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. 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. Two winners are selected from each District for this prestigious distinction, one at the Undergraduate (SMA) level and one at the Graduate (GSMA) level.
Student Merit Award winners (and the schools they represent) 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.
2022 Program Overview
Both the SMA and GSMA run in parallel and consist of two separate rounds. Round 1 (February 7 - April 8) is conducted independently at each participating school and determines the School Finalist(s) for that school. One Undergraduate and one Graduate School Finalist may be identified for each participating school at the conclusion of Round 1. During Round 2 (April 14 - May 9), School Finalists upload their work for review by a panel of industry and academic judges. Round 2 is conducted entirely online by IDSA and determines the District SMA and GSMA Winners. Winners will be announced in June 2022. There is no fee to enter; however, participants must be a current IDSA student member. Join IDSA here.