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INDEX AWARD: Design to Improve Life

Updated: Jan 28, 2019



More than 300 million children in the world live in areas with the most toxic levels of outdoor air pollution – six or more times higher than international guidelines. In China, many children grow up with asthma and other respiratory illnesses as a result of the severe air pollution problem there. UNICEF notes that if Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Xi’an effectively controlled particle levels and met WHO air quality guidelines, the number of premature deaths could decrease by at least 81%.


Woobi Play is a modular pollution mask that fits into a kid’s universe while still being able to perform at a professional level. It is designed to meet kids at eye level, involving them in interaction with the mask and making it more appealing for them to wear. Protection against air pollution requires education, and Woobi Play is designed as a solution to inspire behavioral change.

The aim of Woobi Play is to reach as many children as possible, with a target of 1 million users within 3 years. The design was implemented in Jan 2017, with China as the first go-to-market country and 12,000 masks have been distributed in the first four months. Through Wechat social media initiatives, 3,000 registered users have been accumulated by having parents scan a QR code and follow the design company to gain more knowledge about the effects of air pollution and to learn what they can do to protect their children. These initiatives also serve as a platform for gathering feedback and improving the design.






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