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Japan Earthquake Relief: A symbolic charity accessory

Competition Brief

Competition Theme

Design a symbolic charity accessory to express the sentiment of “I’m with you!” – a more personal and direct version of “Our thoughts are with you” to help people in the disaster areas in Japan.

Competition Brief

Japan has been struck by a disaster of unimaginable scale – earthquake and tsunami in the Northeast Pacific area. An estimated 27,000 have been killed or missing as of March 24. 240,000 people lost their homes and are forced to live in shelters. It will be a long road to recovery.

What you, as members of the social designers’ community, can do is to help deliver the the message “ I’m with you!” which will mean a lot to the victims right now and for many more months and years to come. We ask you to put your creative mind to work and present your own interpretation of the message.

We call for a design for a small accessory item which will be a symbol of support, love, hope, solidarity, connectedness, dream, future and other positive thoughts that bring the world together in times like this.

Competition Description

This competition asks you to design a symbolic charity accessory item anyone can wear to show support, conveying the message “I’m with you!”

The item should be appealing to men and women, young and old, appropriate on any occasion. As a fund-raising product, the winning design will be produced by Felissimo to be sold at a price range US $20 to $30 in Japan and globally.

There is no specific item restriction. You can be as imaginative and creative as you wish. It can be a ring, a bangle, a necklace, a decorative pin, wristband, whatever is wearable and mobile. The only requirement is that it is small enough to fit into an envelope to be sent as a gift.

You should keep the rough price range in mind, if specifying materials. Actual materials may be substituted to meet the target price.

As much local resources and materials as possible will be used in production, to support the devastated area and its people.

We ask you to submit one design, with support images to show details, suggestions for how to wear, etc., up to 6 images.

Please include up to 400-word description of your design. Entries that direct users away from the DESIGN21 website will be disqualified. See "How To Enter" Rules for full details on file type, size and number constraints and recommendations.

Important Dates

Entry Opens: Monday, March 29, 2011

Application Closes: May 6, 2011 at 05:59PM UTC

Public Voting: May 12, 2011 to May 18, 2011 at 05:59PM UTC

Results Announcement: May 31, 2011 at 06:00PM UTC

Dates may be subject to change, so check for updates.

Technical Requirements

  1. Visuals 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.

  2. 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.

Who Can Enter

Open to anyone over 18 years old as of the date of entry who is a registered member of D21. You must read and agree to the competition rules.

Publication, Copyright, and Proposed Usage of Winning Entry

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.

Felissimo intends to produce and sell the winning entries for the benefit of Japan Earthquake relief effort. The life of the product may extend beyond this immediate use, if the product is deemed useful in other future situations in which fundraising for aid activities is needed. Winners will be expected to enter into a separate agreement with Felissimo regarding transfer of copyright and production rights.

Other rules and information is written in the “Rules” section.

Judging Criteria

Judging criteria specific to this competition are:

  • Creativity: How original and new the design is
  • Overall effectiveness: How well the design matches the theme and express the concept clearly
  • Practicality: How successfully and easily can the design be put into the production at the suggested price-range with the appropriate material.

The judges' decisions are final.


US$3000 will be awarded to the Winner. In lieu of cash award, the winner may choose to donate it to Emergency Relief Fund. All rights associated with the winning design will be transferred to Design21: SDN and Felissimo.

The winning design will be introduced by Felissimo, crediting the designer. It will be produced as quickly as possible and sold by Felissimo.

Judges may elect to name Runner-up and award US$500 as Jury's Pick prize.

The Most Popular from public voting will receive recognition on the website, with no monetary prize.


To be comprised of representatives of DESIGN21 Advisory Board and Felissimo.

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.

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