Research and Design Competition

We would like to invite children all over the world to submit ideas and challenges for the International Conference for Interaction Design and Children (IDC) 2018 Research & Design competition. Inspired by these submissions we will create one specific research and design challenge for the members of the IDC community to work on and find some clever solutions for.

Children who submit something will also be invited to judge the solutions that the IDC community has come up with. The winners will be awarded at a ceremony during the IDC 2018 conference in Trondheim.


  • Child input for challenges open until 21 Dec 2017
  • R & D Competition starts 15 Jan 2018
  • Competition open until 15 Apr 2018
  • Notifications to winners by 30 April 2018
  • Presentation at the conference 19 – 22 Jun 2018


We seek ideas from children of all ages and backgrounds. If you are a teacher, a parent or a researcher who knows a child with big ideas, please help them to submit. This is the story:

We are all different in many ways. We are girls, boys, tall, bookish, sporty, and quiet. We like vanilla ice cream, scrambled eggs, and very different kinds of music. We speak different languages and have skin with countless shades under the sun.

Being different and unique is not always easy though, especially when some people (even us!) have trouble understanding and accepting others for their differences. What can we do to understand each other better, celebrate our differences, and get along without misunderstandings or fighting? Could technology help?

Think of a smart thing or technology that would help different groups of children to understand each other better – what could it do? How would it work, and what would it look like? There are no wrong answers. Draw it, build it, or tell us about it!

What to include in submission

You can capture your ideas any way you like. Write up a description using our PDF Worksheet, or simply type it up. Take some pictures, make some drawings, sketch it on a napkin, or make a short video explaining everything.

Every submission should contain the following information:

  • What is the name of your smart thing?.
  • What does it do? How do you use it?
  • What is your name and how can we get in touch with you?

Note: If you want to be one of the judges of the competition, we need a way to get in touch with you to send you the results. Judging will involve watching some 3 minute videos of the solutions the IDC community has developed and scoring these solutions in an online form.

How to submit

Submit your ideas or any materials that describe your smart thing to the following form:

Alternatively, if it is easier for you, you can also simply put your drawings and texts in an envelope and send it via post to either address shown below.

  • Christopher Frauenberger, TU Wien
    Argentinierstrasse 8, 2. Stock
    Vienna, Austria

  • Kiley Sobel
    428 Sieg Hall
    Campus Box 352315
    Seattle, WA, USA 98195

If you are a teacher, you can get in touch with us via email ( if you need help with the logistics of submitting the ideas of your class.

If you are a researcher working with schools and teachers, please support them, e.g., by collecting input or by scanning pictures, etc.

If you have any questions about the submission process, please email us at

Note: All materials submitted will only be used in relation to this competition. We may publish some examples through this webpage or present them at the conference.

Your ideas are your ideas

This competition is not about skimming off your best ideas and turning them into products. Rather, we want to get the IDC community working on things children like you think are important. It is about shaping future research.

Because we value all ideas, we want to make sure that they all get credit.  By default, we will acknowledge contributions by first name, age, and school name. If you want to have it any other way, please let us know!