IxDA|Interaction17|Interaction Awards

Challenge Brief

Everyday Magic

WITH THIS YEAR’S THEME we are asking you to focus on small interactions that you can improve in a massive way.
Think small, rather than solving the world’s great wicked problems; we want you to look at the everyday life that surrounds you and how, through design and the creative use of new technologies, you can make it a magical.

We are looking for a well-considered design that creates simple powerful moments. From notification exhaustion, to screen overload, the convergence of our attention on very few and ability to manage the demands impacting our quality of life, or simply to how we share moments of joy. Meanwhile, the technology already exists that could allow us to lead more unencumbered lives where the technology is there to delight and support us only when we need it. We are looking for design solutions that have, as David Rose has said, respect for human capabilities and preferences and fit our human bodies and minds.

What are those everyday problems and opportunities that you see around you? In what situations has technology diminished the pleasure of an interaction, rather than enhancing it? What analog objects could be improved with a layer of thoughtful and relevant new technology?

Where to look deeper

In addition to gathering insights from the people around you and observing the little problems of everyday life these are just some starting points but don’t let this limit your field of vision:

  • Wearable and IoT devices — How can wearables and other ‘smart’ objects become a part of our lives without having to even resemble technology? How could these devices enhance our expressive capabilities in a way that would provide value every day? How do new materialities of technologies open the frontiers of interaction frameworks
  • From the future to today — What are the latest advances in AI, VR that could blend with our lives today? What social norms could be affected by those futures? What is our ethical role in those designs? What would you actually want VR or AI to help you with every day? How might senses other than sight be enhanced or enabled in new and interesting ways?
  • Different contexts — Could a hospital visit be enchanting? What elements would you intervene in a classroom to improve the interactions? How might first responders (police, fireman, paramedics) be better suited to help those in need?

The key to this challenge lies in identifying seemingly small problems in your context and creating lasting solutions that will contribute to people’s quality of life. Through your proposal we hope you will find ways of redefining our relationship with technology, by imagining it without the constant tensions of “push” and “pull” but rather as timely and delightful.


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About Intel
For over 45 years Intel has been inventing, pioneering and producing microprocessor technology for the modern world. Intel is also the founder of the Intel Design School Network. The Intel Design School Network is a network of five of the leading design schools around the world. Members include Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California College of the Arts in San Francisco, Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design in Copenhagen and Royal College of Art in London. Intel Corporation is partnering with these schools to enhance the learning environment by introducing students to innovative technology and promoting creative thought leadership where technology and user experience collide.

Learn more

Submission Requirements

Guidelines for the presentation…


  • A clear problem statement and why this is an important problem to solve.
  • A creative narrative that demonstrates your abilities and points of views as designers and expresses how you are looking to push the boundaries of technology to improve the human condition.
  • A rationale for why this idea is the right solution to the problem.

How to apply

Participants may submit individually or as a pair. To enter the challenge, submit a 4-minute video, a 150-word summary, and 2-3 samples of each participant’s work.

The video

A video, 4 minutes or less in length, must be submitted. We encourage you to create a custom video for your Student Design Challenge submission, although you can reuse elements from any of your previous work.
Do more than look into the camera and talk.

Successful submissions from past years have had a clear point of view, reasonable production value, and visual support of ideas and concepts. The judges will be looking for interaction/ experience design ability and how you communicate your thinking on the theme, rather than examining any design work you’ve done to create solutions around the theme.

Additionally, in the video you should help us understand:

  • What is your background as a designer?
  • Why do you want to come to New York and continue working on this year’s theme, “Everyday Magic.”

Work samples

Work samples help the jury to understand both your capabilities as a designer and your approach to problem solving. The 2-3 samples of work may be submitted as either links to PDFs or links to a web site. The examples should help us understand:

  • Your design process
  • Results in time constrained projects
  • Visual presentation & storytelling skills



The Challenge is open to both graduates and undergraduates. Participants must be currently enrolled in or have graduated in 2016 from a program in interaction design or a related design field.

We understand that not all parts of the world have formal IxD programs, so if you work in interaction design and are currently a graduate or undergraduate student in any field, you may also participate in the challenge.

Examples from previous year



I already have a ticket to Interaction17, should I still enter?

Yes! If you have already purchased a ticket, your ticket will be re-funded.

I have my travel to New York already?

The SDC will refund you the cost of your travel arrangements within reason.

Can my video be longer than 4 minutes?

No. Brevity is a skill. Your final presentation at the conference if selected as a finalist will be under 5 minutes.

How do I submit my work samples there is no upload button?

When the submission period begins, an apply now page with appear on the SDC site with a submission form and directions.

When will I know if I am selected as a finalist?

Finalists will be notified via email by January 10th, 2017

What are the legal terms of the competition?

Sure thing. Here is a link to the full terms and conditions SDC Terms