Design competitions are a great way to sharpen your skills and show off your creativity. Employers are looking to hire designers who have demonstrated experience and skills. Enter a competition, win, and you’ll have bragging rights for years to come.
Autodesk proudly sponsors competitions around the world, including some of those listed below. Our goal is to help advance students’ knowledge and skills through challenges that inspire and prepare them for promising careers in architecture, engineering, and the digital arts.
Check out the following design competitions and see how you can get involved!
Upcoming design competitions
Registration deadline: September 2014
Are you an architecture or urban design student looking for an internship at a prestigious firm? Then, don't miss Archi-World® Academy, an international architecture competition focusing on energy-saving solutions. Entrants compete for a paid internship at 12 well-known firms.
ASHRAE Student Design Project
Registration deadline: May 4, 2014
ASHRAE sponsors this competition to encourage students to become involved in a profession that is crucial to ensuring a sustainable future for our Earth: the design of energy-efficient HVAC systems. ASHRAE will recognize outstanding student design projects at the 2015 ASHRAE Winter Meeting to be held in Chicago, January 24-28, 2015.
Formula 1 in Schools
Registration deadline: This is a yearly, ongoing competition
F1 in Schools participants design and manufacture a C02 powered car, analyze aerodynamics, and create marketing material. Regional, national, and international teams are judged on car speed, design documentation, verbal presentation, and marketing display. Through the F1 in Schools program, schools can request free Autodesk software to support teams through the competition season
Formula SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers)
Registration deadline: This is an ongoing competition; see website for details
The Formula SAE annual competition challenges SAE student members to conceive, design, and fabricate small Formula-style racing cars. Members work in teams to build cars over the course of one year. At the design competition, the cars are compared to other vehicles created by college and university students from around the world. Autodesk’s partnership with Formula SAE includes supplying software, training, and resource materials, as well as supporting programs and events.
Formula Student U.K. and Germany
Registration deadline: This is a yearly, ongoing competition
Formula Student is a global competition open to university students and features a series of competitive events in Europe. Working in teams, students are challenged to design, build, and promote their small, single-seat racing cars. Autodesk partners with Formula Student in the United Kingdom and Germany to provide software, training, and resource materials to competing teams, and to support the challenge events.
Registration deadline: March 24, 2014
The 4th International Holcim Awards competition celebrates projects and visions that contribute to a more sustainable built environment and features total prize money of US$2 million. This design competition is open to projects in architecture, building and civil engineering, landscape and urban design, materials, products, and construction technologies that contribute to the five target issues for sustainable construction. Contestants must be 18 years of age or older.
Registration deadline: Competition runs every two years on an ongoing basis
The Solar Decathlon is an award-winning program that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.
Three competitions take place: in the United States, Europe, and China. The competitions run biennially. During the two years leading up to the onsite events, teams use Autodesk software to design and analyze their sustainable visions.
Registration opens: October 14, 2013
The Visual Effects Society Student Award honors the most outstanding visual effects work of the year and the artists who created it. Have your work viewed by the best artists in the in the industry, and win a chance to walk the red carpet in Hollywood. Registration opens October 14, 2013.
Registration deadline: Competition is ongoing, every two years
WorldSkills International promotes vocational and technical education and training, and challenges students and their teachers, trainers, and employers to achieve world-class competencies and standards. Autodesk is a Global Partner with WorldSkills International and contributes significantly to both WSI and regional skills organizations and events, including WorldSkills Americas, WorldSkills Europe, and SkillsUSA. Resources provided by Autodesk include software, welcome kits, technical resources, and prizes for medal winners.
Past Design Competitions
Autodesk 123D Design Challenge
The Autodesk® 123D® Design Challenge asked students to apply their inventive skills and the 123D Design app to reimagine an existing product or design a new one that can take the world by storm.
Autodesk Design Competition - Snap, Style & Share
Competitors were asked to snap, style, and share their way to success with the Autodesk Pixlr® Express app. The challenge was to snap a photo of something that embodies exceptional design and style the original image to boost the artistry of the photo using Pixlr Express. The winning photo will be showcased at the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco.
Autodesk Panorama 2012
Autodesk PANORAMA is a student engagement platform designed to give aspiring students across all emerging countries a unique opportunity to build their technology knowledge and skills under the guidance of the top industry professionals.
The Dwell Vision Award
The Dwell Vision Award celebrates design innovation and skill, and rewards 1 winner for excellence in modern design. Entries consist of projects that are technically and artistically groundbreaking, and that show a new method, material, or concept that is pushing modern design forward.
Educational Innovation of Motorsports & Automotive Race 2013
Educational Innovation of Motorsports & Automotive Race 2012 (EIMARace 2012) promotes education through motorsport. In this competition, students were required to plan, design, and build a prototype race car (kart) using Autodesk software. The karts underwent extensive testing in theoretical and physical tasks, such as an Acceleration Test, Maneuver Test, and Endurance Race.
Autodesk was the primary sponsor of Purdue University's third International Collegiate evGrandPrix opening day weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the Indianapolis 500. The annual event is an electric go-kart race and engineering design competition involving colleges and universities from around the U.S. and Europe.
eVolo 2014 Skyscraper Design Competition
Established in 2006, the annual Skyscraper Competition is one of the world’s most prestigious awards for high-rise architecture. It recognizes outstanding ideas that redefine skyscraper design through the implementation of novel technologies, materials, programs, aesthetics, and spatial organizations along with studies on globalization, flexibility, adaptability, and the digital revolution. It is a forum that examines the relationship between the skyscraper and the natural world, the skyscraper and the community, and the skyscraper and the city.
FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC)
“The varsity sport for the mind,” FIRST Robotics Competition combines the excitement of sports with the rigors of engineering, science, and technology. FRC challenges high-school students to collaborate and build a working robot in just six weeks. As a sponsor, Autodesk contributes software and other resources.
Games for Change Challenge 2013
Autodesk's Games for Change Challenge provided students with a platform to submit socially responsible games and win prizes.
ONE Prize 2013
ONE Prize Award explores the social, economic, and ecological possibilities of urban transformation. How can cities adapt to the future challenges of extreme weather? The ONE Prize is a call to deploy sophisticated design to alleviate storm impact through various urban interventions such as protective green spaces, barrier shorelines, alternative housing, waterproofing technology, and public space solutions. The ONE Prize seeks architects, landscape architects, urban designers, planners, engineers, scientists, artists, students, and individuals of all backgrounds.
Team America Rocketry Challenge
An extracurricular, hands-on, project-based learning program, the TARC competition is modeled around the aerospace industry’s design, fabrication, and testing processes. All students participate in teams of 3 to 10 to design, build, and fly a rocket. As aerospace companies work within specific design parameters, every year the challenge requires teams to achieve the same basic mission-oriented goals of hitting a precise altitude, landing within a specific flight time window, and returning a raw egg (”the astronaut”) without cracking. The competition includes a unique task each year.
VEX Robotics is a classroom product as well as a global competition program that engages students from middle school to college in robotics, both as a classroom platform for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and as an experiential way to learn engineering and design principles. Autodesk has collaborated with VEX to develop a modular curriculum that incorporates Autodesk® Inventor® software in the classroom. VEX also has a program of online challenges open to students at all levels of education.
Not qualified for a student design competition? Consider getting certified with the Autodesk Certified User Exam