Climate Action

Five winning ideas to help refugees feel at home

We can now reveal the winners of the What Design Can Do Refugee Challenge, and share their ideas to make life better for urban refugees.

The IKEA Foundation announced the five winning entries at What Design Can Do Live in Amsterdam on Friday 1 July. At the event, we gave each of the winners €10,000 to develop their ideas, presented by Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders. The winning entries are:

  • Makers Unite, a co-creation lab of creatives and refugees
  • The Welcome Card, which gives refugees access to social amenities
  • Eat & Meet, a network bus transformed into a kitchen
  • AGRIshelter, self-sufficient sustainable shelters
  • Reframe Refugees, a photo agency that enables refugees to tell their own stories.
What Design Can Do refugee challenge

Organised by the Foundation, What Design Can Do and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the Refugee Challenge called for ideas and concepts to improve the standard of living for urban refugees.

It attracted 631 entries from 70 countries around the world, of which 25 were shortlisted. An international jury, including Marcus Engman, IKEA’s Head of Design, selected the five winners.

Jonathan Spampinato, Head of Communications at the IKEA Foundation, said: “This has been a fantastic collaboration with the design community. It fits our aim to explore how the principles of democratic design—form, function, quality, price and sustainability—can help drive innovation in the humanitarian sector.”

As well as the €10,000 stipend, the five winners will receive expert support to develop their concepts and take them to the next level. The revised projects will be assessed and presented again at the end of 2016.

Find out more about the five winning concepts.