Global Collegiate Design Competition Expands Rewards: Wege Prize 2022

College and university students around the world now have the opportunity to earn more money as they make a global difference by solving “wicked problems” facing the world.

Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) has expanded its international design competition, Wege Prize for 2022. Aiming for an even more prosperous year with a more than doubled cash prize pool of $65,000 USD, strengthened feedback loops via direct interaction with a diverse panel of expert judges, and a reimagined collaborative design challenge focused on catalyzing real-world solutions for the circular economy, the competitions returns for an assured five years, all thanks to the continuing financial of The Wege Foundation.

Since 2013, the Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) has globally inspired college/university students from around the world to envision a sustainable future through Wege Prize. This year, the competition continues its innovative trajectory by challenging students to successfully build a diverse transdisciplinary team of five, identify a “wicked” problem to address, and develop a compelling solution (product, service, or business model) that follows the core principles of the circular economy: eliminate waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use, and regenerate our natural systems.

Now in its ninth year, the competition spans nine months and four distinct phases from August 2021 to May 2022. Throughout the course of the competition, student teams will cultivate a research plan that will ultimately grow into a concrete circular solution, receive feedback from the judges, apply and expand their project according to the judges’ input, and present and defend the team’s solutions in front of the judges and a global online audience at the 2022 Wege Prize Awards event in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA on May 2022. While those teams whose ideas the judges deem best positioned for real-world success will advance at each phase, all competing teams will receive in-depth feedback that will help propel them forward beyond Wege Prize.

The teams will be assessed on rigorous criteria such as incorporating effective collaboration with mentor experts into their design process, the organization and presentation of their ideas, and the financial and logistical feasibility of the project. This encourages students to design solutions that accelerate the local and global transition to a circular economy, providing unique value and unexplored potential.

Last year’s field of 175 participants formed 35 teams that represented 29 countries, 88 academic institutions, and 114 unique academic disciplines.

About Wege Prize

Wege Prize, a West Michigan-born concept developed by Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University’s (KCAD’s) Wege Center for Sustainable Design with the support of The Wege Foundation, is an annual competition that ignites games-changing solutions for the future by inspiring college students around the world to collaborate across institutional, disciplinary, and cultural boundaries and redesign the way economies work. To learn more, go to

About KCAD

Located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) is committed to creating lasting impact in West Michigan and beyond through collaborative partnerships, cultural innovation, and an educational model that prepares students for leadership in design, the visual arts, and art history; provides innovative, collaborative education that fosters intellectual growth and individual creativity; and promotes the ethical and civic responsibilities of artists and designers, locally and globally. For more information, please visit