SoundCloud: Winner of 24h Design Challenge

Posted on May 21, 2010 by


After 24 exhausting hours, one of the design teams reigned supreme: The winning idea was an innovative new service where audio helps make browsing through pictures a richer and more meaningful experience.

This challenge took place during the conference entitled Innovation for All 2010 – The European Business Conference on Inclusive Design, which was organised by the Norwegian Design Council in collaboration with the Royal College of Art Helen Hamlyn Centre on the 20-21st of May at DogA, the Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture in Oslo.

Four teams of designers were assigned the task of designing an inclusive product or service. The project had to be submitted within the space of 24 hours, taking as its basis the needs of a creative partner in each group who represented user needs through being in some way or another – differently abled.

Minister of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion Audun Lysbakken presented the winners of the design challenge who were selected based on audience vote. Lysbakken commented in his speech that we need more and better design solutions in order to achieve a truly inclusive society. He also started his talk by quoting the Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen: “Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context – a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan.” And designing in context is what inclusive design is all about.

SoundCloud “A richer picture experience” (Winner of Best Idea)

The team led by Jørgen Solstad, CEO, partner and co-founder of Kadabra Produktdesign, won the award for best idea. The idea to create a richer experience for pictures came about through learning that their creative partner David, a blind metal- and opera-fan, had more than 3000 digital images on his computer and 24 albums uploaded on Facebook.

Images are a great way to document someones lives, but people seldom take the time to label their digital images and structure their file archives in meaningful ways.

Images are stored with a series of data such as location, date and time. For most of us, this data mean very little. The design team found that most devices that capture images are also capable of recording audio. This audio input can be used to create a service around browsing through images and remixing them through voice and place recognition.

Below is a short snapshot of the discussions the winning team had during day 1 of the challenge when Julia Cassim, the challenge moderator and Senior Research Fellow at the RCA Helen Hamlyn Centre, and the challenge patron Micael Wolff visited the team:

Cupola “The nonspilling cup” (Winner of Best Presentation)

The team led by Marianne Støren Berg, senior innovation manager and user strategist in the Oslo-based consultancy KODE Design, won the award for best presentation.

The concept their team developed together with their creative partner Ola Refsnes, came about because Ola, an energetic young man who is a wheelchair user, really enjoys drinking coffee and would love to enjoy a good cup of coffee on his own without the risk of spilling. The design team members also shared similar stories: Spilling drinks on our laptops, spilling coffee on the bus and noticing how grandparents’ hands tremble when they hold a cup. A quick search on Google resulted in many hits entitled things like “I spilled coffee on my laptop”, thus concluding that the problem of spilling is a universal one.

Their concept named Cupola is a new type of cup with a self-sliding lid which prevents spilling.

Winner of best idea

Team leader: Jørgen Solstad (Kadabra)
Creative partner: David Hole
Neil Daniel Ryan (Techni)
Astrid Donata Sliwka (Designit)
Synnøve Kjærstad (Inventas)
Noriko Kitazumi (Kouyou Kitazumi Calligraphy Studio)
Carina Ngai (Adobe)
Isabella Alveberg (Microsoft)

Winner of Best Presentation

Team leader: Marianne Støren Berg (Kode Design)
Creative Partner: Ola Refsnes
Hans Christian Berge (Designit)
Sally Hall (Panasonic)
Elizabeth Walmann (Formfabrikken Grafisk Design)
Heidi Devik Ekstrøm (Techni)
Seda Özcetin (Lund University)
Nicole Chng (Telenor)


Team leader: Fredrik Matheson (Bekk)
Creative partner: Grethe Sølvi Lie
Axel Haugan (Greenseat)
Magnus Revang (Rayon Visual Concept)
Heidi Borthne (Heidi Borthne Design)
Eva Tøftum (SHE Design Studio)
Peder Torget (Peder Torget Design)
Morten Mathiesen (Transport Uddannelses Centeret AS)


Team leader: Martin Otto Fougner (Hugo Design)
Creative partner: Anita Fjeldaas
Linn Ramm (Linn Ramm Design)
Silje Søfting (SHE Design Studio)
Jørgen Leirdal (Hugo Design)
Kyrre Texnæs (Creator of movements)
Christer Kitdal (Inora as)
Dag Helge Scott (The Oslo School of Architecture and Design)

Posted in: Design