Only members can participate in our design competitions, so join now and create your solution to a social challenge.

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About Competitions

Ready for some healthy competition?

Our competitions have a history of rewarding people dedicated to transforming communities through thoughtful design. Participants are encouraged to rethink familiar models of addressing contemporary social, cultural and environmental concerns in a variety of media and scales.

Launched in 1994 by UNESCO and Felissimo, DESIGN 21 was an international design competition that took place every two years and was exhibited around the world. Its goal was to promote cultural understanding and the sharing of ideas and values between young creators.

DESIGN 21: Social Design Network continues this objective with our online competition series challenging designers of all disciplines to find solutions to social and global issues. The competitions are guided by UNESCO's premise that education, science, technology, culture and communication are tools by which to disseminate knowledge and information, build awareness and foster dialogue.

Judging Process

A distinguished panel of design and media professionals and field experts from around the world will judge the competitions. First, they will nominate their favorite entries to go into a final round of judging. Then, from this pool, they will determine the winners based on the following selection criteria: overall effectiveness, creativity, practicality, aesthetics and ecology.

Most Popular

While jurors are selecting their favorites, all members of DESIGN 21 will have the opportunity to vote for their own favorites during a public voting phase. The entry with the most votes will be awarded Most Popular, and will go on to the final round of judging.

Prize Money and Benefits

1st, 2nd, 3rd and Most Popular prize winners will share a total prize money pool of $10,000.

DESIGN 21 will also select a number of finalists to receive the DESIGN 21

Award of Excellence

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 competition entries will be published in the Competition Gallery. The Most Popular, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize winners, recipients of the DESIGN 21 Award of Excellence and finalists will go into the Winners section of the gallery.