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Daniels Design Challenge

Since the beginning of COVID-19, many families have been affected by the new social distancing rules and are seeking new activities to spend quality time together. With generous funding from the School of Cities, we are happy to present a series of design challenges that you can do with your friends and family!

Every challenge is a way for participants to work in a creative setting and work on solving problems together.
Daniels Design Challenges allow participants to explore architecture and design in a contemporary and fun way!

How to submit?

There are many ways to submit images of your designs to us. The easiest way is to either submit on our Google Form page, or message and tag us on Instagram and Facebook.

If posting on your own account, it is recommended for participants to use the tags below.

#UoftDaniels #DanielsDesignChallenge


There will be 3 prizes for each competition, and the winners of each challenge will receive Daniels swag or a gift card and boasting rights.

The deadline for the competitions are on September 30th, 11:59 p.m.

Challenge #1: Marshmallow Tower

This architectural challenge is for competitors to use at-home objects and gain a new perspective of design. You are tasked with building a tower using spaghetti strings and marshmallows to support the weight of a light object such as a cookie.

HINT: Triangles are effective tools for architecture and are used in the design of buildings and other structures as they provide strength and stability.

BONUS: You will receive extra points if your tower has a close resemblance to the following examples we have provided.

Challenge #2: Bridge Design

Building a bridge using popsicles to support the weight of 5 to 20 pounds (laundry detergent, cans of food, etc). Examples of bridge designs are provided on the next image slide for support.

BONUS: If your bridge is big, use a measuring tape in your images to show us the size for extra points!

Challenge #3: Nature Walk

Participants are encouraged to go for a walk and identify the native & non-native species of trees found within the city of Toronto.

If not in Toronto, discover your region's native & non-native species of trees, and capture them; make sure to identify the type.

BONUS: Give a brief description and fun facts about the type of trees you have discovered!

Challenge #4: Urban Design

Participants can observe how the city of Toronto is adapting to COVID-19. For instance, the way social distancing is being tackled in parks and other outdoor spaces.

BONUS: Identify the flaws in each social distancing design and/or create your own solution as a way people can socially distant.

Challenge #5: Fort Design

In this exercise, participants are encouraged to draw the fort on paper first, once satisfied with your design, make a 3-dimensional model of your design using nearby materials, such as blankets and chairs.

Make sure the structure is safe. Do no leave children unattended.


Credits to Michael Piper and Aidan Cowling for the collaboration,  Nene Borde for organizing the event, Aseel Sadat for the challenge proposals,  and Negar Mashoof for graphic design. 


Thank you for your interest. If you have any questions about the challenges, please contact:
Nene Brode
Manager, External Relations and Outreach