1) Assemble Your Team

A student team consists of 3-4 members from the same university, and members may come from any major. Original ideas, creative thinking, and attention to detail will produce the strongest proposals, so keep that in mind as you’re recruiting friends and classmates to participate in this competition with you.

2) Download Materials

You will need the following documents to get started.

  • Space Overview: this document defines the space you will be redesigning for the competition, and is specific to your university.
  • Herman Miller Custom Catalog: choose from the furniture in this catalog to refurnish the space your university has made available.
  • Proposal Template: complete and submit this document to enter the competition.

Select your home university and enter your email address below. You will receive an automated email with links to download the materials listed above. Your email address will not be shared with advertisers nor with anyone for purposes outside of the Big Ten Student Design Challenge. Organizers may email to notify you about important updates related to the competition, however you may opt out at any time.

Request Materials
Select your home university.
Enter your university-issued email address if applicable.

3) Submit Your Proposal

Get creative! If you could re-imagine this space to be anything you want, how would it look? How should it be used? If you’re not sure where to start, use our contact form to ask questions, connect someone at your university, or request a free consult with professional space designers from Herman Miller. Although you may be consulting with faculty or professionals on your proposal, the designs and ideas must be your own. Proposals will be accepted through the evening of November 27, 2018.


  • Submission window closes – Nov 27, 2018
  • Top 3 teams notified – Dec 21, 2018
  • Top 3 teams visit Herman Miller – Feb 7-8, 2019
  • Winning team announced – Feb 22, 2019
  • Winning submission planned – Mar 2019
  • Winning submission built – Summer 2019


  • Top Teams: The top three teams selected will go on a two-day, all expenses paid trip to Herman Miller headquarters in Grand Rapids, Michigan. During this trip, student teams will present their proposals, receive professional feedback and training, and submit a final version of their designs for the final round of judging.
  • Winning Team: The winning team will receive $2000 in prize money (taxes apply), and their proposal will be built at their home university with furniture provided by Herman Miller, free of cost to the university.
  • Additional Benefits: In setting up this competition, we hope to provide students with the opportunity to participate in building their own environment. Throughout the competition, students will have the opportunity to:
    • Interact with faculty, staff, and industry professionals.
    • Build an actionable proposal using real-world parameters.
    • Participate in an exciting, high-visibility national competition with fellow students.
    • Gain experience by practicing organization and communication skills.


Judging will take place in three phases:

  • Local: Each participating university will hold a round of judging to review submissions. One top team will be selected to represent each university in the national judging round. (Early December 2018)
  • National: The best proposal from each university will be be considered together in this round. Judges will select three teams to attend a two-day workshop at Herman Miller Headquarters in February, during which teams will receive professional feedback and refine their proposals for the final round of judging. (Mid December 2018)
  • Final: After proposals have been refined, one winner will be selected for the grand prize. (Late February 2018)

Waiver and Release

Please visit the Submit page to review terms related to use of submitted designs, ownership of intellectual property, and eligibility requirements.