We are challenging you to design a new digital social interaction! 

Submit by 24th July 2022

We spend a lot of our time communicating digitally on a whole range of applications websites and social media. Digital communication offers all sorts of advantages but sometimes we want to express physical gestures on a digital platform.

To create a digital version of any physical interaction consider:

  • How to express the sentiment of the interaction rather than only visually replicating it.
  • The subtle ways you use body language to tell you a friend you agree or disagree with them
  • unique ways your friend group or whanau use gestures to say ‘hello’, ‘goodbye’ or ‘I’m just joking’
  • The difference between a gentle shoulder tap and an urgent shoulder tap how could you express that digitally?
  • What do current digital ‘reactions’ and interactions do? Animation and vibration are common features!

You can use any of the features of a phone or a computer to design your interaction. Your interaction can use vibrations, light, sounds and visualisations on the screen.

You can design your interaction to be for an existing app or platform or it can be a whole new app based around your interaction.

We want to know:

  • What physical interaction are you replicating (the more specific or unusual the better, what do you and your friends do?)
  • What your digital interaction looks/sounds/and feels like

You don’t have to make actually it work! You can:

  • draw the interactions in a storyboard
  • make screen mock ups to show what the Interactions would look like
  • act it out using video
  • fake the interaction using video
  • use a programme to mock up your idea. For example Figma https://www.figma.com/education/students/

Extra Challenge

To get the Extra Challenge Prize Add the physical back in!

This doesn’t only mean using recyclable materials or reducing the amount of packaging.

Can you use a physical object to replicate an interaction but from a distance? Some of these examples feel a little cringe-worthy, so there is lots of opportunities for you to do better!

For example:

Proud Parent machine 

Hug me vest 

Tap tap scarf 

Hug Shirt


Note the following requirements:

  • You must submit your work by 24th July 2022.
  • Videos must be less than 60 seconds
  • Submit using #FutureDesignersNZ. Post your videos or photos to Instagram, YouTube, or Twitter. Make sure your post is public so we can see it.

There are no rules of what materials or technology you can use. This is entirely up to your creative intent, and what resources you have access to. 


Future Designer Champion

$400 Prize for the best submission

We will publish your name and work on the Future Designer’s website. You will also receive a deluxe School of Design Innovation care package.

Future Designer Runner-up

$250 Prize for the runner up

Your name and work will feature on the Future Designer’s website. You will receive a School of Design Innovation care package

Extra Challenge Winner

$200 Prize for best design addressing the Extra Challenge

Your entry will also be a part of our end of year exhibition, you will receive a School of Design Innovation care package

Terms and Conditions

Read the full terms and conditions.