Solutions for sustainability and Ageing win the Design Prize Switzerland


On Friday, over 700 guests congregated to celebrate the winners of the 15th edition of the Design Prize Switzerland. Among the 13 winners are three startups: Caru Smart Sensor, SwissFlax and the Piëch Automotiv Group. Beyond their unique design, the startups’ solutions have both a societal and environmental impact.



Every two years, Design Prize Switzerland recognizes and awards outstanding projects that have relevance for design. The 15th edition of the Design Prize Switzerland attracted 44 entries, which were evaluated based on the following criteria: Design quality, innovative content, aesthetic consistency, social relevance, innovative vision, economic importance, market conformity, and sustainability. On November 1, the international jury revealed and bestowed prizes onto 13 winners in 12 categories among which are three startups that won prizes in three categories. These include;CARU Smart Sensor – Product, Consumer Goods The Zurich based startup developed CARU, an intelligent communication system for individuals with age-related and/or health-related impairments who are living independently. In private households, the CARU Smart Sensor is intended to promote autonomy, social integration, and security; in homes, it serves to optimize communication between those cared for, their relatives and carers. The technology backbone of CARU is a smart sensor that collects data on the individuals’ environment to establish patterns for normal behavior and detect deviation from it. CARU can be operated via simple voice commands, for example, to establish a telephone connection.   Swiss Flax – Swiss Textiles Prize for Fashion and Textile Start-ups Founded in 2014, Swissflax sees itself as a bridge between farmers and the textile industry. The company buys flax straw from local (Emmental) farmers and organizes the downstream processing, which starts with the mechanical scutching (removal of impurities from the flax) and ends with the spinning of the fibers into high-quality yarn. The entire process is helping to establish local value chains. The startup has enabled companies such as Möbel Pfister, Kramis Teppich Design AG, Lanz Anliker among others to provide sustainable products from its yarn. In addition to marketing opportunities, the startup will receive the category cash prize of CHF 15,000. Piëch Automotiv Group –Energy Efficiency The German-Swiss company established in 2017, designed and manufactured the Piëch Mark Zero, whose core design elements stem from the great GT sports car era, combines themwith new design options and transforms them into the 21st century. The car features revolutionary battery cells, which can be charged to 80% capacity in just 5 minutes. Moreover, the batteries are only subject to minor thermal changes despite enormously high charging and discharging currents. The technology gives cause for optimism that the technical developments inspired by the Piëch Mark Zero will have a widespread impact in the near future. (Press release/ran)