Design Your Community is a team-based student challenge to leverage the power of design to solve problems in our local communities.


Design is a powerful tool to make a positive impact on our communities and give voice to important messages. Join AIGA’s mission to design for good and join with others to identify a problem in your community and develop a design solution. Winners will be announced April 17, 2015 at Create Upstate in Syracuse.

Student design team members must be studying a design related field at a college or university within the AIGA Upstate New York Chapter region. AIGA has a number of resources you might use for inspiration including the AIGA Justified Competition case studies and the Design for Good resources page.

Registration due March 13, 2015



Form a team: Your team should comprise of student designers and a mentor who is a professional in the field (can be a faculty member, alum or local designer)

Identify a problem: Choose a social issue to address with design that is important to the local community (you may choose to collaborate with a local non-profit, but are not required to do so) by solving one of the following problems: (A) increase awareness of the issue (or perspective on the issue) within an audience not currently or adequately reached;  (B) promote a specific call to action that will result in a positive impact on the community; (C) 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.

Develop a solution: 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.

Document process & solution: Document your design process including your design problem, the intended audience, research, brainstorming, sketches, prototypes, collaboration efforts and the final published & distributed solution.

Share: Share your work with creative professionals from Upstate New York at Create Upstate on April 17 in an 18×24 poster and a 30 Second Video.



  • 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.
  • All deadlines and requirements (Registration, Poster and Video) must be met as outlined above to exhibit work at Create Upstate.
  • Submissions may only include projects completed during the 2014-2015 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 


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 2015 and in our print and and digital publications and communications, providing we include appropriate attribution.



Registration due March 13, 2015: Registration requires (1) the names of all team members (including the mentor and any community partners), (2) the name of college(s) the students and (3) a  two sentence description of the social issue and design problem the team is working to solve.


Poster due April 6, 2015: Posters should document your final solution and key components of your process. Posters need to include the names of each contributing team member, the colleges and organizations they are associated with and a short written statement that summarizes the importance of the issue and how your solution has addressed the issue. Posters should be 18” x 24” (portrait orientation). Please note that posters must be received by April 6 (this is not a postmark date).

Mail posters to:
AIGA Upstate New York
201 East Jefferson St. Suite 200
Syracuse, NY 13202

30 Second Video due April 10, 2015: Videos should be 1920px1080px, no longer than 30 seconds, and uploaded to Vimeo.com (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.

Submit your vimeo URL by email to:

Exhibition on April 17, 2015: Submissions will be exhibited during the Create Upstate Conference. Additionally, select videos will be highlighted on the “big screen” during the conference. Conference attendees will have the opportunity to participate in judging submissions. Winners will be announced during Create Upstate.




Please direct inquiries about Design Your Community to Rebecca Mushtare at education@upstatenewyork.aiga.org.