochemicals used to manufacture it

Valentin Weilun Gong, Xiaohui Wang, and Lan Xiao, Royal College of Art and Imperial College London

A body-gesture recognition system that lets people with disabilities customize their own interfaces

Powerhouse Bratt?rkaia

The world’s northernmost energy-positive building, located in Trondheim, Norway, which produces more than twice as much electricity as it consumes on average every day


A free, cloud-based interface design tool that makes prototyping as simple for marketers and product managers as it is for designers and developers

ChildSafe Harvey E. Najim Children and Family Center
Overland Partners

A trauma care center for abused children in San Antonio that highlights the restorative power of nature, with ample views of the outdoors, natural materials, and a healing garden

ZShield Flex

A face shield with an adjustable neck mount that’s built to be safe and comfortable enough for service industry workers to wear for hours

BadGood App
BadGood Limited

An app that lets users shake, scream, or type their frustrations into their phone to physically release stress

VanMoof S3 & X3

An electric commuter bike that hides a range of technologies, from built-in theft control to a nearly silent motor, in a sleek, stylish frame

Work & Co

An app for Brazil’s second-largest telecom company that streamlines the customer service experience

New York Times COVID-19 front pages
The New York Times

A nontraditional front-page layout using graphics to spotlight the unprecedented scale and horror of the COVID-19 pandemic

Design Company of the Year

Companies that exhibit overall design excellence

General Excellence

The most innovative contemporary designs overall

Apps and Games

Interfaces for phones, tablets, and touchscreens


Projects that improve cities and neighborhoods

Data Design

Projects that use data to tell a story


Concepts, prototypes, and provocations

Fashion and Beauty

Projects that enhance who we are and what we wear


Products and services that help people manage money

Graphic Design

Visual design that makes an impact


Projects that solve problems in the healthcare industry


Products, services, and environments for better living


Unforgettable experiences in the service industry


Projects that engage learners and promote education


Projects that improve how we get around


Projects that help with shipping and presenting goods


Hardware and industrial design

Retail Environments

Spaces that bring a brand to life

Social Good

Projects that help underserved groups

Spaces and Places

Projects that solve problems in the built environment

Sports and Recreation

Projects that elevate the game


Projects made in school, or within a year of graduation


Projects that reduce harm to the environment

User Experience

Projects that consider a user’s journey


Projects that promote a healthy lifestyle


Projects that make workers happier and more productive

Best Design Asia-Pacific

Innovative design in the Asia-Pacific region

Best Design Europe, Middle East, and Africa

Innovative design in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa

Best Design Latin America

Innovative design in Latin America

Best Design North America

Innovative design in North America