RSA Student Design Awards
About the RSA Student Design Awards
The RSA Student Design Awards scheme has rewarded craft, ingenuity, insight, communication and social benefit for 88 years.The RSA Student Design Awards competition issues briefs to young designers to demonstrate how the insights and processes of design can solve 21st century problems. We work with leading design educators develop the skill and confidence of young professionals while demonstrating to others the power of a design-led approach.
Work is judged on six criteria: social and/or environmental benefit, research, design thinking, commercial awareness, execution and 'magic'. The judging criteria are weighted differently for each brief.
For updates on the RSA Student Design Awards, please follow us on Twitter: @RSADesignAwards
Stuart Kench and Helen Parry, Donate at the Gate, 2010/11
At 88 years old, the RSA Student Design Awards are the oldest student design awards in the world. However they are not the oldest type of challenge that the RSA has set.
Over 250 years ago, William Shipley, a drawing teacher from Northampton devised a plan for a new Society of Arts. The central idea of the organisation was to set prize challenges to reward people who devised machines that solved pressing problems of the 18th century. The plan was to incentivise inventors with a cash prize and the prestige of winning: “Profit and honour are two sharp spurs which quicken invention, and animate application” wrote Shipley.
As the RSA evolved through the 18th and 19th centuries, these awards – or Premiums – were no longer required, but other honours were established instead. Today the RSA awards two medals every year; the Benjamin Franklin Medal is awarded to an individual who has contributed to enlightenment thinking, and the Albert Medal is given to an individual who has contributed to social innovation. Fellows of the RSA are also eligible to apply to Catalyst, which funds innovative projects in the field of social or environmental innovation.
The RSA Student Design Awards are funded by a generous network of sponsors who support the scheme's aims and ambitions and to whom we are extremely grateful. Their generous support allows the RSA to continue to offer and develop this important scheme as well as offering awards to successful students. We have a long relationship with many of our sponsors, some of whom now employ past winners of the Awards!
The sponsors of the 2012/13 RSA Student Design Awards programme are:
Bryan Foster, FRSA
Sir Robert Malpas, FRSA
The Marketing Trust
NCR Financial Solutions Group
Royal Bank of Scotland
Royal Mail together with De La Rue Security Print
Springetts Brand Design Consultancy
The Touchstone Trust
If you would like more information about becoming a sponsor of the RSA Student Design Awards in 2013/14, please email Sevra Davis.
RSA Student Design Awards in the USA
Following its success in the UK, the RSA Student Design Awards have launched in the United States. Competition briefs have been created in partnership with faculty and industry sponsors to ensure that they address societal needs in a format that fits with studio work. Students can choose from four briefs in the disciplines of architecture, interiors, fashion and textiles. Design faculty, RSA Fellows, Royal Designers for Industry and sponsor-representatives will be engaged as judges.
US Student Design Awards