The IMPACT Award

The IMPACT Award

$25,000 for Excellence in Social or Environmental Impact through the Lens of Art & Design

The IMPACT Award is a CCA-wide competition, awarding the top two individuals or teams with $25,000 and a network of resources to complete an innovative project cultivating social and/or environmental responsibility.
The California College of the Arts prepares its graduates to be the next generation of socially responsible cultural leaders. The school functions as an incubator for artists, designers, and scholars, who learn from internationally renowned faculty and a rich landscape of community and technology partners working at the intersection of creativity and social innovation. Given the unique setting in the San Francisco Bay Area—the hub of global innovation—the academic experience is like no other, inspiring students to research, create and innovate with the potential to shape the world around them.
The annual IMPACT Award leverages the passion, creativity, and ingenuity of artists and designers in the field of sustainability and social impact. Each year, the IMPACT Award focuses on a specific concept addressing a pressing social or environmental challenge. The award also provides a network of resources and partnerships to outstanding CCA-based individuals or teams to enable them to complete a project of lasting environmental or social impact over the course of one year.
The 2018 IMPACT Awards are generously supported by Thurlow Washam, Werner & Eveline Schnorf, and the IMPACT Fund.
All students, faculty, alumni, and staff in all media are invited to submit proposals (all teams must include at least one team member who is a current CCA student during the 2017-18 academic year).



IMPACT AWARD Information Sessions

THURSDAY, MARCH 15TH, 3-4:30pm

    Timken Hall, San Francisco Campus


    Ralls 203, Oakland Campus



MARCH 29th, 12-1:30pm

    Helzel Boardroom, San Francisco Campus

    Hone your skills in working with community partners!

    Register here


DESIGN BLITZ – Thinking Wrong to get it right

APRIL 5-6, 9:30-4:30pm

    111 Hubbell Street, San Francisco Campus

    Open to artists and designers in all media!

    Register here



    MONDAY, APRIL 16, by 11:59pm

    (submit via Google Forms)




HOME: Creative Thinking in Affordable and Sustainable Living Environments for Artists & Designers

The “HOME” concept is very open to interpretation, for example:
  • innovative architectural templates for group live/workspace for creatives
  • industrial design projects/fixtures/structures from recycled materials 
  • using hemp, pineapple or lotus fiber textiles
  • solar or low-energy lighting solutions 
  • housing infrastructure for efficiencies
  • furnishings that use recycled materials
  • recycled glass dishwares or lighting 
  • innovative platforms or materials for visual/fine art
  • ceramic products using recycled ceramic materials
  • creative murals/photographic walls
  • eco-friendly interior design 
  • robotic or internet-of-things products that support efficiencies
  • short film/animation series promoting sustainable living practices
  • a book, magazine or article series on this subject
  • systems or resource information networks (e.g., a website) for sustainability

…essentially anything that fosters or could be part of the affordable, sustainable dwelling of the future. For inspiration and ideas, see CCA’s award-winning Refract House, co-designed by CCA students, where all of the exterior and interior elements of a dwelling—the architecture, insulation, landscaping, energy systems, lighting fixtures from recycled materials, ceramic dinnerware, glassware, and more— were designed to be sustainable or utilized sustainable materials.

Projects must be designed, produced, and implemented in the Bay Area over the one-year grant period, and have lasting environmental or social impact beyond the grant period.  Applicants have the opportunity to participate in design thinking and community engagement workshops crafted to assist them in developing and strengthening their project proposals before the submission deadline.
To learn more, please save the date for the information sessions and register for the Design Blitz and Community Engagement Skills Workshop at the links in the timeline above.
The Center also has developed a partnership with the City of San Francisco’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development to establish architectural templates and utilize art/design based sustainable products created through the 2018 IMPACT Award competition for potential future Artist Affordable Housing and Workspace sites in the City of San Francisco. Other resource partners include the City of San Francisco Planning Department, Institute for the Future, Soup, the Workshop Residence, and the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition.
CCA-based artists, designers, and creative teams from all disciplines and fields (including CCA alumni, faculty, and staff) are invited to apply.  CCA faculty, alumni, and staff applicants must include at least one team member who is a current CCA student during the 2017-18 academic year.


Proposals in all media encouraged! Questions? Write

Complete your IMPACT proposal by Monday, April 16, 2018 in Google Forms:

Proposal :