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College and university students listening to a speaker in the museum's galleries.
What does the next generation imagine for the future of design?

Student Design Competition

What does the next generation imagine for the future of design? Every year, university-level design students respond to a unique challenge that affects daily life. The best designs are showcased by the museum.

2021 Competition

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

This year’s competition will be held online, providing a unique opportunity for students to receive valuable feedback from nationally recognized industry leaders.

Design Inspiration

The inspiration for the competition this year is the work of celebrated designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, recipients of the 2021 Collab Design Excellence Award. Their work is the focus of the exhibition Circus: Bouroullec Designs, on view at the museum November 20, 2021–May 30, 2022.

Eligibility & Project Brief

Students submitting projects for this competition must be currently enrolled in a college or university. View the project brief >>

Call for Entries

We are utilizing the CaFÉ system, an online application and jurying system for calls for entry. Learn how to apply >>

Students must upload their work to the Portfolio section of CaFÉ, prior to registering for the competition.

First Place: <i>Rotato</i> by Li Zhu of Temple University, Tyler School of Art
See winning submissions from the 2018 competition.
View Slideshow >>

Previous Competition Winners

The 2018 competition was held in conjunction with the exhibition Dieter Rams: Principled Design. The challenge was to design a small appliance for the home or office using four or more of Rams’s Ten Principles of Good Design >>

  • Good design is innovative.
  • Good design makes a product useful.
  • Good design is aesthetic.
  • Good design makes a product understandable.
  • Good design is unobtrusive.
  • Good design is honest.
  • Good design is long-lasting.
  • Good design is thorough down to the last detail.
  • Good design is environmentally friendly.
  • Good design is as little design as possible.

Judges: Paolo Cravedi, Tommy Dobrzynski, Jinous Kazemi, Sunny Kim, and Donald Strum

Contact Us

For more information, please email .