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SDC International Design Competition 2019

Course Description

SDC’s flagship competition is open to fashion and design undergraduates. For the 2019 competition we invite you to explore the theme of ‘colour and nature’.

“A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light.” (Leonardo da Vinci)

Colour is fundamental to the way in which we see the world. Nature has some spectacular examples of colour, from insects to butterflies, birds to fish, plants to flowers. Colour is crucial in the animal kingdom, providing a range of signals. Animals use it to camouflage themselves from danger, to warn predators they are poisonous and to attract a mate.

Biomimicry creates solutions to challenges by emulating the ideas found in nature. Nature has huge potential to provide us with solutions for more sustainable fabrics and colours. What can we learn from nature and how can it inspire sustainability and innovation?

What does this mean for the designer? How do we see colour? Do we all see colour in the same way? Why do colours change according to light? What does this mean in terms of choice of colour and how this colour is communicated?

All entries must be submitted by the relevant course tutor/ leader, not the student. Entry forms can be completed and submitted online or sent direct to the regional co-ordinator for your country, the full list of which is on the SDC website.

For further details about the competition, please download the brief, visit the SDC website or email

Competition entrants can access free online educational resources covering colour communication, sustainability and textile dyeing by creating a free account on the Colour Network. Follow the guidance here: How to create a free account on Colour Network

The competition is sponsored by Archroma®


Course Covers:
  • Where does colour come from and how do we see it?
  • How does light affect the colour we see?
  • Natural versus synthetic - what is the impact of choosing a natural fibre versus a synthetic one?
  • What are the implication of choosing a natural dye versus a synthetic one?
  • Sustainability - what impact will your choice of colours, fibres and design have on the environment?
  • What can we learn from biomimicry?
  • What inspiration can we take from nature?
Why study this course?

The theme can be interpreted widely and we look forward to seeing your entries. The competition links to an educational package as part of SDC’s colour education pathway to help you develop your entry and provides a tutorial on how to use Archroma Color Atlas. Access this and more by clicking on the right.

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