Kendall College of Art and Design

Located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) is committed to creating lasting impact in West Michigan and beyond through collaborative partnerships, cultural innovation, and an educational model that prepares students for leadership in the visual arts, design, art history, and art education; provides innovative, collaborative education that fosters intellectual growth and individual creativity; and promotes the ethical and civic responsibilities of artists and designers, locally and globally. 

Sponsor: The Wege Foundation


The Wege Foundation focuses on local good works that enhance the lives of the people and preserve the health of the environment. The five branches of our Mission are, in rank order:

Equation for Impact

"What’s exciting is that the Wege Prize gives us a way to begin educating people about how to apply design thinking and collaborative design principles to solve any problem, on any scale, anywhere in the world." — Gayle DeBryun, Chair of the Collaborative Design program and Chief Sustainability Officer at Kendall College of Art and Design. 

Is it possible to solve the unsolvable problem? The Wege Foundation believes it is, and they are putting their money on KCAD to help do it.

The difficulty of solving "wicked" problems - those socially complex issues for which any attempt to grapple with one aspect of the problem inadvertently reveals new layers, obstacles, and challenges - stems from the inadequacy of our existing methods of problem solving. 

But what if we discovered that we already have the power to make issues like hunger, poverty and environmental degradation obsolete? What if every one of us possessed the capacity to learn how to solve any problem, no matter how wicked?

The key lies in the principles of design thinking and collaborative design that have long been integral component's of KCAD's educational model. The Wege Foundation believes that these principles are the future, and they've enlisted KCAD's expertise to help the community at large understand their importance and witness their implementation, allowing the world's brightest collegiate minds to lead the way.

Wege Prize is a competition that gives teams of college/university students from around the globe the opportunity to experience the power of design thinking and collaborative design firsthand, while simultaneously showing the world how use those principles to discover and develop its own talent for problem-solving.

KCAD + The Wege Foundation = Wege Prize

It's not a theory. It's an equation for impact.