Seymourpowell Schools Challenge

Published 13th February 2024

Celebrating four decades of groundbreaking design and innovation, renowned design agency Seymourpowell, has launched a new initiative aimed at nurturing the creative talents of tomorrow. The announcement of the ‘Schools Challenge’ marks a significant milestone in the company's history and shows its commitment to shaping the future of design education.

During a recent webinar hosted by the Design & Technology Association, representatives from Seymourpowell outlined the competition. This included Associate Director Andy Pye, Lead Product Designer Robert Cooper, Senior Design & innovation Strategist Rae Dominique, Interaction Designer Beth Millar and Junior Creative Technologist Eunbin Kim.

After initial introductions, they discussed the initiative and emphasised the importance of fostering creativity among students. The Schools Challenge, set to unfold over the coming months, invites year 12 students to embark on a journey of exploration and reimagine the concept of taking a break.

"We are thrilled to announce the Schools Challenge as part of our 40th-anniversary celebrations," explained Andy, "This initiative reflects our dedication to design education and our belief in the transformative power of creativity."

The Brief

At the heart of the challenge lies a simple yet profound idea: encouraging students to observe everyday moments, such as brewing a cup of tea or coffee, and envision innovative solutions that enhance the experience of relaxation and rejuvenation. Participants are encouraged to think outside the box, exploring avenues such as product design, packaging innovation, user interfaces, and overall experience enhancement.

"Our goal is to inspire students to think creatively and consider how design can positively impact our lives," Robert outlined. "We want to ignite their imaginations and empower them to make a tangible difference in the world."

Seymourpowell aims to cultivate collaboration and innovation among students, encouraging them to explore the intersection of design, technology, and human experience.

"We're not just looking for new products or services; we're seeking transformative ideas that push boundaries and challenge conventions, this challenge is an opportunity for students to unleash their creativity and drive positive change."


Central to their judging criteria is imagination. They’re not seeking overly complicated solutions; rather, insightful and imaginative ideas that transcend the ordinary. Take, for instance, the iconic PG Tips pyramid tea bag - a simple yet imaginative design that revolutionised the tea category.


When it comes to presenting ideas, simplicity is key. Submissions are to be submitted online as PDF reports. The first page should encapsulate the journey from problem identification to ideation, offering insights into the research and thought process behind the final concept. The second page is the unveiling of the final idea through visuals or prototypes.

Entries will open at 16:00 on 25th March and will close at 16:00 on 31st May. Files must be in a PDF format and under 10mb.


As part of the initiative, Seymourpowell will offer a range of prizes for winners and finalists, including opportunities to collaborate with the agency on future projects. This includes a highly south after one-week summer internship at Seymourpowell in either their London, Newcastle or their Stirling studio. There are also cash prizes available for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places.

The competition aims to provide a platform for students to showcase their talents and gain valuable insights into the world of design and innovation. There is also a ‘Best School Award’ up for grabs which celebrates the whole school.

By the end of the school term an awards presentation will take place in July 2024 for ideas to be recognised and celebrated before everyone breaks up for the summer.

"With the Schools Challenge, we are not only celebrating our past but also shaping the future of design and innovation," said Andy. "As the world faces evolving challenges, we remain committed to harnessing the power of design to create a better future for all."

The launch of the Schools Challenge underscores Seymourpowell's legacy of pushing the boundaries of design and inspiring the next generation of creative thinkers.

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