Products and design solutions can be entered in the categories listed below. The number of nominations and awards depends solely on the quality of the submitted entries. Thus, there may be categories without any finalists or awards handed out.
PLEASE NOTE: Before submitting a design solution, please read the rules of Danish Design Award
Design has the capacity to generate value and effect on a range of parameters concerning economic, cultural and social aspects. The Danish Design Award wants to celebrate that capacity. Hence, each category description outlines what sort of documentation or argumentation for value must be included in the motivating statement when the entry is submitted.
Every category is relevant to both the private as well as the public sector.
1. Building Markets
– a design award for solutions that increase revenue
The purpose of this award is to show that design may contribute to building growth in terms of sales, new markets or increased export.
The award is given to a solution related e.g. to scaling, enhancement of existing products or services or development of brand new products or services.
Entries in this category must be supported by figures documenting how the solution has contributed to growth, for example in the form of improved market shares, sales or potential sales, the number of clients/customers or user or stakeholder satisfaction.
Previous finalists and winners: Building Markets
2. Message Received
– a design award for solutions that deliver a message powerfully, simply and beautifully
The purpose of this award is to show that design can be a strong communicator.
The award illustrates the ability of design to communicate and engage according to the needs, wishes, behaviour, values and social context of the audience.
The Message Received Award can be given to any great communications design, regardless of platform, medium or scale. Any concept for the design of engaging, aesthetically accomplished and precise communication with optimal impact and minimal redundancy will qualify for consideration.
Entries in this category must be supported by information demonstrating how the solution delivers the message in an effective, simple and beautiful manner, for example in the form of user feedback, test results or impact studies.
Previous finalists and winners: Message Received
3. Save Money
– a design award for solutions that reduce cost
The purpose of this award is to show that effective design can reduce the costs associated with a product or service, without needing to compromise on quality. Design can improve the bottom line by saving money. A cost reduction may come about through redesign, simplified construction, process modifications, improved logistics and so forth. However, it may also stem from design solutions where user-friendliness and an intuitive understanding have made the solution easier to sell or implement or from a new choice of material(s) that reduces wear and improves durability and production processes.
Alternatively, the design proposal may be based on a completely new concept that achieves the same or an improved outcome for a lower cost.
Entries in this category must be supported by figures illustrating how the solution has reduced the costs compared to other methods, improved productivity or otherwise led to savings.
Previous finalists and winners: Save Money
4. Share Resources
– a design award for solutions that enable resources to be shared efficiently between many
The purpose of this award is to show that design can enable us to use resources in a better way. The award is given to a concept that builds on the collaborative economy – making it possible for us to share, borrow or rent what we need.
The award-winning solution enables users, citizens or companies to coordinate resources in the form of ride sharing, heating consumption, working tools, clothing or other resources. For example, the design solution may be a platform, a service or a system enabling the sharing of things, resources, space and knowledge among a large group of people.
Entries in this category must document what specific problem the design solves and how many users have embraced the idea and/or document the need via the activity generated by the design solution.
Previous finalists and winners: Share Resources
5. Better Work
– a design award for solutions that positively affect our working life
The purpose of this award is to show how design can contribute to thorough, innovative and effective solutions to workplace challenges. ‘Better work’ includes anything from improved working procedures and better service design via a reduction in bureaucracy or user-friendly ergonomic and efficient tools, furniture or interior design components to products that solve problems associated with hard physical labour or stressful working environments. The award could also go to a design solution that enables collaborative work at a distance.
Entries in this category must be supported by documentation of and information about the specific working environment problems the design solves.
Previous finalists and winners: Better Work
6. Daily Life
– a design award for solutions that improve everyday life
The purpose of this award is to show that design can significantly improve the quality of life for the individual person or for the family as a whole, whether at home or on the go.
In a broad range of contexts from materials, objects and transportation to space and lighting, a better ‘Daily Life’ can be achieved through designs that improve the practical, social, aesthetic, functional or tactile side of everyday living.
Entries in this category should include information specifying how the solution improves everyday life and what problem it solves.
Previous finalists and winners: Daily Life
7. Feel Good
– a design award for solutions that make an emotional or sensual connection with people in a surprising way that simply makes you “feel good”!
This award celebrates the power of design to delight our intellect, heart and senses. It is given to that brilliant idea, design, product, tool or movement that moves the heart and mind by virtue of its relevance, meaning, simplicity or inspiration.
The winning concept is functional, easy to use, human-centred, delightful and natural while also making a difference and generating new business.
Entries in this category should include information specifying, in concrete terms, how the solution speaks especially to human emotions and senses and is perceived as sublime.
