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Arts & Culture

Competition Rules and Regulations

Prepare to qualify! General rules and a step-by-step guide on how to compete.

You should also read the competition rules and procedures contained in the Brief. Wherever the general Rules and the Brief conflict, the Brief rules and procedures supercede the general Rules.

Who Can Enter

The DESIGN 21: Social Design Network™ competitions are open to all registered members of the Network who are at least 18 years of age as of the date of entry.

How to Enter

Choose a competition you're interested in and note the submission deadline. You can enter as many competitions as you're interested in, and if you have more than one idea for a single competition, you can also submit more than one entry - however, we advise you to keep variations of one idea to ONE entry. Do not create multiple entries for multiple variations of one concept. Entry is free!

Once you select Enter, you will be taken to a page where you can upload your image, video or sound files. Read the individual competition description to know if there is a particular submission format for that contest.

Technical Requirements:

  • Photos must be jpeg only, resolution 72 dpi, with maximum picture dimensions of 550 x 550 pixels and a file size no greater than 1 MB (uncompressed). You can upload up to six images.
  • Videos and sound must be in the mpeg4 format with picture dimensions no larger that 480 x 320 pixels and a file size no greater than 10MB (uncompressed). Please be patient while video files upload.
  • Your entry must include a project description in English with a maximum of 400 words. Jurors will be reviewing multiple entries so remember to keep your description as concise and readable as possible.

Upload your images in the that order you wish them to be displayed. The first image in the series will be turned into a thumbnail image for display in the gallery. See the Gallery display of past competitions for examples.

Create tags (keywords) for your entry so that it will appear in the search terms for those tag names.

If you created your entry with other individuals, list their names in the Co-Authors field.

Check your entry carefully prior to submitting as there is no way to retrieve your entry once it has been submitted.

Accept the Rules & Regulations contained in the Brief and the general competition Rules and hit Send.

Submission Deadline

Please make sure that your entry is in working order and on time.

All deadlines are listed in UTC (Universal Coordinated Time) on the date specified in the Submission Deadline section of the Brief.

No responsibility is assumed on our part for late entries or corrupted files. Incomplete entries or entries that do not comply with the above format specifications will be automatically disqualified.

Note: Due to the high volume of last-minute entries, we advise you to submit your entry well in advance of the submission deadline.

Public Voting and Judging Period

Once all submissions have been received, the judging and public voting phases for the competition will begin. Check the individual competition briefs for the dates.

Judging Process and Criteria

In all our competitions, the more aware your choices are, the better: everything from materials to execution to long-term impact is part of what we think makes good design.

A distinguished panel of design and media professionals and field experts from around the world will judge the competitions. First, they will each nominate a select number of favorites to go on to a final round of judging. Then, from the finalist pool, they will review and score all finalists against the following judging criteria:

  • Overall effectiveness: How well does the solution provide an answer to the design problem?
  • Creativity: How innovative or inventive is the thinking behind the design?
  • Practicality: How successfully can the design be produced or put into practice?
  • Aesthetics: How strong is the design in terms of overall form and presentation?
  • Ecology: How well does the design respond to environmental concerns through considerations such as choice of materials, production techniques, life-span, recycle or re-use factors?

The degree of importance for each judging criteria is at the discretion of the jury depending on the nature and scope of the competition. There may also be additional, more specific judging criteria relating to each competition - check individual competition briefs for details.

Public Vote

While jurors are selecting their favorites in the initial phase of judging, all members of DESIGN 21 will have the opportunity to vote for their own favorites during a public voting period. During this phase, entries will appear randomly to ensure that all entries have equal chance of being viewed. You can vote for as many entries as you like, but you can only vote once for each entry. The entry with the most votes will be awarded Most Popular and will move on to the final round of judging. There is no obligation on the jury to award the Most Popular the 1st, 2nd or 3rd prize unless they deem that entry worthy of the additional prize. All results will remain confidential until the conclusion of the judging period.

Prizes and Benefits

Except where stated otherwise in the competition Brief, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Most Popular prize winners will share a total prize money pool of $10,000. The distribution of prize money may vary across competitions - check the competition's brief for the details. Jurors may also award a placement to more than one entry, in which case the prize money will be divided equally between the recipients.

Prize winners will also receive a special version of the Allumonde Ring and a certificate from UNESCO.

DESIGN 21 may select a number of finalists to receive the DESIGN 21 Award of Excellence. The number of recipients of this award is at the sole discretion of DESIGN 21 and may vary across competitions.

As we develop our network to include corporate and government members, there will also be exposure to organizations that may be interested in implementing or adopting winning designs.

All prize money is subject to 30% U.S. federal tax withholding. Prizes are not transferable or redeemable for cash unless otherwise stated in the prize description of the Brief.

Display of Results

Entries will not be displayed until after the entry submission deadline when the public voting phase begins. Once judging is complete and all results have been determined, all entries will be displayed in the competition Gallery. Check the individual competition briefs for the announcement dates for each competition.

All prize winners and award recipients will be revealed in the Winners section of the gallery along with all remaining finalists.

All entries will be attributed to the entrant's username. Any names that were listed in the Co-Authors field of an entry will be listed in the detail view of the entry. The full names of the winners and their location will be published in the jury comments.

Notification of Winners

All prize winners and award recipients will be contacted by email at the conclusion of the competition.

Publication & Copyright

All entries will appear on the website for voting, judging and promotional purposes. DESIGN 21: Social Design Network™ assumes all entries are original and are the works and/or property of the entrant with all rights granted therein. DESIGN 21 is not liable for any copyright infringement on the part of the entrant. Winners will be notified and may be asked to provide high-resolution scaleable vector graphics version of their submission. Winners will not be asked to provide a prototype.

About Competitions

The DESIGN 21 series challenges designers of all disciplines to find solutions to social and global issues. It’s guided by UNESCO’s premise that education, science, technology, culture and communication are tools to spread knowledge and information, build awareness and foster dialogue.

More About Competitions