Building an industry ecosystem: The Domeble-Symetri Student Awards

Brandy Ryan Brandy Ryan February 7, 2023

3 min read

Set up by Domeble and Symetri, the Domeble Symetri Student Awards (DSSA) aim to highlight the creativity of recent students studying 3D design, CGI and VR and create a career launch platform for them.

Collaboration is Key

Collaborating with Domeble CEO Carl Lyttle, Symetri’s Nick John envisioned a new platform for students to showcase their work with new technology and new design. Their pitch?

Provide creative students with a platform to showcase their skills directly to the creative industry.

Charles Naden-Lamb, Gold Award — Best Automotive Full CG Studio / Full CG Scene

When the pandemic hit in early 2020, Nick and Carl saw the impact it had on students—students ready for their next career steps couldn’t do onsite visits with OEMs, be recognized at an awards night, attend industry events.

Image Copyright © Sarafin

That’s when the Domeble-Symetri Student Awards came to life. Kicked off in 2021, it was never intended to be a large, global event—but a small and UK-focused platform. But when the call for submissions went out, the DSSA received submissions from South Africa, Japan and Korea, among other countries. That was an obvious sign to open the competition up, so they did.

As the competition went into its judging phase, there were 100 entries. From there, 12 winners and finalists were recognized, and each was placed in an industry position within a year. It wasn’t just the automotive industry that showed interest—the DSSA heard from architecture and industrial design companies and studios as well.

One of the outcomes of the diverse submissions was identifying lesser-known universities, which are a hotbed for creative talent. As a result, the DSSA have been able to connect students directly to studios, and to help build more strategic relationships between schools and studios in recent months.

Image Copyright © Jack Griffiths

The DSSA was a hit – and the founders knew they wanted it to continue.

Cue 2022 and an officially sponsored DSSA, thanks to Autodesk and other sponsors. And this year was different: Nick and Carl heard from design studios that they wanted the caliber and capability of the talent showcased by this competition. The studios weren’t set on only hiring winners or finalists but were open to any talent that the DSSA identified.

Victor Perez, Gold Award — Best 3D/CAD design in a Backplate scene (Non-Automotive)

From there, the engagement broadened. The DSSA created a full intern program for a studio, which is precisely what Nick and Carl were hoping for: give students a platform and connection to industry.

Aside from these placement opportunities, finalists and winners also receive training and licenses—master classes, mentoring, access to specialists. The Awards doesn’t have a single big financial prize for one winner but 12 distinct categories, so students can excel in different areas.

Charles Naden-Lamb, Merit Award — Best CGI Automotive Image

Because of sponsors like Autodesk, the DSSA has been able to create a mini ecosystem of upcoming talent and the industries that need it.

Domeble-Symetri Student Awards (DSSA) Highlights

Check out the full line-up of 2021 winners and finalists and 2022 winners and finalists.

Yes, there will be more stories and learning resources!

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