Sunday, August 30, 2009

Contests for Design Students

Contests for art students are usually not a good idea because the prevailing philosophy of art education is to nurture the self-exploration and growth of a child's self-image through art. Contests, with the inevitable chance of not being chosen, are seen as counterproductive to the goal of creating a positive self-image and a sense that everyone can be an artist. The concept of "winners and loser" is often viewed as antithetical to the very nature of art in schools.

In design education, however, competition at some level is almost unavoidable. Designers, as part of their daily work, are often submitting designs to be judged against other submissions to determine who will get the contract to design a building, a sign-system, or a new product. Competition and doing work to satisfy someone else's needs and specifications are a natural part of the life of a designer.

Schools are inundated with contest opportunities, often as part of a self-serving promotional strategy on the part of a commercial business, sometimes in an attempt to get free designs, and often supported by the administration as a good community relations initiative. They are often called "art contests" but, if you look closely, they are usually really design projects.

Many times a design education program can be built on fulfilling design requests from the community and entering any of the available design competitions. Design students learn that their role is to solve a problem and come up with the best design for an outside client or user. Contest prizes range for supplies for the classroom to scholarships.

As an example, students in classrooms from Kindergarten through eighth grade can enter a drawing or model of a dream classroom in the RoseArt Design Your Dream Classroom Contest through October 22, 2009, for a chance to win RoseArt school supplies. Kindergartners, primary students, and middle schoolers are invited to use their imaginations to picture their dream classroom, be it full of inventive equipment like wheeled desks or simply located somewhere exciting, like floating at sea while searching for buried treasure.

Click on the heading above to see the website for the RoseArt design contest.

Other contests for design students include:
Lego Click! Awards essay contest for young inventors
Bendaroos Create Your Dream Contest for Kids
Henkel Helps Create! Kids Art Contest
2010 K'NEXpert Search building contest
LEGO Mini Model Design a Set Contest
Cray-Pas Wonderful Colorful World Contest
Ready, Go, Play-Doh® Contest

No comments: