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Collaborative Design With a Stop Watch

Written by Brandon Cook.

Each year around Phoenix Design Week, designers from around the valley compete in a friendly design competition called PhoenixLayers. It’s basically a collaborative design contest or exercise, but add in a stop watch and it get’s interesting. You’re randomly paired up with another designer, and volley back and fourth a layered Photoshop file. Each volley is timed, and each designer only has a few minutes. Make your edits and additions quickly and pass off. After 6 rounds the final designs are submitted to be judged.

Here’s a look at our layers from several years back. Remember, the designers start with a blank slate. There’s no direction given and no parameters. It was fun to witness the stress while on the clock and the intrigue upon receiving it back from the other participant.

Here is a look at the first and last one


The above image was how the design was started. Below is the final design, the 6th iteration.