Winner announcement


Winner announcement


Student design team ‘Radar’ (Delhi Technological University) wins Student Service Design Challenge 2021


Student design team ‘RADAR’ (Delhi Techno-logical University) wins Student Service Design Challenge 2021

Student teams from recognised design academies and universities from around the globe have invested 5 months in the design research, ideation and development of their service concepts. The Jury selected team 'Radar', a team of design bachelor students from Delhi Technological University, as the winner of this year's edition. Their ‘Radar X’ service offers a waste collection solution for healthcare facilities.

The Student Service Design Challenge aims to celebrate, encourage and inspire the next generation of designers. In this second edition, the challenge gathered students from all over the world: from India, Hong Kong, Mexico, Australia, Canada, the USA, and numerous European countries. More than 70 student teams representing 41 schools and universities answered the call to design sustainable close-loop service solutions that engage everyday users and facilitate the introduction of circular design into existing industrial processes.

The second prize winning team is team Comali (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) for their service to encourage the reuse of school uniforms. This year the challenge has two third prize winning teams. Team Hula Hoops (Politecnico di Milano) for their service to extend the lifespan of toys, and team Bulky Bananas (Academy of Fine Arts and Design, University of Ljubljana) for their service to help fight hunger by reducing edible food waste.

With solutions focussing on a variety of issues around food, furniture, fashion, construction, toys, beauty, medical supplies, etc., it was difficult for the Jury to select the winning concept based on the challenge's comprehensive criteria: people centricity, society oriented, circular & sustainable, technology enabled, and business viable and experience based.

The Jury: "The desire and ambition of the student teams to redesign so many inconsistencies within our society and challenge the status quo have overwhelmingly inspired us.

Through their extensive research and focus on local issues, we learned about the problems of many different regions and countries and discovered how universal these issues could also be. Although this situation may seem pessimistic, it had quite the contrary effect on us; the solutions presented by the student teams are proof that these complex problems can be tackled and that with the right tools and mindset, it is possible to design better systems. 

Furthermore, having their perspectives laid out in front of us allowed us to see what the next generation can and will do. This is a challenge of hope and optimism. As jury members, it is great to be part of this guiding process and offer a new generation of designers the confidence to follow their shared ambition to contribute actively (and even 'activistically') to a better world."



GOLD winner:
+ EUR 3,000 for the University

Radar X - a waste collection solution for healthcare facilities

The Jury selected ‘Radar X’ from team Radar (Delhi Technological University, India) as the winning service solution. Radar X is a complete sharps waste collection solution for healthcare facilities. The service aims to make the process of medical waste disposal more efficient and economic by building a decentralised network that distributes the treatment to several autoclaving facilities instead of relying on one central collection unit.

Team Radar: “One of the biggest challenges the Indian bio-medical waste (BMW) management system faces is a lack of funds. To phase out chlorinated plastic bags, gloves, blood bags, etc. would be costly and overly lengthy. The problem is compounded by the presence of scavengers which sort out the healthcare waste precariously for recycling and illegal reuse of syringes. Our challenge was how can bio-medical waste be made safer to manage so that it is easily handled and efficiently disposed of. There is a great need for the rapid development of many more treatment facilities to fulfill the need for treatment and disposal of all the medical waste generated in India.”

Service blueprintBusiness Model Canvas

"The medical industry produces an enormous amount of waste and the problem has clearly gotten worse due to the COVID pandemic. Radar X does a good job in addressing that. Although the team focused on their local context and provided a viable solution for that scenario, this is a problem that currently affects the entire world. We celebrate the courage to take on a complex and 'unattractive' problem that nonetheless requires immediate attention and action."

“The team tackles this very pressing topic through a well-described and comprehensive service concept. The team builds on an existing though untapped infrastructure while optimising it using a shared service model.”

“It is a strong proposition, with a well mapped ecosystem, implementable and with an eye on ways to prevent waste.”

“The team’s evaluation, testing methods and application solution are excellent from a service design perspective.”


Team Radar is a group of five undergraduate design students at Delhi Technological University, India. Their passion to challenge the current boundaries of experience design brought them together and drove them to participate in this challenge. Armed with varying interests and skills, each of the five members brings a different perspective to the table and complement each other's abilities.

“SSDC2021 has been an astounding experience overall. Being able to take part in the challenge and finally completing the solution is one of the most rewarding experiences we’ve ever had. It was a great opportunity to expand our horizons by looking at design from a holistic perspective. Thinking about an entire service is an enormous job but support from the challenge mentors has made this a very smooth process for us. And one important thing we take away is to tackle difficulties tactically rather than tackling them head-on.”

