Design Ventura Waste Age Mini Challenge for year 7 and 8


The Design Ventura Mini Challenge is open to students in years 7 and 8. The theme for this year’s mini challenge is waste, inspired by the Design Museum’s Waste Age exhibition.

The mini challenge offers a taster of the Design Ventura programme for younger students. It can be run in a single lesson, set over rotation or given as homework.

The mini challenge recognises student creativity and the ideas that win do not need to be fully realised or fully realisable. To enter, students need to submit an image of their product idea and complete a short form (at the bottom of this page). You can see a shortlist of last year’s winning ideas here.

Students can submit from September and winners will be announced fortnightly on social media from September 2021 to February 2022. Prizes are sent in the post. (Please note that this is not the main Design Ventura competition and we do not make the winning ideas for this challenge.)

Student Brief

Can you design with waste in mind? Can you come up with an idea for a new product for the Design Museum Shop that either tackles a waste issue or uses a waste material.

Design criteria

1. Waste
Waste is a big problem but design offers solutions and opportunities. Your product idea should look to either tackle a waste issue (e.g: reduce landfill, tackle food waste etc) or be made from a waste material, or both!

2. The Design Museum Shop
The business setting for your product is the Design Museum Shop. Consider other products available here that address waste such as books, cosmetics, homeware, toys and games.

Teaching Resources

1. Waste Age

Download the Waste Age Mini Challenge inspiration sheet to help inspire your students. You can also bring your students to the Design Museum to see the Waste Age exhibition.

2. The Idea Machine

If your students get stuck for ideas, use to come up with ideas in only 60 seconds!

The Idea Machine is an online game that gets those ideas flowing. It generates a random brief which you have 60 seconds to answer. The more ideas you come up with the more likely you are to find that winning idea for the online mini challenge. Remember to think – how can my idea address waste.
Play now

3. Paper Forms Workshop

Follow along to this hour long paper forms workshop video to support students with idea generation, prototyping and communicating their ideas:
Watch now

Paper Forms Workshop Video led by designer and educator Haidée Drew

We recommend using wastepaper, cut into different sizes and shapes. Please recycle the paper and prototypes after the workshop.

4. Video Resources

You can also show your students the following videos to inform their thinking:

What is Sustainable Design Film – Watch now
The Design Museum Shop Film – Watch now
What is a Prototype Film – Watch now


Follow the 5 steps below to enter for your chance to win a prize:

  • Draw out your product idea, make it clear what it is and how it works (or, if you’ve got time, create a prototype in paper or card.)
  • Photograph your design
  • Upload the photo via the link at the bottom of the page
  • Fill in the form below with your teacher’s contact details in case you win
  • Click submit!

Please note that you will need consent form a parent or guardian to enter the Design Ventura online mini challenge, see Data Protection Policy and Privacy Notice. If your school requires a parental consent form for this, please feel free to use the version provided here.

Each fortnight we will announce a winner via Twitter, Instagram and our newsletter. Prizes will be sent in the post.

Upload your design:

  • Drop files here or
    Max. file size: 10 MB.