SDGs Design International Awards 2021

Results Announcement


On October 16, 2021, the Award Ceremony for the SDGs Design International Awards 2021 was held online.

This year, we called for design proposals that aim to achieve “carbon neutrality”, which means reducing greenhouse gas emissions to virtually zero. The theme was "Let's Create a Carbon-Neutral Society. ~Think big, Start small, Move fast~".

This theme is one of the major global issues, and we received many submissions from students worldwide.

On the Award Ceremony day, the eight prize-winning groups presented their design proposal filled with enthusiasm and young sensibilities.

As a result of rigorous screening processes, each award was decided. Here are the winning design proposal and the comments from the judges.



Let's Create a Carbon-Neutral Society.

Think big, Start small, Move fast

The world is counting down to the realization of "carbon neutrality," the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to virtually zero. Various challenges are being taken on around the world. The scope of these challenges is expanding to include the environment, cities, architecture, products, communication, services, and social systems surrounding our daily lives, and design is needed in every aspect. The theme of this year's SDGs Design International Awards, now in its third year, is "Let`s Create a Carbon-Neutral Society.". We are calling for creative ideas from all over the world to address the world`s most urgent mission. Multiple entries are also welcomed.


Think big
Design a Carbon-Neutral City

We live in a variety of environments and systems every day. The map below is a mapping of related words. For example, what would a carbon-neutral city look like based on the concept of "carbon neutral x transportation (cities and infrastructure)"? Using the map as a hint, please add words, find new connections, and develop ideas for realizing the carbon-neutral city you want to see in the future.

(1)Coexistence with Nature (2)Resource (3)Energy (4)Technology (5)Social System (6)Cities and Infrastructure (7)Mobility (8)Industry and Production (9)Information and Communication (10)Living Needs (11)Well-being (12)Food (13)Occupation

e.g.)Carbon-Neutral×Living Needs e.g.)Carbon-Neutral×Living Needs

Please choose one word or phrase from the list above ①-⑬ to use as
the trigger to find new connections


Start small
Design a Carbon-Neutral Lifestyle

The accumulation of small actions will create the carbon-neutral society of the future. What kind of suggestions would you give people close to you to help them change their mindset and take action toward carbon neutrality? Please choose one topic from the following list and develop your proposal.

  • 1

    Toyota Motor Kyushu Award

    UX design allows everyone to enjoy knowing and learning
    “How can we not emit CO2?".

    Toyota is developing a variety of environmentally friendly vehicles, including hydrogen vehicles. However, no matter how much environmental technology advances, we believe that we can only contribute to the environment if our products are chosen and popularized by consumers. We want everyone to know what it means to create a carbon-neutral society, learn about it, and act on it. In order to do so, it is important that everyone, as consumers, can enjoy learning that a carbon-neutral society is a good thing. It should not be a forced education. We should use a more sustainable approach by providing people with the opportunity to learn and have fun while they learn. We can design the space, content and UX.
    Please design a learning opportunity that will change each individual's behaviour to achieve a carbon-neutral society.

  • 2

    PIETRO Award

    Ideas on carbon-neutrality that can be fun and done through “food” at home. 

    "You are what you eat." Do you know this saying? Food is an essential part of human life, both for the body and the mind.
    It would be wonderful if what we eat and what we can do for the planet through our food could positively impact your generation, the next generation, and future generations.
    Last year, at Pietro's 40th anniversary, we set out our vision for 2030 under the theme of "Your Happiness, Our Happiness". We will continue to do what we can to make our customers happy, society happy, and our employees happy, and this will lead to happiness.
    We would like to hear from you, the younger generation, with your fresh and lively ideas on the theme of "carbon neutrality that can be fun and done through "food" at home". 

  • 3

    Kyushu Mirai Construction Group Award

    Design on sustainable buildings through resource circulation such as materials and energy.

    The happiness of the community is our happiness. Therefore, it is the mission of the Kyushu Mirai Construction Group to shape the happiness of the community's future.
    We believe that for the future happiness of local communities, it is necessary to create buildings that can be used for a long time through using resource circulation such as materials and energy. We are looking for ideas for this purpose. The ideas are not limited to the design of the building itself. You can look into using materials and energy that can be used repeatedly and how to continue using the building with care. We are looking forward to your ideas!

  • 4

    Kyushu University Negative Emission Technology Award

    Design a useful and sustainable product that incorporates
    the technology of converting air into energy.

    The goal of Kyushu University is to create the Direct Air Capture and Utilization (DAC-U) system. This device concentrates carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere like an air filter using extremely thin separation membranes and converts it into various useful substances for daily use. This newly developed system is expected to be small and can be installed anywhere. Japan is a country with few natural resources, however, suppose we can create the necessary amount of carbon resources in the required places, using the atmosphere as a source. In that case, this will lead to constructing a carbon cycle society (energy society) with local production for local consumption.
    Can you design a product that incorporates this technology with a useful and sustainable application? Please give detail of the design, including the scenario of how it is used.



All award winners will receive a certificate.


Design a Carbon-Neutral City

  • Gold Award Gold Award 300,000 yen
  • Silver Award Silver Award 100,000 yen
  • Bronze Award Bronze Award 50,000 yen

Design a Carbon-Neutral Lifestyle

Corporate Award(s) Corporate Awards / University Award 50,000 yen each

The companies that agree with the purpose of the SDGs Design International Awards and are proactive about the SDGs and Kyushu University will provide these awards. From among the entries, we will select based on the evaluation from the companies and the university.


Special Award(s) for High School Students

blue-medal Certificate of Merits
(Including Special Online Campus Tour by Kyushu University)

Special award(s) for high school students will be given to the best design proposal(s) submitted.


  • [ Jury Chair ]

    Minako Ikeda

    Kyushu University Faculty of Design
    Associate Professor

  • [ Judging Panel ]

    Shigenori FUJIKAWA, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor

    International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research, Kyushu University

    Research Center for Negative Emissions Technologies, Kyushu University

  • [ Judging Panel ]

    Kyoko Matsuoka

    Principal of Spinglass Architects Inc.

  • [ Judging Panel ]

    Praveen Nahar

    Director of the National Institute of Design(NID)

  • [ Judging Panel ]

    Andreas Schneider

    IIDj, Institute for Information Design Partner

  • [ Judging Panel ]

    Ryo Yamazaki

    CEO of studio-L. Professor of the School of Architecture at Kwansei Gakuin University.
    Community designer.
    Social worker.