Student Design Challenge



Sci-fi is full of unrealised dreams - which ones can you take and turn into tangible realities today? Think about not only gadgets but also the concepts behind them. How can they be used to bring digital data out of the screen and into people's hands? What retro and hands-on ideas from the golden age of sci-fi can be updated with today's digital technology?

For instance, given that The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy now essentially exists in the form of Wikipedia, how would it feel to actually have it in book form? Another concept from this book is the Babel fish which allows instantaneous language translation - taking this into the tangible realm and updating with current technology what does physically putting google translate in your ear feel like? We have found inspiration in such varied sci-fi as the cyber-punk gadgets, net artefacts of William Gibson including, the SimStim live-experience broadcasts of Neuromancer; JG Ballard's exploration of Sonic Sculpture and Emotional Architecture in 'Vermilion Sands', the robots of Asimov, to the fantastical gadgets of Men In Black and the reality-questioning paraphernalia in the Matrix to the biological forms of the Triffids.

We invite you to take popular, lesser known or outright obscure ideas from sci-fi and invent new ways to make them tangible. Use any technology available and make them as real as you can.

We are looking for creativity, a great demo, and a perfect blend of feasibility with future possibilities. Ultimately we are looking to you to bring that intangible dream into the tangible present. Set your design phasers to stun mode!

Submission Requirements: Submission is an extended abstract (up to 4 pages) plus a simple video up to 30 seconds in length uploaded to YouTube/Vimeo. Note that this is not your final video and will just describe your idea succinctly in a skit/teaser/vision/advertisement, and is not documenting a functional prototype, so get creative! Lastly, in your extended abstract, state clearly what piece of SciFi inspired you (e.g., which author and book/movie/comic/etc).

Watching/Reading List

We encourage wild, obscure references to any kind of sci-fi media. Here’s some our favourite to get you started