Cooper Hewitt Launches Nationwide High School Student Design Challenge

Jan 13, 2016, 13:00 ET from Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

NEW YORK, Jan. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum announces the launch of Student Design Challenge #ThinkOutside, its first-ever nationwide competition for high school students, inviting them to submit ideas for an outdoor chair inspired by objects from the museum's collection. Organized by Cooper Hewitt in collaboration with Target, the challenge's winning chair design will be manufactured by the retailer for use in the museum's recently redesigned Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden. The deadline for entries is Feb. 21.

"As the nation's design museum, we have the responsibility to encourage and celebrate our country's aspiring young designers," said Caroline Baumann, director of Cooper Hewitt. "Our Student Design Challenge is an amazing opportunity for students to express and share their design creativity with the world, and I am thrilled that Cooper Hewitt will give these talented young designers recognition for their vision and ingenuity."

"Design is an essential part of Target's DNA—it's infused into the best of everything we do," said Todd Waterbury, chief creative officer, Target. "Working with Cooper Hewitt, an organization that's at the epicenter of cultivating and celebrating great design, allows us to share Target's passion with a new audience and connect students to our own design team, helping young designers bring their ideas to life."

Cooper Hewitt will showcase, in a special online exhibition, the designs of five finalists and four honorable mentions, to be announced March 4. The winner will be announced on April 4, and the winning design will be manufactured into seven limited-edition chairs—five will be installed in Cooper Hewitt's Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden and unveiled during National Design Week from Oct. 15-23, and two will be awarded to the winning designer.

Caroline Baumann and Todd Waterbury will be joined by a world-class panel of creative experts to evaluate the finalists' designs and select a winner in early April, including Walter Hood, principal and founder, Hood Design; Steven Keating, head of Performance Footwear Design, PUMA; Rachel Shechtman, founder, STORY; Tana Smith, YouTube star "TanaMontana100" and author; and Tony Whitfield, associate professor of Art and Design, Parsons School of Design.

In mid-May, the winning designer will travel to Target's headquarters in Minneapolis, where Target designers will give the winner a firsthand look at the prototyping and manufacturing process for his or her chair. For more information, visit


SOURCE Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum