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Office of the Provost

  • A creative drawing of how to get idea from current to new reality

Phase 1: Imagining

Design challenge to reimagine the bus.

In May 2018, Great Gamecock Design Challenge commenced with an immersive, problem-solving experience where ten highly interdisciplinary faculty/staff/student teams collaborated to invent the extraordinary, and then compete for project support.

Problem Frame

Help distinguish UofSC by transforming a used, uninspiring bus into an EXTRAORDINARY, BUZZ-WORTHY mobile space that fosters CREATIVE COLLABORATION and EXPLORATION.

The ideal solution:

  • Is unique and recognizable
  • Symbolizes USC pride
  • Has widespread appeal
  • Garners media attention

Proposals must:

  • Use our existing designated bus
  • Be mobile
  • Be largely achievable in one year


Concluding two intense days (May 16-17, 2018), teams presented their visions to a large audience during a public competition, beginning with an inspiring address by President Pastides about the power of creativity.

The panel of judges were required to agree upon a single winner, but with a twist…If excited by the prevailing vision, they were asked to donate their own money to help bring this project to fruition. Think Shark Tank meets higher education.

The final award wound up totaling and astounding $72,000!

A big thanks to the Provost Office for sponsoring this event, and also our amazing judges: Lou Kennedy, Rick and Brenda Wheeler, Robert Lewis, and Bowen!

There was also an Audience Choice Award. The two winning teams are invited to play leadership roles during Phase 2, as their concepts are combined, modified, and strengthened.


Participation in this design challenge was unprecedented in terms of scope.

  • Every team combined faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students
  • The community represented every college across campus and a variety of Student Affairs offices
  • Visual artists were paired with each team to help them visually communicate concepts while prototyping
  • Five local architects and five pitch coaches helped teams improve proposals
  • The process began with research, as teams interviewed students, faculty, staff, and alumni to learn their perspectives

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.