Bright Design Challenge

Creativity, Teamwork, Leadership

NASF believes that the future of surface finishing depends on innovation. Encouraging new ideas, and new ways to think about old issues, is a critical part of our mission. In service of this mission, NASF each year conducts The Bright Design Challenge. This creative program is produced as part of the Association’s “Surface Technology Initiative” to spotlight finishing’s role in enhancing the performance, quality, aesthetics and longevity of virtually every product manufactured.

Twice each year, students are paired with mentors from the finishing industry and major brands to develop original concepts that highlight how finishing can be used to meet real-world objectives.

  • In the Fall, Product Design students at the Art Center College of Design participate in our West Coast Bright Design Challenge.
  • In the Spring, Transportation Design Students at the College for Creative Studies take part in our Detroit Bright Design Challenge.

In addition to valuable surface finishing knowledge and scholarship opportunities, students gain advantages in the job market with impressive portfolio pieces and valuable connections to leading companies. After the Challenge, alumni have gone on to design, and later, management positions at companies including GM, ICON Aircraft, Chrysler, Volvo and more.

Don’t miss out on your chance to contribute to this important program!

Please contact us today for more information on mentoring and sponsorship opportunities.

The West Coast Bright Design Challenge

Held in conjunction with the Metal Finishing Associations of Southern and Northern California, the West Coast NASF Bright Design Challenge inspires students to incorporate finishing into new and innovative products.

Throughout this fall program, NASF Members provide mentorship to students from the Product Design program at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Students begin by touring an operational plating facility and gain exposure to plating materials and techniques used to increase the beauty, value, and functionality of their designs throughout their careers. Throughout the semester, students put their product design education to work while learning new lessons in how to better prepare their projects to meet product safety rules, catch eyes on store shelves, and endure real world situations and environments.

During the final judging, students present functional prototypes of their finished products to their mentors, professors, and other esteemed members of NASF. Scholarships from $1,500 to $5,000 are awarded based on demonstrated finishing knowledge, innovation, and final presentation quality. In addition, scholarship recipients have the opportunity to gain a wider audience with inclusion in the Bright Design Challenge product gallery at NASF SUR/FIN®.

The Detroit NASF Bright Design Challenge

Each spring, NASF and the Michigan Chapter of NASF joins forces with some of transportation’s biggest names to present the Detroit Bright Design

Challenge. Through this program, transportation design students from the College for Creative Studies receive valuable mentoring from finishing and transportation professionals to incorporate surface finishing methods and materials into cutting-edge designs for cars, trucks, motorcycles, and more.

Throughout the semester, students were instructed to maintain careful consideration for new vehicle configurations, behaviors, branding opportunities, and zero-emissions technology.

During the May Judging Ceremony, Challenge participants use clay models, renderings, and documentation to demonstrate creativity and real-world finishing knowledge for a judging panel of mentors, professors, and special guests. Scholarships from $500 to $2,500 are awarded based on the overall appeal of their designs, ability to capture key design influences outlined in the creative brief, and knowledge of surface finishing.

In addition, scholarship recipients have the opportunity to exhibit their work at the SUR/FIN® Manufacturing & Technology Trade Show & Conference in June.

2018 Award Recipients

1st – Sung Hyun Kim
2nd – Won Choi
3rd – Zinan Nui

Honorable Mentions:
Yeong-soo Choi
Deven Khatri