6 Future-Forward Projects Imagining More Empathetic, Efficient Communities

These Core77 Awards entries caught our attention for their optimistic approaches to the future.

If there’s one political issue most people can agree on, it’s that cities and towns need better infrastructure. The vast majority of America is unwalkable, hospitals are depressing, and sprawling urban design makes neighborhoods feel lonely, especially for the most vulnerable populations. But it doesn’t have to be this way, and many designers and engineers are sketching out the blueprints for cities that are more compassionate, accessible, and organized.

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Plenty of entries in this year’s Core77 Awards focused on healthcare, with designs that reduce strain on an exhausted system by making it easier for individuals and communities to monitor their own health. Others focused on charming, scalable, green transportation that would make everyday life easier, while decreasing traffic, accidents, and pollution. Each project gave us hope for the future by reminding us that the solutions to big problems might just be one idea away.

Nuro Zero-Occupant Autonomous Delivery Vehicle

Can you imagine a world without 5 o clock traffic? Nuro won our Service Design Award for presenting a fantastic possible alternative in the form of their Zero-Occupant Autonomous Delivery Vehicle. After noticing that 43% of personal car trips in America are for shopping and errands, they designed this self-driving car that runs on renewable electricity from wind farms. Cities that adopt this system would instantly benefit from safer roads and less traffic, while being much more livable for disabled communities, caretakers, or long-distance commuters. With access to this smart design, people could easily get what they need without a car.


Most modern-day transportation prioritizes speed, but travel used to be much more relaxed. While over-reliance on cars can make it difficult to take the scenic route, underground transportation can make the outside world feel a bit distant. With this in mind, Speculative Design Runner Up Rolla‘s proposal for an alternative mass transit system is a literal breath of fresh air. NewDealDesign took inspiration from classic San Francisco cable cars to develop sleek, low-speed, open air vehicles that run on clean energy and are easy to install in any city.

Reimagining the Behavioral Health Experience

While hospitals are designed to provide care, visiting one can be a traumatic experience, especially in childhood or adolescence. A recent increase in young people visiting emergency departments has inspired healthcare professionals to imagine more empathetic approaches to care, and Philips stepped up to the plate with their remarkable project, Behavioral Health Experience. This adaptive pediatric healthcare environment won our Health & Wellness Award for not only creating a welcoming, non-isolating space for patients, but also making visits easier for providers and lightening the load of the healthcare system.

Atlas by HumanFirst

Anyone who’s worked in healthcare can tell you bureaucracy sometimes complicates progress. HumanFirst took note of the contemporary need for acceleration of clinical trials since the pandemic began, and worked to address traditional platforms’ weaknesses while further integrating digital health tools in remote clinical trial work. According to the company, Atlas by HumanFirst is “the first user-friendly, clinically validated repository of patient data collection technologies,” and a Health & Wellness Professional Notable in the 2022 Core77 Design Awards for NewDealDesign’s refreshing rebrand of the platform.


A chronic health diagnosis in childhood is life-changing, but it doesn’t have to be an inherently negative experience. Now that a growing number of children are being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, it’s imperative communities familiarize themselves with the everyday needs that accompany the illness. Koi, a Student Notable in the Health & Wellness category of the 2022 Core77 Design Awards, is a multi-tier system concept that assists with diabetes management by providing children with practical and emotional support tools and creating a platform for nurses to effectively manage care. We especially loved how Koi emphasized educating local communities on how to respond to a diabetic child’s needs, which removes stigma from the experience and proves the right tools and support make all the difference in navigating chronic illness.

Spot Check

Do you get worried when you see a new mole on your body? Do you have trouble even keeping them straight? What if you didn’t have to visit the dermatologist every time you weren’t sure about a spot on your skin? Design Awards Health & Wellness Student Notable, Spot Check, attracted our attention in the Health & Wellness category for making preventative skincare more accessible than ever. This personal skin cancer detection system helps people keep track of moles on their body without making them see a medical professional first, giving more power to the patient. While it isn’t meant to replace diagnosis, it’s an especially useful tool for telling the difference between everyday moles and more suspicious spots.

Each project featured above was selected as an honoree in the 2022 Core77 Design Awards. You can check out all of the 2022 winners now on the Core77 Design Awards website!

Source: core77

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