Competition graphic image showing the 2020 challenge question in different languages

About the Competition

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum launched the National High School Design Competition in collaboration with Target in 2016. Every year, students around the country are challenged to design a solution to a unique scenario, inspired by Cooper Hewitt’s rich collection and stimulating exhibitions.

2020 Challenge

Cooper Hewitt is delighted to announced the 2020 National High School Design Competition: What would you design to help more of us feel included?

Excited to get involved? Learn more about the 2020 competition, and get started! Email us at to stay up-to-date on the competition.

Sneak Peek at Being a Competition Finalist

Past Winners of the Competition

2019: Daniela Contreras and Lucas Dunoyer

Daniela and Lucas entered the competition as twelfth graders from Miami, FL. They created Sound Gardens, a solution to sound pollution in urban areas that suppresses stressful city sounds, improves life quality, and provides a safer habitat for people as well as wildlife surrounding the city. Their design is inspired by the sounds of wind in nature passing through foliage and by rattle seeds. Learn more about Daniela and Lucas and the 2019 competition.

2018: Emily Bryson and Natasja Enriquez

Emily and Natasja entered the competition as twelfth graders from Miami, FL. They created Art-Share, a tactile art-making tool kit for individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Their design prototype featured three tools that create different types of marks and help users further develop motor skills. Learn more about Emily and Natasja and the 2018 competition.

2017: Tova Kleiner

Tova entered the competition as a ninth grader from New York City. She created a new fruit and vegetable subscription service for seniors to not only receive fresh food, but also to connect with high school students in their community. Tova’s design also features an innovative storage container to keep food organized and fresh. Learn more about Tova and the 2017 competition.

2016: Claire Christianson

Claire entered the competition as a tenth grader from Minneapolis, MN. Using the Art Nouveau vase from Cooper Hewitt’s collection as inspiration, Claire designed a clean, modern chair for the Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden at Cooper Hewitt. Claire’s chair was manufactured by Target, and is found in the garden today! Learn more about Claire and the 2016 competition.