Cooper Hewitt’s 2023 National High School Design Competition Mentor Weekend

In May 2023, the LCAU hosted the Cooper Hewitt’s annual Mentor Weekend as part of the 2023 National High School Design Challenge. Finalists from across the country joined us for a two-day intensive workshop to develop projects around the use of data and design for communities.

Cooper Hewitt Design Challenge Mentors and Finalists [Photo credit: Dana Quigley]

This year, the brief for the design challenge asked students to consider what they would design with data for their community. Three finalists responded with projects around accessibility, equity, and climate change in a broad range of geographic and social contexts, integrating perspectives from personal experience with data to expose critical issues, inform decisions, and communicate new ideas.

Over the course of the weekend, participants were invited to advance their ideas through iterative design processes from initial sketches toward prototypes, better define the purpose and intent of their work, critically interrogate their data sources, and re-envision their projects in dialogue with their mentors. In addition, students were introduced to visual narratives and storytelling. The weekend concluded with a review with invited guests who gave feedback on work-in-progress.

Congratulations to finalists: Rori Stanford, Yoona Lee, Yoojung Shin, and Eleanor Lewis! A special thanks to mentors: Sarah Williams, Helen Kongsgaard, and Alberto Meouchi, as well as guest critics Eric Robsky Huntley, Carlos Sandoval Olascoaga, and Lizze Yarina. We look forward to seeing the results of the competition next month.



Norman B. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism

Research center focused on the design and planning of large-scale, complex, future metropolitan environments.