Wege Prize

Wege Prize (wegeprize.org) is a yearly international student design competition that gives teams of five the chance to collaborate across institutional, disciplinary, and cultural boundaries, use design thinking principles, and contend for $30,000 (USD) in total cash prizes, all while helping to show the world what the future of problem solving looks like.

Teams are required to represent at least two different academic institutions and at least three different academic disciplines.

Wege Prize is organized by Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University’s (KCAD’s) Wege Center for Sustainable Design with the support of The Wege Foundation.

THE CHALLENGE: HOW CAN WE CREATE A CIRCULAR ECONOMY?
Wege Prize teams must leverage their transdisciplinary makeup to collaboratively design and propose a solution to a wicked problem of their choosing that can, in turn, help solve the wicked problem of transitioning from a linear economic model to a circular economic
model.

Our current linear economic system, in which we “take, make, and dispose,” relies on large quantities of easily accessible resources and energy, and as such is unfit for the reality in which it operates. Working towards efficiency—a reduction of resources and fossil energy consumed per unit of manufacturing output—will not alter the finite nature of these resources, but rather can only delay their inevitable extinction. Therefore, a change of the entire operating system seems necessary.One potential new system is the circular economy. A circular economy is one that is restorative by design, and which aims to keep products, components and materials at their highest utility and value, at all times.

In the words of architect Bill McDonough, “Doing less bad is not the same as doing more good.” Wege Prize teams work together to rethink and redesign the way our economy works by creating regenerative solutions that have a widespread and lasting positive impact.

THE PROCESS
Wege Prize is broken down into four distinct phases, with the scope and complexity of the challenge increasing at each phase. Following each phase, teams receive feedback on their work directly from a panel of industry expert judges, which they use to refine their projects for the next phase. 

Those teams that earn their way to the final stage of competition are invited to Grand Rapids, Michigan to present and defend their work in front of the judges and a live/online audience.

FOLLOW ALONG
Stay connected to all the latest Wege Prize developments at wegeprize.org, and on Facebook (facebook.com/wegeprize) and Twitter (@wegeprize).

There are current graphics you can pick up from http://www.wegeprize.org as well.

International Student Design Competition’s Largest Field To-Date Reflects a World Ready to Work Together for a Better Future

Wege Prize 2020 draws field representing 24 countries, 64 academic institutions, and 100 academic disciplines; inspires student teams to collaborate across boundaries and help … More International Student Design Competition’s Largest Field To-Date Reflects a World Ready to Work Together for a Better Future »

Wege Prize 2019 Winners

Now in its sixth year, Wege Prize is organized by Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University’s (KCAD’s) Wege Center for … More Wege Prize 2019 Winners »

Wege Prize 2018 Winners

Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University’s (KCAD’s) Wege Center for Sustainable Design has announced the winners of Wege Prize 2018, … More Wege Prize 2018 Winners »

Wege Prize Winners Announced 2017

Global Student Design Competition Focused on the Circular Economy Names Winners of $30,000 in Prizes Winning teams announced in Wege Prize 2017; 2018 competition … More Wege Prize Winners Announced 2017 »

Wege Prize competition organizers are thrilled to announce the finalist teams for Wege Prize 2017!

Finalist teams named in international design competition focused on the circular economy;  five innovative ideas will face off for $30,000 in total cash prizes … More Wege Prize competition organizers are thrilled to announce the finalist teams for Wege Prize 2017! »

Wege Foundation Grant Propels West Michigan-Based Student Design Competition Toward Broader Global Impact

$444,000 grant awarded to Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University’s Wege Center for Sustainable Design to extend Wege Prize competition for … More Wege Foundation Grant Propels West Michigan-Based Student Design Competition Toward Broader Global Impact »

Wege Prize 2015 – Results

NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release Contact: Elena Tislerics Coordinator, Wege Prize Chief Communications Officer, Kendall College of Art and Design elena@wegeprize.org  $30,000 awarded in … More Wege Prize 2015 – Results »

WMU student team wins national Wege sustainability prize

by Cheryl Roland Click here to read article  on WMU’s website March 30, 2015 | WMU News KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A team of five Western Michigan … More WMU student team wins national Wege sustainability prize »

Students Tackle a ‘Wicked Problem’ for $30,000

Consider what these things have in common.  A vegetable garden in every living room; potato-made plastic bags; a hands-on cradle-to-cradle learning center in the … More Students Tackle a ‘Wicked Problem’ for $30,000 »

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