Design students think a lot. They want to know exactly what the future has in store, particularly during this time of economic uncertainty. They want to understand whether there is anything consequential – an essential truth – that will insure their place in design’s future. So, a year ago, before the bottom fell out of the financial markets, we set out to identify 100 essential concepts that design students could agree were important. We surveyed graduate and undergraduate design students to determine what issues are foremost on their minds and narrowed them down to the following top ten essentials.