Using design to solve problems and improve our lives
Inspiring creativity and design in schools
The RSA Pupil Design Awards is a free, national design competition for secondary school and sixth-form pupils aged 11-17. Pupils are encouraged to use their creativity and imagination to tackle real challenges facing people and the planet. Schools are provided with lesson plans, training, and mentors to support participation. Teams or individuals submit design proposals and material explaining how they approached their problem.
Advocating for design
Through the competition, we advocate for the role of design and innovation in education to bring about positive social change. The RSA Pupil Design Awards aim to:
- broaden definitions of how design can be applied
- introduce social design and design thinking to teachers and pupils
- build creative confidence in young people
Find out more about the offer for schools, including lesson plans and mentor classroom visits, or sign up your school up now.
The RSA Pupil Design Awards began life in 2014 when it was trialled in the RSA schools with funding from the Muriel Latter Legacy before expanding into a national programme with support from the Comino Foundation and Four Acre Trust. It is a design competition based on the RSA Student Design Awards, a 90 year old curriculum run by universities across the world.
- high quality professional development
- prepares students for further study
- adapt the competition to your students and subject
- work with inspiring mentors and resources
- support the future of design in schools
The challenges in the RSA Pupil Design Awards briefs are real-world problems. This year’s briefs are:
- Climate Emergency: How might we support and engage our local neighbourhoods to respond and adapt to the challenges of climate change?
- Positive Connections: How might we support young people to use technology responsibly in ways that develop positive relationships?
- Future Fashion: How might we reinvent the way we produce, use or access everyday clothing items so that we design out waste?