For the first time ever, THE DESIGN PRIZE has opened up its voting process to the public. Now in its second year, Designboom and Abitare Magazine‘s coveted prize is letting the people choose the winner in its Social Impact category. As the magazine puts it, the Social Impact prize is of public interest, and so “[it] seems only right that the public should be consulted.”

From today, March 20, through March 30, fans can vote on their favorite project that they think has had the biggest impact on the public.

Started in 2017 by Abitare Magazine and Designboom, THE DESIGN PRIZE has since partnered with the City of Milan, La Scala Opera House and Italian energy provider, Edison. The Social Impact prize is just one of 10 categories along with Distribution, Communication, Design in the Artistic Realm, Exhibition Design, Experimentation, Design Curator and Design Critic, Best Design Newcomer, Best Designer, and Lifetime Achievement.

The nominations were compiled by over 150 revered professionals in the design and creative industries, while an eight-person jury makes the final decision on the overall winners (the Social Impact prize notwithstanding). This year’s jury includes Stefano Boeri, Ingeborg De Roode, Jasper Morrison, Guta Moura Guedes, Carlo Ratti, Libby Sellers, Alex Mustonen, and Kjetil Thorsen.

The winners for THE DESIGN PRIZE 2018 will be unveiled at a private event at Milan’s historic La Scala Opera House. 10 lucky people who participated in the popular vote will get the chance to attend the exclusive event. The ceremony will take place April 17, to kick off Milan’s Design Week (or Salone del Mobile Milano).

Browse the three nominees for the Social Impact prize and vote for your favorite below.

SCESC 24 de Maio Social Cultural Center

Designed by Paolo Mendes da Rocha and MMBB São Paulo, the SCESC cultural center reuses an existing building in the center of São Paulo, transforming it into a 14-story community and educational space for all ages, complete with a rooftop swimming pool, a library, a dental clinic, and sports facilities.

This is the latest project for the non-profit SCESC, which has other cultural centers all over Brazil. Read more about the project here.

The Shed’s telescoping structure

While the whole design of The Shed art center is noteworthy, it was the smart telescoping structure which landed the building its Design Prize nomination. The building’s “Architecture of Infrastructure” will only be used when needed, resulting in an energy-saving design that can deploy a 4,000-ton telescoping steel structure on rails over the public plaza in just five minutes — using the same amount of horsepower as a Toyota Prius.

Designed by Diller Sco dio and Renfro and the Rockwell Group NY, The Shed arts center is scheduled to open in the spring of 2019. Read more about the project here.

SCEWO wheelchair that can climb stairs

Designed by students from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the University of the Arts Zurich, this wheelchair can climb stairs, increasing the user’s mobility. This project first began in 2014 before expanding to a larger scale prototype in 2017. Currently, the designers are gathering feedback from electric wheelchair users to perfect its design before releasing on the mass market by the end of 2018. Read more about the project here.

  • Photography: designboom
Senior Staff Writer

Berlin-based writer and Rihanna enthusiast.

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