Posted December 18, 2012

Game on! Tyler students sweep prestigious design competition

Winning game designs on display at Philadelphia Museum of Art

  • Lou Stuber, an undergraduate in Tyler's Graphic and Interactive Design (GAID) program took first place at the prestigious 2012 Collab Student Design Competition with his game Are We There Yet?
  • GAID MFA candidate Lydia Nichols took second place with the game How Does Your Garden Grow?
  • Undergraduate GAID major Michelle Gish took third place in the competition with the board game Fit.

Students in Temple's Tyler School of Art swept the top awards at the prestigious 2012 Collab Student Design Competition, an annual event held in conjunction with the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

This year's Collab Student Design Competition challenged students to design a game, either redesigning and repackaging an existing, iconic game or designing a new game of their own. Fifty entries were submitted from students attending Philadelphia-area institutions. Submissions were judged by leaders in the field, including top executives and designers at Cerealart; Little, Brown; the Museum of Modern Art; Pentagram; and ZOLO.

Lou Stuber, an undergraduate in Tyler's Graphic and Interactive Design (GAID) program took first place; GAID MFA candidate Lydia Nichols took second place; and undergraduate GAID major Michelle Gish took third place. In addition to sweeping top honors, two Tyler BFA candidates earned honorable mentions: Metals/Jewelry/CADCAM major Corinne Hansen and GAID major Joey Basko.

Stuber's winning submission was a board game called Are We There Yet? that takes players on cross-country road trips, with stops along the way at what he calls "not-so-appealing travel destinations," from a snake petting zoo to the world's largest chair. Like all of the Tyler undergraduates who entered the competition, Stuber completed his project over a 10-week period as part of a GAID course. He credited the GAID program for preparing him for the rigors of the competition.

"Tyler's GAID program teaches you to do more than just design — it makes you think about things. It forces you out of your comfort zone and pushes you to challenge yourself," said Stuber, who earned $1,000 for first place honors (Nichols and Gish earned $750 and $500 respectively). "The hardest part for me was designing the rules. I didn't play board games as a kid, so I had to do a lot of research."

The competition was held in conjunction with the museum's exhibition celebrating the innovative graphic design work of Tyler alumna Paula Scher, BFA 1970, and Seymour Chwast, recipients of Collab's 2012 Design Excellence Award. The winners were invited to attend the Design Excellence Award ceremony and meet Scher, one of the GAID program's most distinguished alumni.

Kelly Holohan, an associate professor at Tyler and GAID's MFA coordinator, said that meeting and interacting with Collab's judges and honorees was one of the primary benefits of participating for the students.

"The judges are leaders in the field of game design and design for children who are doing cutting-edge work. We want our students to learn from them so that one day they can be leaders in the field," Holohan said. "It's also huge to have Paula out there as a role model. She was proud and thrilled to see how well Tyler students are doing."

The work of the Collab Student Design Competition's winners is on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Perelman Building as part of the exhibit "Double Portrait: Paula Scher and Seymour Chwast, Graphic Designers" through April 14, 2013.