Student & Teacher Resources

Graphic identity for the 2021 National High School Design Competition showing a beating heart

RESOURCES

Start by reviewing the design process. Remember, this process can vary and is not always a linear path. Designers often move between stages and even circle back to the start at different points.

Use these resources to learn about the experiences of people in the field:

Explore these examples of how designers are responding to the pandemic to help ignite your creative thinking:

BRAINSTORMING TIPS

  • THINK ABOUT THE MANY FACTORS THAT CAN HELP CREATE A HEALTHIER AND EQUITABLE WORLD
    Start by considering the ways Covid-19 has impacted every aspect of daily life—from going to school and work to spending time with friends and family and in our communities; and even those beyond your immediate purview, from those with economic means to those who have financial struggles. So many aspects of our world are being redesigned—including personal space, public transportation, protective gear, home- and community-based health care, ventilation in buildings, assisted breathing devices, public health communication, and more. How can these and other aspects be further improved on or completely reimagined to create a healthier world for all? What barriers or opportunities exist in current models? How might you approach that in your design?
  • WHO WILL USE YOUR DESIGN?
    Think about the specific user(s) who might experience your design, such as caregivers, nurses, and doctors; students, parents, and teachers; protesters; essential workers who provide food, sanitation, transit, and safety services; elderly people; people with disabilities; and people who live alone. It may help to start by thinking about people in your life—you, your family, your friends—who might you know who has faced a health-related obstacle and what could be done to improve their quality of life? Are there other people you might not be thinking about who would be impacted by your design?
  • TALK TO YOUR AUDIENCE
    Is it possible to safely talk to your intended user(s) about their experiences and how they have been affected by the challenge you are looking at? How have you incorporated their needs into your design? Have you made any assumptions that should be considered? Could you share or test your design with your intended user(s) to gather feedback? Talking to your user(s) may lead to new ideas that you hadn’t thought about before.
  • WHERE WILL YOUR DESIGN EXIST?
    Think about the experience you are designing for. What is it like for the user(s), from beginning to completion and even consider actions that take place before or after? What are the surroundings and does this change through the experience? Is there an aspect that can be improved on to create a healthier experience for your user(s) as well as others?

 

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Email us at DesignCompetition@si.edu to let us know that you’ll be entering the design competition or are planning to introduce it to your students. We’ll notify you of competition updates.