The innovative sustainable, healthy cooking stove Chulha, designed by Philips Design, has been awarded the prestigious INDEX:Award in the category Home. This bi-annual award supports the INDEX mission to generate more design that improves quality of life all over the world.

The Chulha was designed to limit the dangerous health effects caused by smoke from the traditional indoor cooking in many rural areas of the developing world. Philips Design worked together with local stakeholders, including end-users, in India to realize the Chulha. As its philanthropic contribution to sustainable development, Philips Design allows local stakeholders to use the Intellectual Property for free. The relatively cheap production process stimulates local entrepreneurial activities for the replication and the diffusion of the Chulha. Potential local entrepreneurs receive training to produce, install and maintain the stoves in order to serve the villages in rural areas.


The Chulha is the flagship project from Philips Design’s Philanthropy by Design program. This program focuses on philanthropic giving through donating creativity to design meaningful solutions that empower some of the more fragile categories of society. Stefano Marzano, CEO and Chief Creative Director, Philips Design, said, “We are very honored to receive the prestigious INDEX:Award for the Chulha. Besides the fact that Chulha truly delivers a healthier cooking possibility for people in rural areas, the award also means recognition for our Philanthropy by Design program which leverages our creative expertise and socio-cultural knowledge to develop solutions that contribute to a better future for all."


The Jury of the INDEX: Award chose the Chulha because of its design to efficiently burn bio-mass fuels and direct cleaned smoke out of the house through a chimney. Also awarded is the open-source business model for distribution of the design. Finally, it is considered significant that a large, multinational corporation like Philips has taken steps to generate Design to improve life.

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September 2009


A few words with

Ezio Manzini
Professor of Industrial Design at Politecnico di Milano talks about the changing role of the designer in co-creating sustainable solutions.