Team Radar Team members - Akshita Mishra (India), Akash Seth (India), Arnav Gupta (India), Raghav Byala (India), Ipshita Singh (India)


SILVER winner:
monetary prize of EUR 2,500
+ EUR 2,000 for the University


SILVER winner:
monetary prize of EUR 2,500
+ EUR 2,000 for the University

UniforAll - a service that encourages the reuse of school uniforms

The jury awarded the Silver prize to team Comalli (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico) for: UniforAll. The service connects parents who want to donate, sell or buy school uniforms in good condition and at a low price through a digital platform. With purchase, collection, repair and redistribution of pre-owned uniforms, the platform aims to change the negative perception of reuse and prevent uniforms from ending up in landfills after just one wear.

Team Comalli: “It is estimated that in Mexico each year more than 1,700 tons of clothing are purchased for the new academic year, and more than 270 tons fall into disuse. After exploring the reasons behind this, we decided to look into ways of improving the experience of acquisition and disposal of school uniforms for parents who invest a lot of time, effort and money in the purchase of school uniforms each year. They struggle today because the cost of uniforms is high and their durability is short.”

Service blueprintBusiness Model Canvas

“The concept addresses not only practical considerations but also takes into account emotional, social and economical dimensions. By engaging all stakeholders in the process, the team managed to come up with a realistic service that cleverly integrates existing infrastructure and ecosystems, and that seems also fun and rewarding to use.”

“The team has identified a true pain point and has built a robust service ecosystem to solve it. The solution engages the community and schools to value used school uniforms and offers a well-defined service to make reuse possible.”

“We especially appreciate how the team tried to tackle and disrupt the secondhand-use stigma - by not trying to hide it but by subtly celebrating it through use of the patches that flirt with the rules of how school uniforms can be worn and represented. In combining practical application with a change in perspective and mindset, the service might also provide a pathway to leapfrog environmental awareness and design in a location where, currently, options are limited (no recycling infrastructure, etc.).”


Team Comalli is a team of five close friends studying Industrial Design at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in México City. Coming from industrial design, they are interested in recognising and providing opportunities to build on and improve current processes around existing and future products, systems and services in order to offer user-centred solutions that contribute to sustainable development.

“It was important to externalise our ideas and develop them so that other languages and cultures could understand the solution we proposed.”

Team Comalli Team members - Aridayd Arellano (Mexico), Eva Médina Alcántara (Mexico), Naomi Jardón (Mexico), Aranza Miroslava Cruz Michel (Mexico), Guillermo Mota (Mexico)


BRONZE winner (shared):
monetary prize of EUR 1,500
+ EUR 1,000 for the University

MiYo - Mine is Yours - a service that extends the lifespan of toys

The Jury awarded Bronze to team Hula Hoops (Politecnico di Milano, Italy) for: MiYo. MiYo is an online platform enabling children and their caregivers to act together towards a sustainable and extended lifecycle for toys by creating a local network of exchanges. It helps users understand the value of used toys through a new perspective while including children in the decision-making process.

Team Hula Hoops: “Toy waste is often overlooked yet plays a considerable factor in environmental pollution. As this industry grows along with consumerism, most toys end up in landfills. Toys are commonly discarded after a few months of usage, even if they are still in perfect condition. This happens because kids quickly lose their interest and toys lose their value over time. Our challenge was to help our users understand the value of used toys through a new perspective, while including children in the decision-making process, consequently increasing toys’ lifespan and creating a loop in reusing them.”

Service blueprintBusiness Model Canvas

“Team Hula Hoops presents a triggering service that can make us reflect on how we perceive previous ownership and re-use. Rather than using platform technology for selling and buying used toys, they chose a different path by giving discarded toys quite literally a voice and making their history visible to let toys gain personality and become more attractive for reuse.”

“The team has developed a really ambitious circular solution. One of the biggest obstacles to circular transition is retaining value for things people don’t want anymore. This service solution addresses the problem head on by focussing on the child as the user. The idea proposes a change of mindset around value using technology to help children have an extended appreciation of toys. Of course, this should take place in a protected and secure environment for the children.”

“Through engaging storytelling, children build valuable relationships with the things they already have by reimagining them, changing behaviours for the next generation.”


Team Hula Hoops is an international team that brings together cultures from all corners of the world: Iran, China, Italy, Lebanon and Brazil. They are students of the Master in Product-Service System Design at Politecnico di Milano who share a common goal: to design services that enable more sustainable futures for humanity, putting themselves in the shoes of others and turning the world upside down to create new perspectives.

“Often the bigger impacts are achieved through simpler but strong ideas.”

