The Schindler Global Award roots go back to 2003. The Schindler Group established the Schindler Award in 2003, the European Year of Disabled People, to examine questions about universal mobility and access in the European context. The competition became very well known and in 2014 /2015 was opened to students from all over the world.
Now, in response to the pressing need for mobility solutions in a rapidly globalizing and urbanizing world, the Global Schindler Award expands the scale and scope of the Schindler Award. The questions of the Global Schindler Award now go beyond any single political or geographic border. The issue of equal access now includes social, political, environmental and economic systems to make livable urban environments for everyone.
The 2017 SGA brief was centered on the idea of “Transforming the urban core: Urban design for coexistence”. Students were asked to design a holistic response to specific challenges using a clear focus and backgroundresearch. The site was located in a neighborhood in the heart of São Paulo, centered on the CEAGESP wholesale market.
In 2015 the Schindler Award went global for the first time, with a competition site in Shenzhen, China. Over 600 teams from around the world took part, with prizes awarded to twelve projects. The competition was a resounding success, bringing together students from every continent to share their ideas.
The picturesque Swiss capital of Berne was the focus of the Schindler Award 2012.
Participants were invited to submit proposals for the reinvigoration of the area surrounding the Schützenmatt, and for improving the way it interfaces with adjacent districts and the verdant Aare River landscape.
Participants in the 2010 competition were challenged to transform an area of Berlin's Olympic grounds – once used as a propaganda stage by the Nazis - into an inclusive environment, accessible for everyone, including people with disabilities. As well as redesigning the site into an attractive, functional and fully accessible sport and leisure complex.
Participants were challenged to re-develop a derelict area in center of Vienna, which was once home to a gasworks. They had to create a site that was accessible to all, regardless of physical capability, and which embodied the idea of "inclusive urbanism".
Their projects had to be sustainable, as well as economically and environmentally viable, and provide quality of life for the inhabitants.
The site of the competition 2006 was located in the centre of Paris. It comprised the Palais de Tokyo, a striking building on the banks of the Seine opened in 1937 for the Paris World’s Fair, and its immediate vicinity.
The participants were set the task of linking the Palais de Tokyo with the museums nearby and the banks of the Seine to create i a visitor centre and an exhibition concept.
As a contribution to the “European Year of People with Disabilities” Schindler decided in 2003 to launch its first-ever “Access for All” Schindler Award.
The students' task was to propose a concept for revitalization of the center of the urban district of St. Gilles at the heart of Brussels.