Five students from IIT Institute of Design took top honors as well as the people’s choice award at the Rotman Design Challenge 2012, held in Toronto in March. Competing against 22 teams of MBA and design students from schools such as MIT, University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business, OCAD University, and California College of Arts, the ID students’ concept for developing better financial habits addressed this year’s challenge to maximize business value through social innovation.
Team members Jorge Angarita, Lauren Braun, John Shin, Helen Wills, and Janice Wong, all first-year Master of Design students, spent seven weeks developing and refining their concept. Though intense, members exclaimed it was a fantastic experience. “[Winning] verified my choice to come to ID – the things we’re learning can really be applied. This was a chance to test the inside of ID on the outside,” said Lauren Braun.
All 22 teams at the Rotman Design Challenge 2012 presented in the morning, with five teams advancing to the finals in the afternoon. The judges, blind to competitors during the preliminary round, were very enthusiastic about ID. Janice Wong remarked that it is “reaffirming to hear people’s conceptions of ID…it makes me feel I picked the right school.” Her teammates expressed similar sentiments. “More than just winning,” the team said, “it felt really good to live up to the reputation ID has – it felt good to let people know who we are and what we do.”