Team Hula Hoops Team members - Emma Teli (Italy), Julia Rangel (Brazil), Mehrdad Atariani (Iran), Nardin Adel Shafik (Lebanon), Zhengang Lou (China)


BRONZE winner (shared):
monetary prize of EUR 1,500
+ EUR 1,000 for the University

FUTR za JUTR - a service that helps fight hunger by reducing edible food waste

The Jury also awarded Bronze to team Bulky Bananas (Academy of Fine Arts and Design, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia) for: FUTR za JUTR. ‘FUTR za JUTR’ combines an app and a smart food locker to decrease the amount of food waste by improving food donations. The app works as a communication tool between stakeholders, while food lockers improve the accessibility of pickup points for users and lessens the work burden for volunteers.

Team Bulky Bananas: “Every day humanity faces numerous challenges, which noticeably impact the economic, socio-ethical and environmental aspects of our lives. One of them is the increasing amount of food waste, which is not only a global, but also a local issue. 140.804 tonnes of food are wasted in Slovenia per year, with 39% still being edible. The average Slovenian throws away 160€ worth of food per year while 8% of Slovenian population cannot afford a proper meal at least every other day. Our challenge was to find a better way to lessen edible food waste generated in the second half of the food supply chain by systemically optimising food donations.”

Service blueprintBusiness Model Canvas

“Team Bulky Bananas identified a varied set of pain points across multiple stakeholders by looking at the problem from a completely different perspective. The solution addresses them very well, generating both a positive impact for society and the environment.”

“The team is clearly professional and emotionally invested in their topic of reducing food waste through donations. The team members are deeply immersed in the world of food donations, becoming volunteers themselves to experience first-hand the existing logistic and administrative problems. They engaged with an impressive set of stakeholders across the value chain.”

“The service offers a novel solution to how to deal with food waste that also has ethical advantages (less negative perception) and can provide clear value for all stakeholders. The service proposes to improve the communication across these stakeholders, whilst decreasing the difficulty and workload for volunteers as well as reducing the feeling of dependency in recipients of food donations.”


Team Bulky Bananas are six Industrial Design students from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. They share an interest in changing the world by working on socially and environmentally conscious design projects which brought them together to participate in this year’s edition of the challenge.

“It was certainly great to see that a small group can make a great impact and solve big and complex problems through consistent work.”

Team Bulky Bananas Team members - Tjaša Mužina (Slovenia), Maruša Dolinar (Slovenia), Pia Groleger (Slovenia), Žan Girandon (Slovenia), Luka Pleskovič (Slovenia), Simon Rozman (Slovenia)

Honourable mentions

The following concepts stood out exceptionally in at least one of the challenge criteria and deserved special mention and recognition from the jury.

REBoat - a service that helps boat owners and lovers to repair, store and exchange

The jury awarded an 'honourable mention’ to team 4 sardines à contre courant (KEDGE Design School, France) as they scored high on the criterion ‘people-centric’ for their truly community-driven service concept.

Team 4 sardines à contre courant: “When giving a first look at a boat’s situation you can imagine that only a few of them whose lives are coming to an end are recycled and the parts that can’t, are simply incinerated. To help change the facts, we designed a multi-tool service that uses the experience of boat owners as well as their community to rethink the loop, and make it efficient.”


“Although REBoat is a relatively niche system solution, this solution demonstrates a very impressive level of ecosystem design and integration with the community where it is located. The empathy with the stakeholders is very high and is leveraged well across multiple points of value creation and value circulation (system use cases). It seems plausible to believe that the ecosystem would develop network effects and continue to amplify its positive impact across environment, community and belonging, employment, leisure experiences, and educational aspects around awareness raising.”

WIPE - a service that connects informal waste pickers, citizens and warehouses for a better waste collection process

The jury awarded an 'honourable mention’ to team UPC Pickers (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain) as they scored high on the criterion ‘society oriented’ for their inclusive focus on people who are on the fringes of the economy.

Team UPC Pickers: “The poor working conditions of informal waste collectors in Barcelona directly affect the level of efficiency of the waste collection system, and keep them in a vulnerable situation. Wipe is a service platform that helps waste pickers, scrap warehouses and citizens to collaborate in the collection of items abandoned in the streets, saving pickers’ effort, giving warehouses more metal to recycle, keeping this kind of trash away from the street, and making the waste collection process easier, safer and faster as long as there is no specific plan to throw away this kind of waste.”


