Student Design Challenge


Show Upstate New York what design can do. Show Upstate why design is important. Show Upstate the power of design. We challenge all student designers to form design teams this school year and commit to making a positive impact on their community.


Challenge Requirements:

  • Registration (Deadline 12/15/15)
    Registration requires the formulation of a team and the identification of a design problem to solve.

    • Teams must include at least two student designers and a mentor who is a professional in the field (can be a faculty member, alum or local designer).  

    • Teams must also identify a social issue in their local community that can be addressed with design (you may choose to collaborate with a local non-profit, but are not required to do so). The goal of your design solution should be one of the following:

      • Increase awareness of the issue or a perspective on the issue with an audience not currently or adequately reached.

      • Promote a specific call to action that will result in a positive impact on the community.

      • Redesign an existing piece of media, with appropriate permission and approval of the publishers of that material, to clarify and amplify the intended message to effectively reach the intended audience

  • Project Submission (Deadline 4/1/16)
    Collaborate with the local community to develop a solution of the design problem. Consider the needs/wants of the target audience and constraints like publication budget, feasibility, access, etc. when making design choices including the medium/format. Submissions should be sent by email to from the mentor’s email address to demonstrate your mentor’s support and approval of your team’s project/work and must be received no later than midnight on 4/1/15.

    • CASE STUDY: Include team name, images, overview of social issue, project brief, strategy, research, solution, challenges and effectiveness. See professional case study examples highlighted on AIGA’s Design for Good webpage ( Case study should be 750-1000 words and submitted as a PDF (please keep to one page front and back).

    • VIDEO:  Videos should be 1920px1080px, no longer than 60 seconds, and uploaded to (please make sure that “download the video” and “add to their collections” are both turned on in your privacy settings). Videos should document the solution, process and what informed poignant design decisions. Videos must include the names of all team members (and the colleges/organizations they are affiliated with), and include an overview of the issue your team addressed.  Videos will be included in an album/channel on Vimeo and shared with the AIGA Upstate New York community. Please submit video as a Vimeo URL.


The top three submissions will be highlighted at Create Upstate 2016 where the community will vote on the ultimate winner. See video’s of last year’s top three submissions.

Participants in this competition retain any and all copyright claims to their work. Your participation in this competition grants AIGA Upstate New York the right to display and publicize your creative work generated for this competition at Create Upstate 2016 and in our print and and digital publications and communications, providing we include appropriate attribution.





  • Student design team members must be studying a design related field at a college or university within the AIGA Upstate New York Chapter region.

  • All teams must have one local design professional (may be a professor) serve as a mentor to the team.

  • In order to qualify to exhibit work at Create Upstate 2016 all deadlines and requirements (Registration, Submission) must be met.

  • Submissions may only include projects completed during the 2015-2016 school year.

  • Teams must have the appropriate license/rights to the copy, type and images in their work.

  • The chapter reserves the right to exclude work that does not reflect the AIGA Standards of Professional Practice

Please direct inquiries about the Student Design Challenge to


When & Where
Thu, May 5, 2016 2:00 PM - 2:30 PM EDT