6 Reasons You Should Join DFA Awards

Excellent design projects in Asia are constantly emerging. As one of the designers who strive to improve life through design in the region, you may be eager to show the world the quality of your works. The most effective and convincing way of all is probably achieving the recognition of design awards. While there are so many international and regional awards, it is important to know in which to put your portfolio forward. As the DFA Design for Asia Awards (DFA DFAA) and the DFA Hong Kong Young Design Talent Award (DFA HKYDTA) under DFA Awards is now open for submission, we round up 6 major reasons you should consider the accolades.

1. DFA Awards is Asia-focused, prestigious and competitive

While many international design awards are centred to the West, Asian design needs region-oriented awards that can highlight its unique qualities and the diversity of design cultures in the region. Established in 2003, DFA DFAA is dedicated to celebrating Asian design excellence. It has recognised around 1,800 of outstanding designs serving far-ranging Asian markets. The winners of DFA DFAA exemplify the innovative, sustainable and user-centric qualities of design and demonstrate evident potential to tackle today’s social challenges. What better way to test the merit of your project than to get the endorsement of a reputable award?

2. Opportunities to exhibit your work and share your design philosophy

DFA Awards ensures the widest exposure possible for its awardees. All winning projects will be exhibited in DesignInspire, the annual international exhibition about creativity which coincides the Business of Design Week (BODW), a major annual design event in Hong Kong. Other plans are in place for touring events, seminars and exhibitions in major Asian cities. Last year, DFA Awards brought some of its awardees to Tainan, Bangkok, Shanghai, Seoul and Tokyo to share their design philosophies and insights. All awarded projects will also be featured in a beautifully designed award publication which will be distributed globally.

3. Become part of a network of design elites

Around 2,000 of awards conferred by DFA Awards in its 16 years of history formed a network of design elites. Its award presentation ceremony is a featured event of BODW. It invites all DFA winners to attend, including those of the DFA Lifetime Achievement Award, DFA Design Leadership Award and DFA World’s Outstanding Chinese Designer. The grand event offers a rare chance to meet and exchange ideas with some of the greatest minds leading the regional design scene and like-minded fellow designers.

4. DFA DFAA’s categories are wide-ranging and all-encompassing

In the fast-changing world, design is evolving at an ever greater speed. It is especially apparent in the past decade when new approaches like cross-disciplinary and participatory design prevail. Hence DFA DFAA’s 4 major disciplines — apparel & accessory design, communication design, environmental design and product & industrial design — are sub-divided into a total of 26 categories to cover almost all existing design types. In each category, winning projects will be conferred with the Gold, Silver, Bronze and Merit awards. The cream of the cream among them will be presented with the Grand Award, Grand Award for Culture, Grand Award for Sustainability, Grand Award for Technology, and Grand Award with Special Mention.

5. Constructive critique by local and international design experts

All designers understand how beneficial constructive critique is. DFA DFAA has a rigorous judging process carried out by a panel of leading international design experts and professionals. Each entry will be evaluated by 4 criteria: (1) impact in Asia; (2) overall excellence; (3) use of technology and (4) commercial and societal success. Such insightful evaluation is essential for you to make improvements for your next projects.

6. If you are a young designer or design graduate, the  DFA HKYDTA   provides a great chance for you to make strides

DFA HKYDTA recognises the potential of emerging Hong Kong designers and cultivates them to become future creative leaders. The award provides generous grants with each up to HK$500,000 or $250,000 to support winners to pursue a short-term overseas apprenticeship or study. 5 criteria pick the best of the bunch: (1) potential contribution to the design and innovation development in Hong Kong; (2) personal aspirations, talents and achievements in specific field with potential continuous development; (3) effectiveness of communication and presentation skills; (4) portfolio of design works and (5) overseas plan proposal.

The deadline for this year’s DFA DFAA is on 28 June 5:00 PM (Hong Kong Time; GMT +8) and that of DFA HKYDTA on 27 June 5:00 PM (Hong Kong Time; GMT +8). If you feel that it is something for you (or someone you know), take a closer look at the eligibility of each award and apply now!