“WIPE is a great example of circular models offering more inclusive economic opportunities than the traditional economy with its efficiency-minded centralised approaches. Rather than reinventing the recycling/reuse system, the service concept does a good job of better leveraging the existing circular economy/black economy with the addition of data and connectivity to make the connection between supply and demand even more effective. WIPE has a great empowerment angle that provides the ability, opportunity and ethics relating to undocumented people having a way to make a living by also contributing back to society.”

Period Comma - a service that tackles the environmental impact of menstrual products while challenging taboos

The jury awarded an 'honourable mention’ to team Red Loop (University of the Arts London, UK) as they scored high on the criterion ‘service concept’ for tackling a non-circular and taboo behaviour and designing a pleasant service to challenge the status quo.

Team Red Loop: “Period Comma was born out of a desire to bring sustainability into the period conversation. It upgrades bathrooms to become safe, welcoming, period-friendly spaces, where women can learn about the environmental impact of their period products, and discover green alternatives. Our online tool then helps them find, compare, and purchase the right sustainable period products for their needs, while continuing the conversation about green periods.”


“A well-defined service concept that creates awareness in a particular topic where light is not shining and there are lots of taboos around it. Educating and engaging also with women has proven to be a catalytic change ‘order’ in many societies. And this could be a powerful way to also drive behaviour change in families engaging with women on a very specific topic. Really nice service, and bold execution in terms of scale-up plan.”

LOOP IT - a service that facilitates toy donation by connecting stakeholders

The jury awarded an 'honourable mention’ to team Studio SpeelGOED (Luca School of Arts, Belgium) as they scored high on the criterion ‘circularity’ for contributing to circular innovation within the over-consumption oriented toy industry.

Team Studio SpeelGOED: “LOOP IT strives for a sustainable & circular toy industry. It is an easy service for parents to hand in their vast amount of unused toys. LOOP IT builds bridges between parents, donation points and recycling companies. By improving the second hand experience, the service wants to create a more responsible generation.”


“Parents - but also anyone who likes to give new toys as a gift - need a way to make smarter decisions to reduce the vast amount of unused toys by finding better ways to share them within their communities and by getting better insights and information about the usage of the toys. This service is a feasible solution and connects with existing aspects and actors of the system and tries to reinforce community aspects. Strong combination of touchpoints, creating value to repackage, and a convincing connection with stakeholders.”

Prizes and recognition

The 5 students of the winning team earn a 10-week design-in-residence position at Philips Experience Design, being able to further prototype and optimise their concept. During those weeks they will be mentored and supported by a Philips expert team. They will also receive additional consultation/training by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the IBM Design team.

The silver and bronze winners receive respectively a monetary prize of EUR 2,500 (+ EUR 2,000 for the University) and of EUR 1,500 (+ EUR 1,000 for the University).

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation will also like to reward the projects that embedded circular and sustainable principles in their solutions. These teams will receive an individual consultation/feedback session with them.

And even more importantly, this Challenge ends with a unique exhibition during the Dutch Design Week 2021: an insightful showcase of a selection of service design solutions from the top 27 submissions.

Proprietary rights - The Student Service Design Challenge is not liable for any copyright or trademark infringement on the part of the entrants and is not responsible for obtaining, protecting, or verifying any intellectual property rights relating to the submission material. It is the responsibility of the student design teams to use their own materials and designs, and clearly highlight references. They have been advised and required to obtain third party consents where required by law or by best ethical practices. If you discover that in the submitted materials and designs copyrighted items have been unintentionally used, we ask you to contact us by email. We will ask the concerning student team to delete those items.


Initiated and powered by Philips Experience Design
and co-organized with SERVICE DESIGN COLLEGE, in
collaboration with IBM, IKEA and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

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Until when can teams register?
Teams can register until January 13, 2023. They will have until Friday January 20, 2023 (11:59:59 PM CET) to submit their research proposal(s). We expect that the preparation for a proposal will take at least a few weeks.
Can I enter the challenge alone?
You cannot participate as an individual student. You need to be part of a team of 4 to 7 members.
Is there any limitation on the number of members in a team?
Yes. The team needs to have at the least 4 team members and no more than 7 team members. All team members have to be students.
I am not a Service Design student. Can I enter the challenge?
Yes, you can. You need to be part of a multidisciplinary team, preferably with at least one design student.
Is there an age limit for entering the challenge?
No, there are no age restrictions, as long as you meet the criteria about student status.
Can a team submit more than one research proposal?
Yes a team can submit more than one research proposal, but you should submit each proposal separately.
What happens to our ideas, materials, etc.?
As a participant in the challenge you will retain intellectual property ownership of all your challenge submission ideas. There is no transfer of intellectual property rights to any third party as a condition of participating in the challenge. Please read our Official rules before submitting.