The jumpthegap® international design competition recognises projects for bathroom spaces that best contribute to sustainable development

October 20, 2021

The "Best of the Best" award went to Laia Millan’s "Ikigai" project: an intelligent mirror to help people with dementia

jumpthegap®, the international design competition organised by Roca in collaboration with the BcD-Barcelona Design Centre, presented the prizes for its tenth edition on Thursday 14 October. During a meeting held at the Roca Barcelona Gallery, the winning projects in the four competition categories (Wellness and Health, [Un]neutral Design, Water and Energy, and Crisis and Emergency) were announced, as well as the winner of the "Best of the Best" award.

This tenth edition of jumpthegap® marks a new stage in the development of Roca’s international design competition. The competition proposes a new look at the future inspired by the cross-cutting challenges set by the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the areas of healthcare and hygiene, preservation of the planet, respect for diversity and equal access to technological advances. In this context, the participants presented technologically viable projects, with the added value of innovation and showing diversity, sustainability, timelessness, and adaptability.

With the aim of encompassing all aspects of sustainability related to the bathroom space, the competition has been divided into four categories: Wellness and Health, [Un]neutral Design, Water and Energy, and Crisis and Emergency. In each category, three prizes were awarded, as well as a final "Best of the Best" award for the best project. In total, this tenth edition of jumpthegap® has shared out €17,000 in prize money:


Well-being and health:

  • First prize (€2,000): "P-Kit" by Andre Judiel Parabas (Philippines, Design student at the University of the Philippines - Diliman). Low-cost, biodegradable urine testing kit for use in the bathroom space itself. It can detect symptoms of diseases such as diabetes, urinary infections, urinary tract infections, HIV, malaria or pneumonia.
  • Second prize (€500): "Faucepy" by Valentina Masarella (Argentina, University of Buenos Aires). A faucet that integrates aromatherapy and light therapy for both public and domestic bathrooms.
  • Third prize (€500): "Squat - The Fitness Machine" by Suman Swarup Prusty (India, Suman Swarup). A solution that enhances the advantages of squat toilets with a finish of maximum comfort and hygiene that makes it look like a fitness machine.


[Un]neutral design:

  • First prize (€2,000): "Ikigai" by Laia Millan Català (Spain, Elisava university in Barcelona). Smart mirror aimed at helping people with early onset dementia. Using facial recognition technology, it suggests a series of daily routines to the user that contribute to delaying and minimising the effects of this pathology. This project has also been selected as "Best of the Best" in this tenth edition of jumpthegap® and has received an additional prize of €5,000.
  • Second prize (€500): "Urinals for Visually Impaired" by Hitesh Kumar (India, National Institute of Design). Comprehensive solution for adapting public bathrooms to the needs of the visually impaired.
  • Third prize (€500): "Mist brush" by Lukasz Paszkowski (Poland, Lukasz Paszkowski Design). Wet brush with nebuliser and aroma diffuser for the personal hygiene of the elderly and/or people with disabilities.


 Water and energy:

  • First prize (€2,000): “Essential water (dual system)” by Jimmy Apollo (Italy). Project to reduce the consumption of water used for washing clothes, based on the use of excess humidity from the washed clothes and the laundry room environment, as well as the recycling of the grey water used in the washing process.
  • Second prize (€500): "Intelligent washbasin design with water consumption level signalling" by Kamila Pawlak (Poland, Szczecin Art Academy). Design of a washbasin to reduce water consumption by means of backlit signage.
  • Third prize (€500): "Kick" by Anil Choudhary (India, ARCHDUX). Mobile personal hygiene column with the option of integrating a grey water treatment and recycling system.


Crisis and emergency:

  • First prize(€2,000): “Redesign disaster” by Filip Zielinski (Poland, Delft University of Technology). Housing module for African communities with difficulties in accessing water, which integrates a roof with a system for purifying condensed water and rainwater using energy produced by solar panels.
  • Second prize (€500): "Rapibath" by Caetano Nascimento Portal (Argentina, UNA - Universidad Nacional de las Artes). Easy to install and maintain modular toilet for immediate response to hygiene and sanitation needs in emergency situations (refugee camps, natural disasters, etc.).
  • Third prize (€500): "ELAWASH (Handwashing in Rural Ethiopia)" by Rafal Zajkowski (UK). Handwashing station designed for rural Ethiopia, using local materials (wood, bamboo and steel) and mechanically operated to promote daily hygiene.

 Laia Millan Català, winner of the “Best of the Best” award for her project “Ikigai”, thankedRoca for the award and explained that “this project has given me the opportunity of contributing to the visibility of a pathology such as dementia. The mirror is just a tool to help people recover their essence. What is really important are the people who look at it".

On behalf of the jury, Marc Viardot, Roca Group Corporate Marketing and Design Director, noted that “all the members of the jury agree that we can perceive a change in the style of the projects compared to other editions. The projects presented show how design thinking can help to meet the new challenges of sustainability, in social, economic, and environmental aspects. This new generation is pushing us in a new direction, and we are fully committed to supporting them and facilitating their work.

 All the projects submitted were assessed by a jury of renowned professionals, led by Japanese architect and 2014 Pritzker Prize winner Shigeru Ban (jury president), and also including Somi Kim, senior director of healthcare solutions at Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Design; Paul Priestman, designer, president of PriestmanGoode; Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin, founders of the design studio Formafantasma; Deborah Seward, Director of the United Nations Regional Information Centre in Belgium; Mariana Amatullo, President of the Cumulus International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media; Isabel Roig, Executive Director of BcD Barcelona Design Centre and President of World Design Weeks; and Marc Viardot, Roca Group Corporate Marketing and Design Director.

 Since the creation of jumpthegap®, more than 28,600 professionals from 150 countries have participated in the contest. In this tenth edition, 2,165 participants from 102 countries registered and submitted a total of 377 projects.

Hybrid event, attended by the jury and all the finalists

The ceremony was held as a hybrid event (online/on-site), within the framework of Barcelona Design Week's City Festival.

The chairman of the jury, Shigeru Ban, attended virtually to congratulate the participants and express his appreciation for the high average quality of the entries submitted to the competition: "It has been a unique experience. We have received and analysed a wide variety of proposals, many of them with very advanced prototypes showcasing the quality and talent of the projects submitted. The development from idea to prototype is a key step in order to be able to analyse more clearly the problems and challenges that each project may pose”.

Round table: the contribution of design to sustainable development

The awards ceremony was preceded by a round table discussion with an international panel of experts made up of a selection of members of the jury for this edition of the competition: Andrea Trimarchi, Mariana Amatullo, Somi Kim, Deborah Seward and Isabel Roig.

Under the title Design, the driving force for a more sustainable future, the round table discussed the contribution of design to the new challenges of sustainable development.