Spark Design Awards

Spark Design Awards (3)

Wednesday, 28 November 2012 11:35

Winners Announced For 2012 Spark Product Awards

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With submissions arriving from all over the world and four competitions to judge, Spark was a busy scene during their recent jury week. "It was a recipe for chaos" said Spark founder, Peter Kuchnicki, "But somehow it all came together beautifully. Our team of volunteers, led by Spark Special Events Manager, Claire Woolf, juggled all the loose ends and made it happen."

The Spark Design Awards are a series of competitions that encourage and honor designs that make the world a better place. First held in 2007, the awards are focused into four competitions per year. Spark:Product is for industrial designs that are built, produced, built on "spec" or as part of a proposal, or is in pre-production, with commercial intent.

"In 2012, we had 144 submissions, ranging from high-tech electronics to very well thought-out products for healthcare," said Clark Kellogg, Spark advisor. "Our top vote getter was 'See Better to Learn Better' by Yves Behar, Founder/Chief Designer of Fuseproject in San Francisco. It's a free eyeglasses program for children in partnership with the Mexican government and Augen Optics. The eyewear is rugged, customizable and fun and the Spark jurors loved them. Honors also go out to Whipsaw Design, which secured an incredible 9 awards ranging from Spark! to Bronze."

The Spark:Product Jury was chaired by Hari Nair, Global Design Director for Whirlpool Corporation. The jurors chose 55 winners, including 8 top Spark! Awards, 11 Golds, 15 Silvers and 22 Bronzes. In addition, there was a Spark! and a Silver in the non-profit category and 1 student Gold. Thirteen countries were represented, with US and Holland submitting the most designs.

The winners of these Awards will become the stars of the next Spark Design Awards Annual, to be published next year. The 2011 Awards edition was recently published and is available at Amazon.

Spark is proudly sponsored by Autodesk, Core77, ArchNewsNow, Archinect, Bustler, Pluo Consulting and RIOT Creative Imaging.

For more information and a full list of winners, visit:

Wednesday, 12 September 2012 06:00

Spark Design Awards Announces Competition Deadlines

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"The Spark Countdown Clock is ticking," said Spark's volunteer marketing director, Clark Kellogg. "We're beginning an intense five weeks of outreach and entry processing. The design community is Sparking!"

With registrations and entries streaming in from around the world, Spark Design Awards organizers are bracing for their busiest season. "It all comes down to these final few days. Our staff is finalizing plans for the judging process and the jurors are studying the Spark Criteria," said Kellogg. The Spark Standard Deadline is September 17, and the Late Deadline is October 8th.


Continuing this organization's wave of innovations this year, which began with the launch of six new competitions, Spark launched its own jury voting app. Spark Director, Peter Kuchnicki, pointed out the merits of the system. "In years past, competitions used everything from poker chips to business cards to tally their votes. Spark has had a modern electronic system for three years, and now we're moving into telecom."

The new voting system consists of landing pages for every entry, a mobile phone app for access and voting and a unique entry QR code for secure tallying. "We use a voting scale of zero to five," said Kuchnicki. "This provides lots of nuance to facilitate the judge's decision-making. We also have included a "champion" button, so that every judge gets one opportunity to send an entrant directly into the elite All:Spark competition. Spark plans on utilizing this system for all five of its vertical design competitions.


The Spark competitions honor the finest designs in Mobility, Concepts, Spaces, Product and Communication, with Bronze, Silver, Gold and Spark! awards. "These awards are highly regarded in the design community, the result of tough juries, thorough debates and years of experience and training," Kellogg said. "But this year we're taking it up a notch. The Gold and Spark! winners of each competition, plus the jury 'champions' (see above), automatically become contenders in the All:Spark competition in January. Three winners will be chosen.

The All:Spark Chair, Arnold Wasserman, asked the jurors to choose their own criteria: "What should separate All:Spark awardees from already outstanding Spark!, Gold, Silver or Bronze winners? A significant advance in the state-of-the art of a particular design category? A brilliant integration across sectors, say, Product/Communication/Mobility? Transformation of a complex socio-technical system into an elegant human-centered solution? Scalable impact on agriculture? Water? Resources? Health? Learning? Sustainable production and consumption? Social, economic, political or environmental systems? Something altogether different? We want to 'expert-source' the definition. You, the jury, are the experts. In the final All:Spark judging, you will describe what criteria led you to confer distinction at this level."

The bottom line, according to Kuchnicki: "When you see the Spark, you know it!"

For more information, visit:

Today Spark announced that the first group of designs have been submitted to the five ongoing Spark competitions. This includes Communication design (graphics and web), Spaces design (architecture and interiors), Product design, Concept design (primarily students) and Mobility design (vehicles and transportation).

"The exuberance of this work is further proof that the economic crisis has not dampened the spirits or creativity of the design community," said Spark Founder, Peter Kuchnicki. " We are seeing everything from soaring, ambitious, mega-scale work, to intimate pieces that address small, heart-felt needs."

Spark reports that current entries represent about one third of the total expected. "August 1 marks the half-way point in our campaign," Spark Strategic Director, Clark Kellogg stated. "Then the deadlines in September and early October kick in and cause a flurry of entries. It makes things interesting around here!"

"The entries can be early-indicators that show what most concerns designers, and what problems they feel need urgent attention and creative solutions," Kuchnicki said.

Here are four trends he pointed out:

  • Many designs address high-density living
  • Thinking-systems are being applied to everything from living spaces to shipping containers
  • New materials are being applied to old solutions and products, revitalizing their functionality
  • There is great concern for safety, survival, emergencies and adapting to severe conditions

"This is a key pattern to watch carefully," Kuchnicki said. "Designers can be the proverbial canary in a coalmine. They are on high alert. Their antenna are up. And they will help us all adapt to the changing conditions we face. These problem-solvers are vital to society."

Jury Criteria

  • Does the design Spark? Break new ground? Is it a new idea? Creation or refinement? Does it communicate well? Are the graphics clear and compelling? Does it pop!

  • Does it improve the quality of life? Contribute to understanding, efficiency, longevity, progress? Does it sustain our Earth’s limited resources?

Call For Entry In Effect

All designers from all disciplines may enter after registration.

For more information, visit:

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