Spark Design Awards Announces Competition Deadlines

"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.

UNIQUE NEW JUDGING SYSTEM

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.

WINNERS CAN WIN AGAIN

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: www.sparkawards.com

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