Sweet Dining Design Contest

"Sweet Dining up to the highest Age" is the subject of a free contest for all participants of ISG*ISAR2012

You are invited to present a design in the form of a prototype, a PowerPoint slide or in another physical way. This design should allow for and stimulate sweet dining under circumstances of living independently, living in an assisted living environment, or even living in a nursing home.

On Wednesday morning you will get a maximum of 3 minutes to present your design solution in the face of an independent jury. On Thursday morning the best 8 will compete for gold, silver or bronze medals.

The winners are honored at the banquet on Thursday evening, where they will receive their prize out of the hands of Ig-Nobel laureates, under the inspiring direction Dr. Marc Abrahams, the founder of Ig-Nobel events, and Kees Moeliker, Ig-Nobel delegate for the European region.

The contest is organized by dr. ir. Heico Sandee


One extremely important aspect in the quality of life for older adults is the quality of food and food service. The food served in nursing homes is often perceived as unappetizing because of appearance, lack of variety, or failure to address personal preferences. The choice of food that is easy to prepare at home fails on the same aspects. Moreover, many other aspects influence the experience of dining, such as: the surroundings, the serving people, the amount of food served, the environment, or how the choices are communicated, to name a few.

This challenge is becoming increasingly more important, with the graying of society. A decreasing number of people will be available to help older persons to dine, and the wish of people to live independently should be respected as well.


In this contest, we ask you as the experts to design solutions for this multi dimensional problem. Would this be a robot preparing and presenting the food? Or is it a specially designed dining room? Or a more optimal menu that people will appreciate more? Or lies the solution in the plate at which the food is served? We hope that you can find the solution to this important challenge.



  • Present your idea in a sales pitch of 3 minutes, using a projected presentation
  • Prototypes, movies, etc, are highly valued, although not obligatory
  • Your design is evaluated by an expert panel, selected by the conference board and including Ig-Nobel prize winners
  • Evaluation criteria: Applicability, originality, concreteness, impact on quality of life, presentation, cost-effectiveness

Tips for Entrants

The best entries clearly and concisely answer all of the following questions and are accompanied by an illustration that complements and illuminates the text:

  • What problem does your design idea solve?
  • What are the potential benefits?
  • How is your idea novel or an improvement on what is currently available in the marketplace?
  • Where would this idea be applied?
  • What is the market potential?
  • How does your design work?


There is a first prize, second prize and third prize, for the overall best designs, as judged by the expert panel. The prizes are unique and innovative personalized must-haves, prepared by the faculty of Industrial Design of the Eindhoven University of Technology.


You will be able to register for the Sweet Dining Design Contest with your registration for the conference. If you have already registered for the conference, please email the organization at [email protected] to register for the Contest.


Please e-mail [email protected]

Restrictions and Notifications

  • Entries may be submitted by an individual or a design team. Team members may also submit entries on their own, provided those entries are substantially different than entries submitted by the team.
  • The entrant, whether an individual or a team, may only submit one entry to the Contest.
  • Designs for products already in commercial production may not be entered; nor may they have previously won a prize of monetary value as an entry in another design contest.
  • The odds of winning will depend on the number of eligible entries.
  • Entrants must have registered and paid for the ISG*ISARC2012 conference.
  • Employees and the immediate families of the panel members and context organizers are not eligible and prohibited from entering.
  • The entrant or the entrant's company, whichever applies, retains ownership of the design idea submitted for the Contest.
  • The Contest Organization is not responsible for any expenses incurred by entrants in connection with participation in the Contest.
  • Entrants agree to abide by the terms of these Official Rules and by the decisions of the Contest Organization/judges, which are final and binding on all matters pertaining to this Contest. By entering, they agree to waive any right to claim ambiguity or error in these Official Rules.

Hosted by:
Eindhoven University of Technology
International Society for Gerontechnology
International Association for Automation and Robotics in Construction
Industrial sponsors:
Royal BAM Group
 Drukkerij Snep Eindhoven
Societal sponsors
Fontys HogescholenECTP


Herman Bouma Stichting NGV Bouwend Nederland