The Professional Awning Manufacturers Association (PAMA) is pleased to announce a student design challenge for the 2017-2018 academic year. The program is intended to challenge students, working individually or in teams, to explore a variety of design issues related to the use of fabric in design. Fabric should be used as a primary material with special emphasis placed on innovation in design. Fabric offers students great benefits in this project, as it is ideal for use outside, inside, and on exterior surfaces without sacrificing flexibility, aesthetic lightness, and protection from the environment.

The challenge is to develop a design for an awning [fixed or retractable], canopy or tension canopy at a site that can be invented or pre-existing (resort/hotel, park, university, airport, etc.). Mentorship and educational resources will be available to students participating in the challenge.

For examples of awnings & canopies click here.


  1. Use textiles as a major component
  2. Design an awning [fixed or retractable], canopy or tension canopy for a public or commercial site.

What to submit:

Project description including:
  • Written product/design specifications
  • How the project achieves its purpose
  • Why the product/space was designed
  • Evidence showing that this is an original design
  • Anything unique or complex about the project which may not be evident in the photographs or specifications
  • References or materials cited
  • What attributes or advantages did fabric provide that other options couldn’t/didn’t
  • What makes fabric a preferred choice over materials.
Digital images
  • 4-8 digital images of the project, including design illustrations.
  • Image resolution must be no less than 300 dpi.
  • At least one of the images must be an overall view of the project. Additional images should show significant details or angles of the project.
  • Images and documents should be submitted for Window Platform in .doc(English), .jpg, .bmp, .tiff, .ppt or.pdf.
1st place
  • $500 cash prize to student or $1,500 to team of three or more students
  • Presentation of project at IFAI Expo events
For up to three team members:
  • Complimentary registration to IFAI Expo
  • Complimentary travel expenses up to $500 per student to attend IFAI Expo
  • $400 applied to travel and hotel costs for academic advisor or college instructor to attend IFAI Expo
  • Project featured in IFAI and division publications and on websites


The deadline for the 2019 Student Design Competition is May 17, 2019




Please contact Janelle Wells at 651-225-6948 or