The A’ Design Award & Competition, one of the most prolific international design awards, recognizes creatives and brands around the world for thoughtful, forward-looking design practices across disciplines with the potential to bring value and meaningful change. Whether you’ve been around in the industry or are just starting out, there’s a global stage waiting to showcase ideas that need to be heard.
Not only will Laureates enjoy prestige, credibility, and publicity, but they’ll also receive an extensive and helpful winners’ kit to kick-start their new status. The A’ Design Prize includes a trophy, a design excellence certificate in a frame, an annual yearbook, an award winner’s manual to help you leverage your status in your career, free participation and space allocation in the winners’ online and physical exhibition, a free sales listing, visibility by design media platforms, international PR services, features in the World Design Rankings, and lifelong licensing of the winners’ logo.
2,094 winners—spanning 104 design disciplines and 108 countries—were meticulously selected by a globally influential jury panel of design professionals, members of the press, scholars, and entrepreneurs for the 2020 – 2021 design competition.
You can check out some of the winning entries from the most recent edition below. It’s inspiring to see designers are continually overcoming problems and thinking way out of the box even with a lockdown.
“Visitors will be first greeted with gray tile-inspired bookshelves; they not only build intimacy but also divide the forum area,” begins architect Xiang Li. “Moving forward, visitors will reach the reading space where bookshelves extend from the space to the adjacent columns, catching the curiosity of readers and [guiding] their route. In the literature area… it seems like the beautiful scenery of Dujiangyan dam is vividly presented in the space. Walking upstairs, the bookshelves beside the stairs offer a variety of books at accessible distance, [and] visitors could grab a book and have a read on the second floor where various seats are provided.”
Be Water Lamp
“The design is inspired by the continuous, soothing and hypnotic effect the sunlight reflected on the moving surface of water makes against vertical walls, under bridges and boats’ hulls,” shares architect Fernando Correa.
In spite of its name, Correa says the ‘Be Water Lamp’ can be displayed as other chromatic variants such as: “Fire with the ardor of its flames, Air represented by the phenomenon of the Northern Lights (aurora borealis), and finally, Earth inspired by lavender fields in Provence transforming and characterizing the surrounding environment.”
Living The Noom Housing
Architecture firm Sanzpont dreamed up this housing project based on two questions: “Where would you like to live for the rest of your lives? And, if humans have different needs, why [do] all the homes for sale seem to be cut from the same mold?”
The team shares, “The project aims to promote a full life within the users and to offer a new housing proposal to the real estate market. It aims to create a community with the same values, to bring together people that values nature, art and animals.”
Lattice Chair Weaving Armchair
“Inspired by the waterfall, the back and armrests of the chair flow downward in a beautiful lattice pattern, symbolizing the fusion of wood and bamboo, and the fusion of Eastern and Western cultures,” describes product designer Chen Kuan-Cheng. “Combining the flexibility of bamboo and the strength of wood to form the perfect chair.”
Primary Residence Type Design
“‘Primary Residence’ is an alphabet design that represents minimal architectural forms in typography with three primary colors: red, blue, and yellow,” reveals multidisciplinary designer Tianzhen Evleen Huang. She lets on, “The stairs, windows, and geometric shapes are dedicated to the Bauhaus architectural style and minimalism, with the primary goal of blending the form and identities of the structure together.”
While the architectural typography is partly inspired by “the design of stairs and windows from different parts of the world, like the fire escapes of old buildings in New York City and urban windows in European cities,” each character has no clear entrance nor exit, and it is up to the eye of the beholder “to find the way in or out.”
Time Lamp Timing Light
The ‘Time Lamp’ “takes the hourglass as the prototype with a rotating lampshade as the interactive switch, and two elements of lighting and timing are integrated to realize the perfect combination of function and form. The product is like a work of art [of] flowing light,“ shares industrial designer Peng Ren.
B Fora Vase
“‘B fora’ is born from the desire to combine the beauty and harmony of Greek conception of body perfection with our contemporary graceful female body silhouette,” shares product designer Nicolau dos Santos.
“The idea is to redesign the classic greek amphora into a modern piece that perfectly fits our home interiors… The curvy curves that characterize the vase and the two straight handles have been carefully designed to keep the vase in perfect balance.”
“Motivated by lockdown, ‘Shelter’ arises as a natural impulse to design something that would fit most home offices environments enhancing their productivity,” explains furniture designer João Teixeira. “Since we had to adapt to [the] new normal overnight there was a big demand [for] this kind of solutions, especially when witnessing a big wave of change as companies were letting employees to work from home. The insight was to design a desk… [that provided] serenity, hence the name ‘Shelter’.”
“While developing ‘Shelter’ desk the goal was to keep its usability as simple as its looks,” Teixeira details. “For instance, the possibility to pass cables [through] the back access to the front drawers seamlessly and in a hidden way is a clear aspect of performing better than most common desks in the market.”
Ston Aroma Inhaler
“‘ston’ is a healthy inhalation device… [with a] lighting pattern [that] also helps regulate the rhythm of the breath,” explains design strategist Eisuke Tachikawa. “Similar to meditation in Zen or yoga, it helps the mind find balance and be calm, peacefully breathing in and out.”
He adds that the “stone-shaped, organically curved, stone-moulded device [is] made of a one-piece aluminum enclosure thanks to a technique called metal squeezing.”
Landscape Gift Box
The daunting pandemic was what inspired designer JiaXin Qiu to create this 3D ‘Landscape Gift Box’, making up for the gloom with “brighter colors… soft lines and spectacular scenery” based on Chinese mythology and Ming Dynasty-style paintings.
