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Design Exchange and Ontario Government announce Post-Secondary Design Competition


January 4, 2017
by Shannon Moore

How can graphic design, architecture, product design, interior design and other disciplines change exterior sidewalks and walkways, outdoor public eating areas and play spaces, accessible parking, waiting areas and service counters to provide a positive experience for all?

This year, students studying in all design disciplines are invited to submit proposals that demonstrate how existing public spaces in Ontario can be re-designed to be accessible to the greatest number of individuals.

As a starting point, students should consider the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, and the accessibility standard for the Design of Public Spaces. These mandatory requirements impact areas such as exterior sidewalks and walkways, outdoor public eating areas and play spaces, accessible parking, waiting areas and service counters. Students must consider how to design a positive experience for the greatest number of people possible.

Participation is open to all currently enrolled students studying design at the undergraduate and graduate levels in Ontario in a college or university program. All submitted projects must have been completed during the student’s 2016-17 course of study in an Ontario, undergraduate or graduate design program. Projects may be completed independently or as course work, and group and individual projects are eligible for entry.

Submission Requirements:
  • A completed competition registration form, available at dx.org/connect
  • A one-page concept statement that includes: Entrant Name, mailing address, school, and program
  • Summary of the design concept, its objectives, and description of how the project addresses the competition theme (no less than 150 words, no more than 500 words)
  • A minimum of three (3) or maximum of five (5) full-colour sketches or renderings of the proposal submitted as a single PDF at 72 dpi
Evaluation:

A panel of experts from the design community, selected by Design Exchange, will review all valid entries. Jurors will select the best projects based on the following key criteria:

  • Impact: The project is designed in a way that is usable by the greatest number of people, to the largest extent possible, regardless of their age or ability
  • Creativity: Unique and innovative design concept
  • Presentation: Well-executed renderings and clearly identified project documents
  • Understanding: Clear and concise project statement
  • Realization of Proposal: The goals of universal design are addressed and the project can be implemented
Prizes:
  • Winning projects will be awarded monetary prizes of up to $1,500
  • Certificates of Accomplishment will be presented to all winning and honourable mentions
  • Winning and honourable mention projects will be featured in the Connect: Free Play Post-Secondary Design Competition Exhibition in May 2017 at Design Exchange
  • Winning and honourable mention projects will be featured on dx.org
  • Winning and honourable mention projects will be included in the Connect: Free Play Post-Secondary Design Competition online resource
  • An opportunity to be a featured DX Design Educator, developing an accessibility-related design workshop drawing from the winning proposal to be offered as a DX Education program.
Design entries must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 31, 2017. Late entries will not be accepted.