Previous finalists and winners: Feel Good
8. Better Learning
– a design award for solutions that lead to new ways of learning and educating
The award is given to a solution or a project that creates better learning environments. The winning design solution demonstrates how design can be used as a tool for the development of new means of learning and collaboration.
This category aims to show how design can support education by creating motivating environments that inspire and engage learners and educators. This can be achieved, for example, through new technology, the creation of new interiors, lightning or furniture or the rethinking of educational environments whether as part of an educational institution or outside the organised educational framework.
Entries in this category should be supported by information demonstrating how the design has contributed to new or better learning – ideally documented in the form of specific results.
Previous finalists and winners: Better Learning
9. Clean Solutions
– a design award for solutions that respect or clean the natural environment
This award demonstrates the potential for design to incorporate sustainability into any given solution. The award can also be given to effective concepts specifically intended to clean or protect the natural environment.
Entries may range from micro to macro scale.
Design may very well hold the key to solving some of the most urgent environmental challenges we face. The Clean Solutions Award should reflect this potential.
Entries in this category should be supported by information and figures demonstrating how the solution eliminates or reduces specific environmental challenges.
Previous finalists and winners: Clean Solutions
10. Healthy Life
– a design award for solutions that enable a healthy body or mind for many
The purpose of this award is to demonstrate the potential of design to create solutions that improve people’s mental or physical health.
Design can affect human health in a positive way, for example through smart technology, new intelligent design, rethinking production and workflows and introducing new materials or interiors.
The category is relevant within a wide range of contexts both within and outside healthcare institutions.
Entries in this category should be supported by information demonstrating how the solution promotes mental and physical health and contributes to improved quality of life for the user .
Previous finalists and winners: Healthy Life
11. Outstanding Service
– a design award for solutions that improve or redefine a service
This award illustrates that design can be an effective tool for rethinking or improving an existing service or introducing an entirely new service.
The concept results in a service that is more user-friendly, competitive and relevant to the customers or users. The design of the service may result in better infrastructure or communication or more efficient interaction between people.
Entries in this category should be supported by information demonstrating what existing service is improved or provided , and how the new service can be considered outstanding in relation to the user, economic parameters or human interactions.
Previous finalists and winners: Outstanding Service
12. Employment Growth
– a design award for solutions that create jobs in Denmark
The purpose of this award is to demonstrate that design can create employment. By creating products and services that people actually want and find relevant, design can contribute significantly to a nation’s economy and create new jobs. The design mind-set can also create new companies and industries, again contributing to the overall economy and the creation of new jobs.
This award will be given to a company or an organisation with a sustained ability to create jobs through the strategic use of design, to a strong business concept or to another type of design solution that demonstrates how the integration of design thinking can lead to exceptional national or international success and job growth. To win in this category, a company or design solution must be able to document its ability to sustain steady growth over time, stay on the market, retain jobs or develop new solutions/business models that generate new types of jobs.
Entries in this category must be supported by figures illustrating how the company’s design solutions or strategic design approach have helped to create new jobs within the organisation itself, in related industries or for partner organisations, suppliers or clients.
Previous finalists and winners: Employment Growth
13. Visionary Concepts
– a design award for solutions that are out of reach but within sight
The Vision Award is given to a design solution or an innovative and visionary concept that points to radical new possibilities within a business, social or cultural context.
Among other factors, the jury assesses what gives the design solution or concept the potential to generate a radical new opportunity or make a radical difference in companies or in a social or cultural context. A visionary design concept may therefore be found within any genre or sector.
Previous finalists and winners: Visionary Concepts
14. Icon Award
– a design award for an outstanding concept or solution that has become an icon internationally
This award is given to a concept, product or piece of work that has become an icon of Danish design. The work or concept should be unique, well known and admired internationally and be an excellent representative of the Danish design tradition. The work is monumental and is itself part of the Danish brand.
The award can also be given to a person whose collective work or lifetime achievements have become iconic.
The candidates for this award are nominated and selected by the jury, but everyone is welcome to recommend candidates for the award.
Previous finalists and winners: Icon Award
15. Young Talent
– a design award for an outstanding talent aged 30 years or younger
The purpose of the Young Talent Award is to create awareness of and encourage talent potential in Denmark in design-related areas.
The Young Talent Award is given to an outstanding young designer or entrepreneur who exemplifies the Nordic design tradition combining courage with the ability to create renewal.
The candidates for this award are nominated by the design schools, but everyone is welcome to recommend candidates for the award
Previous finalists and winners: Young Talent
16. People’s Choice
– a design award for solutions that are selected by the general public
The purpose of this award is to generate interest in the broader understanding of design amongst the general public.
Members of the general public in Denmark can vote online for any of the finalist entries.