Poetry-Electricity Wireless Charger & Power Bank
“‘Poetry-Electricity’ combines [a] wireless charger with tabletop atmosphere lamp,” explain industrial designers Yong Zhang and Lei Wang. They add, “When working overtime at night, tree-shaped spherical atmosphere lights adorn the office environment.”
F*ck 2020 Calendar
Cross-disciplinary design studio Lateral Creative Hub put together “a special 2021 calendar that celebrates the arrival of the new year by mocking the damned 2020.”
“One month after another, 12 small and big wishes are told by a polychrome and modernist graphic design and by minimal illustrations… 12 months of colors, dreams, small and big desires enclosed in a limited-edition design object,” the studio adds.
Dimension in the Shadows Calendar
The calendar “is inspired by light and shadow in daily life,” explain art directors Emi Kawasaki and Daisuke Kodama. “Each abstract object represents a scene and a moment in changing seasons in Japan,” they elaborate, and its shadow varies throughout the day “like a sundial.”
The table calendar is conceptualized in the form of a leporello, so it can be “kept flat and browsed like a book, or [stand] on your desk in the shape of a circle or the most varied forms.”
Who’s That Eating Pop Up Picture Book
“After experimenting with paper to make a simple popup, I found that the popup moved as I opened and closed the folded paper… [like] an animal eating, which inspired me to create a picture book,” details multidisciplinary artist Keitaro Sugihara.
Candy 3D Printer
Inspired by the disappearing technique of sugar-blowing art, product designers Fengmin Liu and Yanqing Lan created a 3D printer to make character art candy accessible at home and attemptable for all ages. “The machine is operated by [a] mobile phone app,” they explain. “It uses various flavors of candy particles as the material [for printing and coloring]… There are many kinds of 3D data models to choose from.”
Anima Code Personal Seal Stamp
“‘Anima Code’ is a Hanko (Japanese personal seal) with an engraved QR code. The unique code contains a key to a person’s online digital data, and after his or her death, [their] bereaved ones can reach the person’s digital archives by scanning the code,” describes industrial designer Takuma Yamazaki. He adds, “Through the physical interaction of stamping a seal, this project explores the secure yet intimate approach for inheritance in the digital era.”
Eli Functional Pour-over Coffee Maker
“‘Eli’ is a transformable, compact, and automatic pour-over coffee maker design for those who need perfect-[tasting] coffee to meet their daily addictions wherever,” shares product designer Chinches Fan. “It is a portable, organized, and private coffee-making kit [for] users [to] conveniently enjoy the coffee-making process from coffee grinding to brewing finish.”
The Panda Themed Tea Set
Designers Yan Luo and Jianan Yu “extracted the essence of pandas… [their] loveliness, into the design of this tea set, and simplified design elements to combine with the practical structure of the teapot and cups.” The playful reimagination sees “the panda ears on the pot’s lid [serving] as a handle, while the panda eyes [are covers] of the teacups.”
The two conclude, “Overall, the tea set adds joy both at home and during travel.”
“The heirloom porcelains that make up the work carry the traces of history to the present,” details contemporary glass artist Derya Geylani Vurusan. “While the sculpted glass represents a frozen moment and timelessness.”
“In today’s world, we are exposed to many different types of stimuli that often easily distract us from appreciating and truly enjoying the present moment. The minimalist approach to become present, is to remove the unnecessary,” notes architect Jansen Che. “[Studio] Adesse reimagines the traditional analog watch with minimalist principles, and questions what is absolutely necessary to tell the time. Do we really need to see the numerical indicators? A second hand? A minute hand? hour hand?”
Explaining how the watch was pared back, Che writes, “Designed through subtraction, traditional watch features are removed. A sculptural rotating piece is carved out. The watch deliberately only reveals just enough to tell the time at any one moment, acting as a memento to live in the present moment.”
Floating Life To Help People
“There are many personalities, emotions, and personalities in life. The work closely integrates the shaping of each character. Thoughts are not only reflected in the brain but also on the surface,” graphic designers Lu Zhao, Chao Zhang and Xianghua Yin describe these illustrations.
“Although the house [is] located in a narrow alley, we [sought] to convert scarcity into opportunity,” explains architect and interior designer Tienyu Wu. He shares that for the remodeling of the 40-year-old house, “there [were] three main perspectives… prioritize daylight, select natural substances and create a smooth traffic flow [in the space].”
ShuiFa-White Marble in the Wilderness Property Exhibition Center
“Through a four-‘stone’ arrangement, [the] pavement is like a stream of clear spring water flowing from the cracks in the rocks. The building contains residential sales expos, property expos, and offices,” explains architectural designer Qun Wen.
YooYuumi Kids Restaurant
“The inspiration [behind the restaurant] comes from the owner’s profession. She is an actress, so the main dining area incorporates the concept of a ballroom,” describes architect Xiang Li. She elaborates that the concept’s similarities with a venue to hold dance parties also ensures “children [are] in sight of parents” during play.
Star Mansion Sales Office
“The design uses a spatial visual focus-guided approach to present lines and volumes in space with varying degrees of repetition and superposition, and to play with different colors, [allowing] people to immerse in and experience a color time tunnel that seems to be holographic,” notes architecture firm Matrix Design.
The 2020 – 2021 edition might have come to a close, but this means that early registrations to the 2021 – 2022 A’ Design Award & Competition are now open. Submit your best work here for a head-start on an international platform.
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