Design For (Your) Product Lifetime Student Design Challenge

Develop a compelling new “smart” product that is repairable and designed to last and you could win up to $2,500 USD in prizes!

Products like electronics have components that can fail or need to be upgraded, well before the rest of the product needs to be replaced. As a result, we throw away millions of tons of electronics worldwide each year. Disposable, non-repairable electronic products put an enormous strain on ecological systems: they create huge amounts of e-waste and require a constant stream of raw materials and energy.

No matter how easy a product is to repair, however, it’s hard to keep it from becoming obsolete as new technologies roll out. Designers can intervene by making it easy for makers, users and recyclers to extend the lifecycle. In addition to overall product lifecycle, consider design strategies such as architecture and form, materials, connections and information, for consumers and end users.

Building on our successful first invitational challenge last year, Core77 is launching the second Design For (Your) Product Lifetime Student Challenge sponsored by Autodesk and iFixit. For students and recent graduates, this challenge asks designers to present a new “smart” product that’s also smarter environmentally: repairable and designed to last, even if some of its components need to be replaced. Examples may include household appliances, electronics, lighting, toys—any and all kinds of products are ripe for a lower-impact redesign.


This contest is open to students age 18 or older, from anywhere in the world, currently registered in an educational institution at the college/university level. See Rules for full eligibility information.

Submission Requirements

  • Tell the story. One-page storyboard. (This can be a one-page poster/graphic or 2-minute video). Tell a story, describing your user’s experience and the problem being solved. What environmental issue are you seeking to address? How does your design solve that?
  • Solution Description. Show off your design with at least 3 product images/renderings. These can be hand drawn or computer generated/rendered with Autodesk software (see Resources) or other design software.
  • Describe the details: 200-300 word written description of solution, including environmental impact improvement (with supplementary details if you have them).
  • Format: All submissions must be in English and packaged as a single PDF document, or zipped folder with PDF documents, video files if relevant and CAD files.

Judging Criteria (100 Points possible)

  • Design Concept (50 Points)
    • User benefit—How compelling is the solution? (evaluated with storyboard/video)
    • Environmental benefit—How much potential is there for improving the environmental impact of the design (specifically end-of-life)?
  • Design Communication (50 Points)
    • How well do your illustrations and/or renderings communicate your concepts? How compelling is the product appearance? (Evaluated with images and design files, if submitted.) Those submissions that include use of Autodesk software will be more favorably judged in this section.

The challenge entries are due by Wednesday OCTOBER 10th. Check out the full challenge overview here.


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