Fruits of their labour at the Big Apple

First graders from a public school in Helsingør have won the chance to showcase their innovative designs at this year’s New York Design Week beginning on May 3.

Pupils from the 1N class at Byskolen took first prize in ‘Design to Improve Life Challenge’ – an education project organised in co-operation with Helsingør Municipality, INDEX: Design to Improve Life and Metropolitan University College – which aims to find solutions for the smoother integration of refugees into Helsingør’s local community.

The project – which proved successful with 7,000 students participating in January and March – also hopes to develop the children’s skills in sustainable problem-solving.

Design with depth
The winning team competed against 21 other groups of children from the municipality’s schools to take the award for their ‘welcome suitcase’.

The suitcase – containing educational games, folding books and handmade puppets – will help refugee children create bonds with their Danish classmates and help them start a new life in Denmark.

Suitcase going places
After the news of the children’s award-winning design had crossed over the Atlantic, the innovation agency Design & Flow were so enamoured by the ‘welcome suitcase’, they asked to display it at the world-renowned design exhibition in New York City.

An emergency suitcase had to be collated after the children gave their first prototype away to their new Syrian classmate.