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RSA Student Design Awards 2018/2019 Competition

The 2018/2019 competition cycle briefs of the RSA Student Design Awards have recently been announced and entry opens in January, 2019.

The RSA Student Design Awards is a global curriculum and competition for emerging designers that’s been running since 1924.

The Awards include over £30,000 in cash prizes and paid placements. Winners also receive practical support from the RSA and their 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.

Students and recent graduates are challenged to tackle pressing social, environmental and economic issues through design thinking.

2018/2019 Challenges

The challenges for the 2018/2019 competition are:

  1. The Circular Emergency – Design a product, service or system that uses circular design principles to make emergency medical care more effective.
  2. Grand station designs – Design a way to reinvigorate and/or repurpose an ageing commuter train station building, utilising its existing structures and resources.
  3. Citizens as shapers – Design a product, service or system to that improves the quantity and quality of citizens’ participation in public decision making.
  4. Beyond the kitchen table – Develop an inclusive kitchen product or spatial solution that enables people of diverse ages and needs to prepare and eat food, entertain, engage in hobbies or work and enjoy life together.
  5. Alone together – Accounting for how different groups in society are affected by loneliness, design a way to reduce its impact on one or more of the following: physical health, mental health, or access to services.
  6. Harvesting health – Design a product, system or service which uses sustainable food and farming to help improve people’s health or wellbeing.
  7. Hidden figures – Design a way to break down the physical, organisational or attitudinal barriers that people with hidden disabilities or impairments can face in society, to enable them to live their lives to the full.
  8. Take leave – Design a system, service or campaign to encourage or enable parents, employers or society more widely to embrace Shared Parental Leave.
  9. Living and dying well – Conceive and produce an animation to clarify and illuminate the audio content provided, which explores why talking about illness and planning for death is important for people affected by serious health conditions.
  10. Moving pictures – Conceive and produce an animation to accompany one of the two selected audio files that will clarify, energise and illuminate the content.


The competition is open to currently enrolled students and new graduates from anywhere in the world. It 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.

About The RSA

The RSA Student Design Awards is a competition run by the RSA, a registered charity in England and Wales (212424) and Scotland (SC037784).

RSA Student Design Awards 2018/2019 Competition – Entry Fees

  • Early Bird Rate – for entrants submitting their work before or on 13 February 2019, the entry fee is charged at the reduced early bird rate of £25 per entry.
  • Standard Rate – after 13 February 2019 and until the final submission deadline on 13 March 2019, the entry fee is £35.