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Introducing the 2018/19 RSA Design Briefs…

Our 2018/19 design briefs have launched! 10 real-world challenges focused on big social issues, open to higher education students and recent graduates around the world.

Find out more at our two-part launch event at the RSA on 25 September: a Tutor Briefing session in the afternoon, followed by a keynote talk ‘Design: Into the Ether’ by Cat Drew to publicly mark the launch of the 2018/19 RSA Student Design Awards

BOOK A TICKET FOR ‘2018/19 TUTOR BRIEFING’ (25 Sep, 2pm start)


How might we design ways to transform emergency healthcare, address the loneliness crisis, reimagine train stations or kitchens, or enable citizens to shape the decisions that affect them?  

How can we rethink sustainable food and farming, encourage greater equality in childcare, or break down the barriers people with hidden disabilities face in society?

And how might animation be used as a tool to highlight everyday sexism or engage people in talking about end of life care?

These are the challenges posed by this year’s RSA Student Design Awards briefs, developed with a diverse mix of partners including Philips, NHS England, Twitter and Network Rail. The Awards include over £30,000 in cash prizes and paid placements. Winners also receive practical support from the RSA and our partners, and join a global community of alumni that includes Apple Design Chief Jonathan Ive, digital public services mastermind Ben Terrett and Forbes ’30 Under 30’ social entrepreneurs Elena Dieckmann and Ryan Robinson.

The competition will open for submissions in January 2019 and responses can come from individuals and teams, and any discipline or combination of disciplines – from product, communication and service proposals to spatial and environmental solutions.

Register your interest by signing up for our newsletter to receive key updates and information. We’ll remind you about deadlines, keep you in the loop with the judging process and send you invitations to events and other opportunities.


Aug 2018 – Briefs launch + register your interest online

Mon 14 Jan 2019 – Competition opens for submissions via

Wed 13 Feb 2019, 4 pm GMT – Deadline for ‘early bird’ submissions at reduced entry fee of £25

Wed 13 Mar 2019, 4 pm GMT – Final deadline for online registration + submissions (£35 entry fee)

20 Mar 2019 – Judging begins (2 stages: anonymous shortlisting + interviews with finalists)

May 2019 – Winners announced

Jun 2019 – Awards ceremony