Designing our Futures: The 2018 RSA Student Design Awards blasts off

The Royal Society of Arts (The RSA) has launched the briefs for the 2017/18 RSA Student Design Awards, the leading global student design competition.

The programme provides students and new graduates with an invaluable network and platform to develop their careers. And this year’s Awards include over £25,000 in cash prizes and paid placements, as well as a Fellowship of The Royal Society of Arts.

Now in its 94th year, it's the longest-running student competition in the world and is open to all undergraduate, postgraduate or other higher education students globally. The programme counts among its alumni some of today’s leading creative minds, including Sir Jonathan Ive, Chief Design Officer at Apple, Richard Clarke, former Head of Innovation at Nike and this year’s winner of the London Design Innovation Medal, Paul Priestman, designer and founder of Priestman Goode.

Sevra Davis, Director of the RSA Student Design Awards, said: "In today’s marketplace, it can be difficult for graduates to get started. We’re immensely proud of our programme and the way in which it has helped so many students get a leg up, whether through paid placements or cash prizes that have allowed them to develop their ideas.

"As we’ve heard from our illustrious alumni over the years, winning an RSA Student Design Award is a mark of excellence that sets you apart from your competition, something that can be invaluable at early stages in your career.

"For over 10 years now, the programme has focused on socially responsible, inclusive design and challenging students to apply their skills to today’s most pressing issues. During that time, it has been immensely rewarding to see students awaken to the possibilities of using design for social good, to see the difference that they can make in solving everyday problems by applying design thinking and skills to engender positive change.

"We live in a time of unprecedented challenges. It can be difficult to find ways in which individuals can have an impact, but year after year, hundreds of students from around the world inspire us by coming up with innovative, ingenious solutions to everything from individual problems to large societal ones."

A launch event for this year’s Awards will take place at the Royal Society of Arts in London on 26 September with a talk by Sue Siddall, Partner at IDEO, where she will explore the role of design thinking in fostering innovation and tackling global challenges. Tickets are free but limited. Please click here to book your ticket.

Along with the launch of the briefs, online registration is now open. The competition will open for entries on 15 January 2018. The Early Bird deadline (with reduced entry fee) is 14 February 2018 and the final deadline for entries is 4pm on 14 March 2018. The winners will be announced on 22 May 2018 and celebrated at an Awards Ceremony at the RSA in London in late June 2018.

Main image: RSA Student Design Awards Class of 2017 with David Constantine and Clive Grinyer