IDE Design Contest

How can we adapt to and shape our future?
We asked prominent IDE scientists to contemplate their fields of study, and envision how their disciplines will change over the next decades. Their collective visions primarily revolve around the IDE research themes; Mobility, Health, and Sustainability.

The IDE Design Contest builds on these predictions:

Your objective is to make a design that either prepares us for one of these future visions, or a design that may contribute to make such a vision reality.

This design is visualised in a physical prototype (see: Deliverables).

Your design may be selected to feature on the IDE symposium exhibition in November, where prominent people from the world of design and research have a chance to see it. At this symposium, a jury will select a winner, runner-up, and third place. They will receive prize money, which *has to be spent on education or personal development (see: Conditions):

1st place: €500 
2nd place: €250 
3rd place: €100 

For MSc students, sufficient participation in this design contest will earn 3 EC in elective space. We will provide process guidance and experts in your chosen vision; you will take us with you in your design process, and deliver a great prototype and a great idea. 

The elective and the design contest are two separated paths; a prize winner does not necessarily constitute a passing grade, and you do not need to win to pass the course. 

The course code will either be ID5541 (Workshops / Design Competitions), or a separate course code, to be determined later. Find more information about the course pass requirements under Conditions.

Central to the IDE Design Contest are the three future visions in our three main themes. These visions are currently being developed by leading and upcoming researchers in our faculty, and will become fully available at most one month before the kick-off of the elective. Depending on the nature of the visions and your own views on them, your design may help make the outlined future a reality, or it may be paramount in preparation for inevitable changes.

We are not asking you to design for the world 50 years from now; in this design contest we ask you to design for today, in anticipation of the future. What can we do right now, knowing what might await in the future?

Check out our three themes:


Society is constantly confronted with moral dilemmas; sustainability versus comfort, ethics versus convenience. As the world's resources are depleting, support and awareness for durability and sustainability is growing. In this shifting balance, full of insecurities and opportunities, designers feel right at home. How can we help shape the future of sustainability?


People are getting older, and severe diseases such as cancer, and heart-diseases are becoming chronic instead of life-threatening. Our healthcare has to adapt to the wishes and needs of the patient. The costs of healthcare and lack of staff are already producing problems. Are developments as remote-care, robots and ‘do-it-yourself’ solutions to these problems?


Travel is fundamental to who we are as humans. People are in transit every day. It determines how we live and work, our interactions and mutual understanding. It shapes our culture, our economy and our physical space. How do we see people traveling in the future?


Physical prototype

Since this design contest aims to provide content for the jubilee symposium exhibition in November 2019, it is necessary that your design can be displayed as a physical prototype on this exhibition.
Although IDE is more and more about service design, the exhibition is the reason your deliverable is something people can walk around, rather than a platform or app on a screen. If your design ends up being virtual rather than physical after all, consult us to find a suitable way to fill this deliverable.

Design summary

Your design is based on one of the future visions from this faculty. To explain why it is so fitting, you will create a summary that explains your motivation and choices in the design process, the purpose of your design, and its connection with the vision.

How to apply?

More information on how to apply for the design contest will follow. For now, you may express your interest (and the nature of it) by sending an e-mail to the coordinator from the jubilee team, Mitra Smit.

Please note that this does not count as an official application; it does however mean that you will be informed once the definite application is open.

Mitra Smit


Passing the elective course

To be eligible for a passing grade, we will expect several things from participants:

  • Regular contact with the coaching staff about the process and progress
  • A general time schedule, explaining the planning for designing and prototyping
  • A well-thought-out prototype of decent quality

More detailed learning objectives for the elective will be communicated before the start of the course. This is a master elective; only master students will be able to use the EC in their free elective space. Non-IDE master students should consult their study advisor to make sure this elective may be used in their curriculum.

Contest conditions

  • Participating is open to everyone, including bachelor students and other creatives.
  • A first selection of the designs will determine which will be exhibited at the symposium. This selection counts as the nomination list, and all selected designs will compete for the contest win.
  • Selection criteria for this first selection may be, amongst others; a good fit with one of the future visions, an aesthetic potential of the prototype for the purpose of the exhibition; a link with the history of IDE and/or design.
  • The first selection will be made by a committee of (representatives of) the exhibition/jubilee team, coaching staff, and the researchers who participated in formulating the visions.
  • After selection, your prototype and/or summary might need additional work to prepare it for the exhibition. To be part of the selection, this is a necessary step. We will mutually discuss how to achieve these adaptations and with what means.
  • The jury will determine the prize winners during the symposium in November, based on the quality, ingenuity, congruence with the visions, innovativeness, and from their own experience.
  • The winner may be asked to publicly give a short (5 min) presentation about their design at this symposium. If so, presence at this symposium may be a determining factor in selecting a winner. 
  • IDE will strive to form an impartial and diverse jury.
  • The decisions of the selection committee and the jury are final, and will not be corresponded about.

Prize money

Since we are an educational institute, the prize money has to be spent on education or personal development, such as training courses, new soft/hardware, or literature. The faculty will refund your expense up to the prize money. If you have any questions about this, please contact us.