Surface finishing is everywhere you look in the millions of products we use every day. From the car you drive, to the cell phone that drives your life, most everything is "finished" with some form of coatings technology. Surface technology adds value to products by making them last longer, look better or perform in ways that would otherwise be impossible.
The National Association for Surface Finishing (NASF) believes that the future of surface finishing depends on the innovative ideas of our youth. We consider it the responsibility of those currently serving the industry to foster and nourish these ideas. As part of this mission, and to spotlight the impact we have on millions of products and households, the National Association for Surface Finishing each year proudly presents The Bright Design Challenge. This ground-breaking creative program is produced as part of the association’s "Surface Technology Initiative" to proactively promote our surface finishing industry.
This annual competition is held in conjunction with the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI. Additionally, a West Coast competition is coordinated through the efforts of the NASF West Coast Chapters that include: the Metal Finishing Association of Southern California, Northern California, and San Diego in conjunction with Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA.
Students from each of the institutions are initially introduced to a brief overview to the surface finishing industry; then invited to think beyond traditional design theory and bring out their very best creative spirit in developing "next generation" creative and engineering solutions incorporating various types of surface finishing coatings. At the conclusion of the program scholarships are awarded which are applied directly to student tuition.
Participants work within strict, realistic guidelines and focus on specific elements unique to the projects they are developing. Time management skills play a strong role in this impressive competition due to tight deadlines placed throughout this intense 12 week competition.
Those participating must conduct formal presentations of their research findings and ideation sketch development with at least nine photorealistic renderings of their proposals. In the California competition the students prepare actual models of their designs with various surface finishes generously prepared by local finishing companies.
During the final judging process the best three designs that incorporate and depict the best use of different types of surface finishes are then chosen by a select panel of NASF industry leaders as well as faculty from the College of Creative Studies, and Art Center for Design in Pasadena.