Vicky Walker Head of Marketing

Shortlisting for the RSA Student Design Awards begins.

Head of Design, Russell Beard, is today judging at the RSA Student Design Awards, shortlisting the 76 entries for the ‘Hidden Figures’ brief, which Kinneir Dufort have crafted in partnership with the Office for Disability Issues.

The RSA Student Design Awards is a global curriculum and annual competition for higher education students and recent graduates run by the RSA, (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce). Each year, the Awards challenge emerging designers to tackle a range of design briefs focused on pressing social, environmental and economic issues.

This year KD has created the ‘Hidden Figures’ brief in partnership with The Office for Disability Issues. This brief challenged entrants to design a way to break down the physical, organisational or attitudinal barriers that people with hidden disabilities or impairments can face in society, to enable them to live their lives to the full. Aspects that were highlighted for consideration included physical (inaccessibility of buildings, services and information), organisational (inflexible policies and practices) and attitudinal barriers (stereotyping, discrimination and prejudice); risks of social isolation and loneliness; and emerging technologies. You can read more about the Hidden Figures brief here.

The judging panel joining Russell, include Rosie Critchlow, (Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lead at the Office of Disability Issues), Kay Hughes, (Director at Khaa), Suzi Mackenzie (Product Architect, Scope) and Jenni Parker (Founder at Humanly).

The final round of judging will be a series of interviews, where shortlisted entrants are invited to the RSA to discuss their design solution with the judging panel. Winners will be announced in May ,with the winner of ‘Hidden Figures’ awarded a cash prize, as well as a much coveted paid work placement in the design team at KD.


Collaborating with great partners such as KD, with whom we share a vision of people focused design is crucial for the us at the SDA's. Through these collaborations we enable highly talented students to access paid placements and develop their skills further as they work on very diverse projects

Nat Ortiz

Programme Manager, RSA Student Design Awards

RSA Judging Russell Beard

Find out more?

Get in touch with Russell Beard our Head of Design to find out more about the RSA Student Design Awards