The international design competition jumpthegap® gives credit to five innovative projects that facilitate the best hygiene and protection against contagion

July 22, 2020

All five awarded ideas integrate functionality, design and feasibility by means of solutions especially focused on reducing the risk of contagion in public spaces. The theme of the competition was to give credit to innovative ideas around sanitation, hygiene and wellbeing in an environment deeply affected by COVID-19.

The editions held so far (eight standard ones and this pandemic special) have brought together 26,500 participants from 150 countries.

The international design competition jumpthegap®, organized by Roca in collaboration with BCD, Barcelona Design Centre, has revealed the winners of this special 2020 edition, focused on new products or services related to sanitation, hygiene and wellbeing in an environment deeply affected by COVID-19.

Starting with the first competition held in 2004 and throughout eight editions, jumpthegap® has supported the work of young architects and designers through the recognition of innovative projects in the scope of the bathroom space. On this occasion, in view of the situation caused by the expansion of coronavirus, the competition has widened its focus to include ideas that allow for perfect personal hygiene conditions in any environment and therefore contribute to prevent the spread of coronavirus and to disseminate the importance of keeping optimum personal hygiene under any circumstances.

The five selected projects in this special edition of jumpthegap® are:


A device that automatically releases liquid disinfectant in the shape of soap bubbles to ensure that children keep their hands clean and free of the risk of contagion. Its design and operation turn handwashing into something fun for a specific segment of the population (aged 1 to 6), not used to regular hygiene but with great transmitting power. Designed for nursery schools and children’s areas (malls, hospitals, etc.), it also has an infrared sensor to measure body temperature.

The jury valued that “it does not force a certain behavior, but channels it through games and enjoyment”, and responds to “the priority of finding an efficient solution in school environments.” 

Smart shoe sole cleaner to be used in spaces that require special protection (hospitals, residences, offices, schools, etc.), in view of the fact that the virus can survive up to five days in footwear. The user stands on the indicated space and brushes with nozzles that spray liquid disinfectant and clean the sole are raised. The device also includes a disinfection and cleaning system with UV light for the brushes.

The jury highlights its user-friendliness and its technical feasibility as well as “the design of the device and its installation option both in residential and public spaces.” 

Smart disinfection system that uses UV light to reduce germs and pathogens that can spread in public bathrooms. It has sensors to control the movement of users: when detecting that the facility is empty, different UV lights located in the ceiling automatically activate, with a pathogen destruction capacity of 99%.

The member of the jury Odile Hainaut considers that "it is a good response to ensure adequate safety and hygiene in public use facilities."

Sanitary totem that includes an automatic dispenser of hydroalcoholic disinfectant gel and an infrared system to measure body temperature from the wrist of users. It features a LED screen that shows the temperature and is especially indicated for the entrance of highly-transited public spaces.

Jordi Corral points out that “it combines two elements (hygiene and temperature control) that we always see separately and with very poor design solutions.”

Faucet equipped with a UV-light cabin to disinfect objects such as mobile phones while the user washes his/her hands. The project focuses on objects that can spread coronavirus; specifically, on mobile phones, defined as “the third hand we never wash.” The device is made up of a faucet, a soap dispenser and a dryer, which activate with a touchless system, as well as a small cabin to place personal items. While the user washes his/her hands, the objects are disinfected with a UV-light system and can be afterwards collected with clean hands and without contact with risk surfaces.

The jury has especially valued “the integration of personal hygiene with the disinfection of daily use objects, using technologies already available in the market and in a device with a very user-friendly interface.”

The jury of the competition, made up of renowned professionals of the fields of architecture and design, has highlighted the effort made by all participants to integrate functionality and design, with feasible (not conceptual) projects, mainly aimed at public spaces. The quality of the submitted projects is even more valuable if we take into account the reduction of the submission time to only 15 days. 297 projects by 1,567 participants from 94 countries have been submitted this year.  


The jury of this special edition of jumpthegap® has been made up of Carl Hensman, head of the Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (U.S.A.); Deborah Seward, director for Europe of the United Nations Information Centre (Belgium); Luciano Kruk, founder of Luciano Kruk Arquitectos (Argentina); Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat, co-founders of WantedDesign (U.S.A.); Isabel Roig, executive director of theBCD – Barcelona Design Center (Spain); , Roca Communication and Brand Manager (Spain); Jordi Corral, Roca Global Innovation Project Manager (Spain); and Ernest Hernandez, RocaDesign Manager (Spain).

In all editions held so far (eight standard and one special COVID19), jumpthegap® has had more than 26,000 participants from 150 countries and has consolidated as a platform where international design and architecture students and professionals can show their talent by providing innovative solutions.