Student Merit Awards

 

Each year, IDSA recognizes exceptional student design talent through our Student Merit Awards program. The competition highlights the very best creativity, problem solving and design brilliance in each of IDSA's five North American Districts. Two winners are selected from each District for this prestigious distinction, one at the Undergraduate (SMA) level and one at the Graduate (GSMA) level.

Both the SMA and GSMA program operate through IDSA’s online awards platform. A jury panel of design leaders and educators representing a cross-section of professional practice and design academia is assembled annually to review and select winners. This ensures the highest level of quality and rigor is achieved throughout all stages of the process.

Student Merit Award winners benefit from massive media exposure through IDSA's extensive reach and high-level industry recognition. These individuals receive an online profile, a print feature in INNOVATION magazine, a trophy and special distinction at the annual International Design Conference. IDSA is proud to witness the incredible acceleration that winning an SMA provides in the professional success of those who participate. Previous winners are quickly becoming some of the most celebrated designers practicing today.

 


 

New SMA winner prizes for 2021

All 2021 Undergraduate and Graduate Student Merit Award District Winners will receive a $250 voucher courtesy of Stratasys Direct Manufacturing! 

The voucher, redeemable for a value of up to $250, can be used to create a prototype of your design with Stratasys Direct Manufacturing services, with capabilities including: FDM, PolyJet, Laser Sintering, Stereolithography, Multi Jet Fusion, DMLS, Urethane Casting, CNC Machining and Injection Molding.


 

Undergraduate Student Merit Awards (SMA)

The SMA competition consists of two separate rounds. Round 1 (January 1 - March 8)  is conducted independently by the schools and determines a single Student Finalist for that school. Round 2 (March 8 - April 5) is conducted entirely online by IDSA and determines the five SMA District Winners. One winner is selected from each District for this prestigious distinction. There is no fee to enter; however, participants must be a current IDSA student member. The entry window for SMA 2021 has closed. Good luck to all the SMA School Finalists!

Winners for the 2021 program will be announced in early May 2021. 

Complete SMA program details here

Graduate Student Merit Awards (GSMA)

The GSMA competition consists of a single round. Graduate-level industrial design students are encouraged to submit their work through our online platform in order to enter the GSMA competition. There is no fee to enter; however, participants must be a current IDSA student member. Multiple students from a school can submit their work for consideration. The entry window for GSMA 2021 has closed. Good luck to all the applicants!

Winners for the 2021 program will be announced in early May 2021. 

Complete GSMA program details here


 

A Winner's Perspective

 

 

 

 


 

2021

Graduate SMA Winners

Rochester Institute of Technology
San Francisco State University
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Undergraduate SMA Winners

Syracuse University
University of Cincinnati
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
University of Oregon
Auburn University

2020

Graduate SMA Winners

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Undergraduate SMA Winners

University of Oregon
North Carolina State University
Thomas Jefferson University
University of Cincinnati
Purdue University

2019

Graduate SMA Winners

University of Houston
University of Pennsylvania - School of Design
University of Notre Dame
Academy of Art University

Undergraduate SMA Winners

University of Washington
University of Houston
Purdue University
Kean University
University of Cincinnati

2018

Graduate SMA Winners

ArtCenter College of Design
Georgia Institute of Technology
University of Illinois at Chicago​
Pratt Institute

Undergraduate SMA Winners

ArtCenter College of Design
Drexel University
University of Houston
Purdue University
The Ohio State University

2017

Undergraduate SMA Winners

Parsons School of Design
California College of the Arts
Savannah College of Art & Design
University of Notre Dame

2016

Undergraduate SMA Winners

Wentworth Institute of Technology
Georgia Tech College of Design
University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC)
Kendall College of Art and Design
Arizona State University

2015

Undergraduate SMA Winners

Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA)
Auburn University
Western Washington University
University of Illinois-Chicago
Syracuse University

2014

Undergraduate SMA Winners

Arizona State University
Pratt Institute
The Ohio State University
University of Illinois at Chicago
Savannah College of Art & Design

2013

Undergraduate SMA Winners

University of Notre Dame
California College of the Arts
University of Cincinnati
Massachusetts College of Art
Virginia Tech

2012

Undergraduate SMA Winners

Virginia Tech
California College of the Arts
University of Notre Dame
Pratt Institute
University of Cincinnati

2011

Undergraduate SMA Winners

University of Houston
University of Notre Dame
The Ohio State University
Wentworth University
Brigham Young University

2010

Undergraduate SMA Winners

College for Creative Studies
Massachusetts College of Art
Brigham Young University
University of Illinois at UC
University of Houston

2009

Undergraduate SMA Winners

Cleveland Institute of Arts
University of Notre Dame
Arizona State University
University of the Arts
North Carolina State University

2008

Undergraduate SMA Winners

Virginia Tech
University of Notre Dame
Massachusetts College of Art
California College of the Arts
Columbus College of Art & Design

2007

Undergraduate SMA Winners

Academy of Art University
University of Notre Dame
Cleveland Institute of the Arts
Rochester Institute of Technology
Georgia Tech

2006

Undergraduate SMA Winners

Purdue University
Rochester Institute of Technology
San Jose State University
Cleveland Institute of the Arts
Georgia Tech

2005

Undergraduate SMA Winners

Georgia Tech
Cleveland Institute of the Arts
Virginia Tech
Art Center College of Design
University of Illinois at UC

If you have questions on either program, please contact Rachel Winter, IDSA's Program Manager.