Better Living Challenge | A search for design ideas to improve quality of life

Better Living ChallengeThe Better Living Challenge


The Cape Craft & Design Institute (CCDI) is a not-for-profit company set up in 2001 to promote and grow craft as an economic sector in the Western Cape. As part of the World Design Capital – but extending beyond 2014 – the CCDI has launch a social innovation competition called the Better Living Challenge. 


The open competition is a search for affordable and effective design ideas from around the world to improve the quality of life for people who live in South Africa’s informal settlements, backyard shacks and RDP housing.


Some inspiration from the CCDI  – “South Africans already have a world-class record when it comes to coming up with game-changing innovations. They include heart transplants and CAT scans; the swimming pool vacuum cleaner and cybertrackers; the dolosse breakwater and Pratley Putty, the only South African invention to make it to the moon. Back in the 1950s, the Tellurometer revolutionised map making, while more recent South African breakthroughs include the world’s first oil from coal refinery and the speed guns used at cricket grounds worldwide.”


The competition is divided into three categories, which are:

  1. The Structural Home: This covers innovative products and materials to construct safe, sustainable homes.
  2. The Comfortable Home: Products used to create interiors that people enjoy being in.
  3. The Connected Home: This category calls for products and services that connect a home to its surroundings and beyond, digitally or physically.


The BLC isn’t just about finding the ideas. It’s also about creating a platform for seeing a great idea become a household name. Three winners will each receive tailored business and product support worth R500 000 to commercialise their home improvement solutions. Among other areas, this support could cover coaching, business consulting, legal services, prototyping, market research, graphic design and more. Students will compete for a R40 000 cash prize.


The BLC is open to designers and innovators, inventors and creators, students and professionals, manufacturers and retailers from anywhere in the world. Entries close on 31 May 2014.


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