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Danish Design Award Categories

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.

PLEASE NOTE: Before submitting a design solution, please read the rules of Danish Design Award

Every category is relevant to both the private as well as the public sector.

How will the design solutions be judged?

The jury assesses the submitted design products and solutions on four value and impact criteria:

  1. Economic impact – Does it generate value for people, companies and society?
  2. Contextual fit – Does it reflect an understanding of the users’ needs and life situation?
  3. Innovation height – Is it new, value creating and likely to serve as an inspiration for others?
  4. Design quality – Does the execution show craftsmanship and aesthetic qualities?

AWARD CATEGORIES

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

Better Work

– A design award for solutions that have had a positive effect on working life.

The purpose of this award is to show how design can contribute to solving workplace challenges thorough innovative and effective solutions, ‘Better work’ may include, for example the design of user-friendly ergonomic tools, furniture or interior design or solutions to 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 or addresses transport to work challenges..

Entries in this category should explain which aspects of the working environment was improved and the effect this achieved or will achieve.

Previous finalists and winners: Better Work

Feel Good – Furniture

– A design award for solutions that are highly aesthetic or elegant while providing a useful function.

The “Feel Good – Furniture” award is for design solutions such as furniture, lighting and other architectural components. The solution elevates the everyday object and has a positive emotional effect that makes you feel good through its visual and tactile qualities. It is sublimely executed and demonstrates a very high degree of design quality.

This award celebrates the power of design to delight the senses. The award is given to a solution that moves the heart and mind by virtue of its aesthetic qualities, meaning and inherent attractiveness. The solution needs little explanation, functions extraordinarily well and is representative of the ability of design to spark joy. There are two subcategories – Product and Furniture – and an award is given for each. 

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


Feel Good – Product

– A design award for solutions that are highly aesthetic or elegant while providing a useful function.

The “Feel Good – Product” award is for design solutions where the main component is a 3D product design for individual or home use. The solution elevates the everyday object and has a positive emotional effect that makes you feel good through its visual and tactile qualities. It is sublimely executed and demonstrates a very high degree of design quality.

This award celebrates the power of design to delight the senses. The award is given to a solution that moves the heart and mind by virtue of its aesthetic qualities, meaning and inherent attractiveness. The solution needs little explanation, functions extraordinarily well and is representative of the ability of design to spark joy. There are two subcategories – Product and Furniture – and an award is given for each. 

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

Game Changer

– An award for design-led solutions that bring positive disruption, transforming the status quo, creating growth potential and new markets.

The purpose of this award is to show how a design-led approach can have radical or transformative positive effect on an existing situation, market or even create a new xxmarket. The award is given to a solution that demonstrates how disruptive new thinking can create transformation or growth. This may be achieved using newly available technology or combining existing technology used in new ways.

Entries should explain the ‘game’ that has been ‘changed’, how the disruption has been achieved and the transformative effect (or expected effect) that been demonstrated.

Previous finalists and winners: Game Changer

Healthy Life

– A design award for solutions that enable a healthy body or mind.

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, through, for example, smart technology, new intelligent design 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 document or explain how the solution promotes mental and physical health and contributes to improved quality of life for the user.

Previous finalists and winners: Healthy Life

Liveable Cities

– An award for design-led solutions that humanize city living.

The winner of this award has demonstrated a significant contribution to improved well-being or opportunity for city inhabitants while also having a positive effect on the city environment and ecology.

The entry documentation should explain the solution clearly and how it has achieved it’s effect, and the scale of that effect on city life.

Previous finalists and winners: Liveable Cities

Message Understood

– A design award for solutions that successfully delivers 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 Understood award can be given to any design communication, 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 should explain the context around the design, so that the importance of the message being understood and the means by which this is achieved is clear to the jury.

Previous finalists and winners: Message Understood

Outstanding Service

– A design award for solutions that improve or redefine a service.

This award illustrates that design can be an effective method to rethink or improve an existing service or create an entirely new service.

The winning concept delivers a service that is more user-friendly, competitive and relevant to the customers or users. For example the service design may result in better communication or more effective and efficient interaction between people.

Entries in this category should be supported by information demonstrating what existing service is improved or new service is being provided. It should be clear why and how the service is considered outstanding in relation to the user, economic effect or human interactions.

Previous finalists and winners: Outstanding Service

Save Resources

– A design award for solutions that enables resources to be used more efficiently.

The purpose of this award is to show that design can enable natural or man-made resources to be used in a better way.

The saving of natural resources through design can be achieved in many ways – through for example sustainable or circular systems. These deliver clean and efficient solutions that have a positive effect on the environment or through reducing the use of natural resources in a significant way, rethinking the concept of waste.

The saving of man-made resources through design may be achieved either by reducing costs or through enabling a collaborative economy – making it possible for us to share, borrow or rent what we need. Solutions that save time and human effort are also examples of saving resources.

Entries in this category should explain what resources were saved, how they were saved and the effect that the resource efficiency has or will achieve.

Previous finalists and winners: Save Resources

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

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.

Generally, candidates for this award are nominated by the design schools, but everyone is all welcome to recommend candidates.

Previous finalists and winners: Young Talent

SPECIAL AWARDS


These award categories are special in the sense that they have different criteria for nomination and the timeframe for implementation. For some of these categories, there is only a winner and no finalists.

Icon Award

– An 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.

Generally, the entries for this award are nominated and selected by the jury, but everyone is also welcome to propose entries.

In this category there are no finalists, but only one winner.

Previous finalists and winners: Icon Award

Employment Growth

– A design award for design-led solutions that have created jobs in Denmark.

The purpose of this award is to demonstrate that design can create employment growth – either in new types of work or actual jobs or a combination of both. 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 or new roles. 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 is given either to a company or organization for its ability to grow employment over time through strategic use of design, or to a strong business concept or other type of design solution that demonstrates how integration of design thinking can lead to exceptional national and / or international success and employment growth.

Entries in this category must be supported by figures that illustrate how the company’s ongoing strategic approach to design or solutions has contributed to creating employment growth either within their own organization, in related industries, with partners, subcontractors or with customers.

In this category there are no finalists, but only one winner

Previous finalists and winners: Employment Growth

Utopia

– An award for anything that is an inspiration to design as a whole.

With this Award we honour anything that inspires us to rethink, reimagine or reformulate the scope and purpose of design. Design as a whole can get short-sighted, mundane and complacent.

As designers we try to improve things, and the wish of making things better for people and planet as a whole inspires us in what we do. Sometimes however, we need to be reminded of this.

The purpose of this Award therefore is to recognize those events, acts, ideas or concepts that inspire designers to reach further and keep striving for the creation of a better world.

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 among the general public.

Members of the general public in Denmark vote online for any of the finalist entries.

Previous finalists and winners: People’s Choice