INDEX: award 2013 – raspberry pi computer
image © designboom



raspberry pi foundation receives an INDEX: award 2013 for raspberry pi, a credit card sized, and highly affordable computer that can be used by people, especially children, all over the world to learn programming.


designed in cambridge and manufactured in wales, the raspberry pi is looking to be a catalyst towards solving the world’s computing issues by educating and empowering today’s youth about programming. the raspberry pi foundation is a non-profit organization that spent 6 years developing their first raspberry pi. raspberry pi is a computer the size of a credit card, at a price of $25, designed to activate mainly kids into coding computers. according to an article by the bbc, they are able to keep the costs down due to the goodwill toward the project. the software is open-source, chip manufacturers have kept their prices low, and the majority of the profits are funneled towards improving the devices and creating incentives to get children programming.  ravi naidoo adds that ‘we must prepare kids better for a more digitalized world, not just envelope them in ready-made tech. we don’t want to live edited lives, we want to live creative lives.’



INDEX: award 2013 winners announced

close-up to the raspberry pi computer



the raspberry pi wins INDEX: award and €100,000 for two main reasons:


1) the ability to provide kids with a tool that can help them understand computer coding and the ability to distribute computer power widely for very little money: in our globalized world, many of us are illiterates to a language, which increasingly characterizes our world and our choices. that language is computer encoding and this illiteracy means that few of us are actually able to understand, let alone write the programs that – everyday – decide what we buy online, who we are friends with on facebook, and what answers we are offered when we are googling. raspberry pi is a part of the solution of this serious illiteracy.

2) the low price of raspberry pi ensures that creativity and play can be added to children and young people’s use of computers and programming. raspberry pi is awarded as a market leader with a very open approach to sharing, which actively encourages other companies to clone what they’re doing.



use of award money:


the raspberry pi foundation will use the €100,000 from winning INDEX: award 2013 to pay one year’s salary and expenses for one new full-time and one new part-time employee for the raspberry pi foundation. both employees will work on producing original educational support material for the raspberry pi, and on repackaging permissively licensed third-party material into a standardized format. the provision of high-quality teaching resources is the key to making an impact outside the core users which are independent schools, high-achieving state schools, children of technically literate adults, and is an area where the raspberry pi foundation is only just starting to make an investment. a particular opportunity is rising in the UK in the coming year since a new computing curriculum is being introduced in 2014 and many UK non-specialist teachers will require careful support to deliver a high-quality experience to their students. the raspberry pi foundation have recently sponsored the creation of a first-level ‘map’ of the curriculum, and by the start of the 2014-2015 academic year, the two employees funded by INDEX: award will have produced detailed support material covering the majority of this map.




designboom interview with eben upton on the raspberry pi computer
video © designboom



INDEX: award 2013 - raspberry pi computer

INDEX: award 2013 ceremony with eben upton, founder and liz upton, head of communications receiving the award trophy



INDEX: award 2013 press conference – raspberry pi computer
audio © designboom



INDEX: award 2013 - raspberry pi computer



eben upton and his colleagues at the university of cambridge’s computer laboratory sparked the idea for a highly affordable and customizable mini-computer in 2006 due to the year-on-year decline of both the numbers and skill levels of students applying to study computer science. upton explains that in contrast to the 90′s when those applying had experience within programming gained through their hobbies, a typical applicant in present day might only have minor skills within web design. due to the lack of good quality applicants, which is backed by research carried out by the royal society that shows there has been a 60% decline in the number of british students achieving an a-level in computing since 2003, they were unable to fill classes and realized something needed to be done in order to solve this increasing problem.  the ability to provide kids with a tool that can help them to understand computer coding and the ability to distribute computer power widely for very little money. the low price of raspberry pi’s ensures that creativity and play can be added to children and young people’s use of computers and programming.



raspberry pi, INDEX: award 2013 finalist
video courtesy




INDEX: award 2013 - raspberry pi computer


awarded biennially in denmark, under the attendance of HRH the crown price of denmark, the INDEX: award is the biggest design award in the world – and probably the most important. the importance of INDEX: award lies in the unique, over-arching theme of design to improve life – a concept which has established the prize as a global, inspirational design beacon. INDEX: award is split into five categories: body, home, work, play and community, representing the entire human life, inside to out. one prize worth €100,000 is presented to the winner in each of the categories.


from the index: design to improve life®  press release:

index: design to improve life®  is a danish non-profit organization with global reach. we inspire, educate and engage in using design to improve life-skills to develop sustainable solutions to global challenges. we do this by means of the biggest design award in the world (index: award worth €500.000), world touring exhibitions, education programs, city collaborations and investment initiatives. we inspire by showing people how their personal lives and the lives of people around them can be improved by design to improve life. we do this through index: award and index: award exhibition, showcasing the positive outcomes and effects of the world’s best examples of design to improve life. we educate by using real life challenges as learning resources in schools and the talents of school as a resource in society. we educate students, teachers, educators, designers and decision makers to create sustainable solutions through a certified education curriculum, summer schools and design challenges. we engage by using top-down and bottom-up approaches to involve governments, organizations, companies and people in long-term, valuable network collaborations – ensuring economic, social and environmentally sustainable solutions. design to improve life cities and design to improve life investment are great examples of this.



INDEX: award 2013, these designs were awarded the prestigious prize in the following 5 categories:

BODY – ‘mama natalie birthing simulator
HOME – ‘fresh paper’,
WORK – (featured here) ‘raspberry pi’
COMMUNITY – copenhagen climate adaptation plan
PLAY – ‘smart highway’ by daan roosegaarde