The Inaugural Shenzhen Global Design Award

Call for Entries

The Organizing Committee of the Shenzhen Design Week cordially invites designers from around the world to enter the inaugural Shenzhen Global Design Award (SDA).

City of Shenzhen

Being the first special economic zone in China, Shenzhen grows from a small fishermen village of 300,000 people ashore South China Sea to a metropolis of over 15 million with the nation’s fastest growing economy in just 36 years.

Recognized as the birth place of China’s modern design, Shenzhen has been attracting design talents around the country and her flourishing design industries cover various categories, including graphic, industrial and product, fashion, architectural, interior, etc.

In 2008, Shenzhen was designated the City of Design by UNESCO and joined the Creative Cities Network which currently consists of 116 members.

In recent years, the Municipal Government of Shenzhen has been strongly supporting the design communities and boosting the design industries with large investments, aiming to transform the manufacturing hub of the world into a premium design hub.

Shenzhen Design Week

The Shenzhen Design Week is another big initiative engineered by the authorities to support the design communities. The first edition starting in late April 2017, it is an international annual design event sponsored by the Shenzhen Municipal Government, administered by the Shenzhen City of Design Promotion Office, and organized by Shenzhen City of Design Promotion Association (SDPA).

It aims to provide platforms for international exchange, communication and cooperation in various design categories. It also provides good opportunities for designers from around the world to showcase their talents through different events such as exhibitions, workshops, and forums, etc.

Scholars, policy makers, managers, students in relevant fields and professional designers all over the world are welcome to participate in these events happening simultaneously during the course of one week over different parts of the city.

Shenzhen Global Design Award (SDA)

In parallel with the Shenzhen Design Week, the Shenzhen Global Design Award is organized to recognize and reward outstanding designers, and to enhance exchanges between designers at home and abroad.

TheAwardaims to discover designers with creativity, vision, foresight, and influence. It also aims to enhance the exchanges and cooperation among all designers from different countries and inspire the industrialization of creative designs as well as the promotion of creative design concept.

The Shenzhen Design Award is supported by the Organizing Committee of the Shenzhen Design Week, and organized by the Shenzhen City of Design Promotion Association (SDPA).

I Theme

Theme for 2017: Design for the Future

II Eligibilities and Prerequisites

The competition is open to individual applicants and teams.

Local designers refer to individuals who register and establish design companies in Shenzhen or engage in the design industry in Shenzhen, with valid residence permit in Shenzhen or Resident Identity Card of Shenzhen.

Local design agencies must be registered companies in Shenzhen.

Entries must be works that are complete, on the market or being mass-produced, or functional prototypes that can be displayed before preliminary evaluation. Entries’ complete date must be between1 January 2015 and 31 December 2017.

Models, renderings, conceptual works, show flats, prototypes, artists' impressions of designs, designs that are still under development are NOT eligible as entries.

The entry must be submitted by the design's owner or client, the brand's owner, its designer or its design consultancy.

For the first edition in 2017, we welcome industrial and product designers and design teams in fields including but not limited to:

  • Information & Communications Technology Products

Camera & camcorder, audio & visual products, computers and information technology, computer accessories, communication devices, smart devices, etc.

  • Leisure & Entertainment Products

Product designs for outdoor, leisure & sports, games & hobby, entertainment technology devices, gifts & crafts, etc.

  • Household Appliances

Products designs for living room, bedroom, kitchen, dining, bathrooms, spas, etc.

  • Home ware

Tableware & decoration, lighting, furniture, home textiles, etc.

  • Professional & Commercial Products

Product designs for medicine & health care, special vehicles and devices for construction & agriculture, vehicles (land, water, aerospace), etc.

III Awards and prizes

One Grand Award, USD 200,000

Two gold awards, USD 100,000 each

Four silver awards, USD 50,000 each

Ten bronze awards, USD 20,000 each

IV Criteria

Winners should be

(I) original, experimental, exploratory and forward-looking; proposing creative ideas for future development;

(II) public-oriented, practical, eco-friendly and recyclable; proposing new urban living concepts;

(III) pioneering, dynamic, facilitative and transformative; improving the efficiency of industrial development;

(IV) influential, attracting wide international attention.

V Procedures

The assessment will be conducted in two stages based on actual items and supporting materials:

1    First stage: preliminary assessment

The preliminary assessment will be conducted online through digital materials by the judging panel according to the assessment criteria. Entries recommended by supporting agencies enter the final directly without going through first screening.

2    Second stage: final assessment

The judging panel will hold the final assessment meeting in Shenzhen. Actual items and supporting materials will be presented at the meeting and winners of all categories will be selected.

VI Judging Panel

The judging panel comprises nine world-leading designers from different countries. The members of the judging panel will be announced on the official website of the Award one month before the final assessment. The Chairman of the judging panel will be elected by all members at the preliminary assessment meeting.

The Chairman of the judging panel will be responsible for convening the assessment meetings, monitoring the assessment procedure and announcing the final results.

Members of the judging panel are not allowed to enter.

VII Enter by invitations

All supporting units of the Shenzhen Design Week and SDA can nominate designs which will directly enter the final assessment.

Supporting units must register all nominees and submit their designs and relevant materials before 31 December 2017, or instruct nominees to complete registration and application online, and deliver works before the deadline.

VIII Schedule

Call for entries: 1 July –1st March 2018

Online registration deadline: 1st March 2018

Objects submission deadline (Arrival date at the secretariat): 1st March 2018

Final judging and Results Announcement: mid-March 2018

Award presentation ceremony: April 2018

IX Registration and Application

Applicants must register on the official website of the Award ( and submit supporting documents (all materials must be written in English) before 18:00, 1st March 2018 (Beijing time) following the steps below:

1  Read and agree to terms and conditions of the event;

2  Register with user name and password created and log in;

3  Complete personal/team information;

4  Complete design description form (one entry one form);

5  Upload your photo or team’s photo;

6  Deliver actual items and make sure they arrive at the secretariat before 15th January 2018 (Beijing time).

X   Fees

Online application and entry submission are free of charge. However, any costs incurred by the shipping and insurance are at the expenses of the entrants.

XI Terms and Conditions

Please read the Terms and Conditions of SDA 2017 below carefully. By entering this competition, entrants declare that they agree to all these articles.

  • All entries must meet moral and ethical standard accepted world-wide, and be in accordance with the theme, purposes, and regulations of thisAward. The Secretariat reserves the right to refuse to accept entries which it considers do not meet these standards.
  • The Entrant hereby acknowledges and warrants that the Entrant is the sole owner of the Design and owns all rights including but not limited to copyright, design rights and all other proprietary and intellectual property rights in or pertaining to the Design. Any infringement would result in immediate disqualification of the entrant and total withdrawal of his or her entries. SDPA should be indemnified against all actions, claims, loss, damages, costs and expense which it may incur or has incurred as a result of any infringement.
  • The Entrant hereby represents and warrants that the Design is original and independently created and does not infringe, breach, prejudice or violate the property, interests or rights (including but not limited to contractual rights, user rights, copyright, design rights, patents and all other proprietary and intellectual property rights whether registered or otherwise) of any third party. The Entrant agrees to fully indemnify SDPA against all actions, claims, loss, damages, costs and expenses which it may incur or has incurred as a result of any breach of this representation or warranty. Should it prove in retrospect that a registered or even awarded entrant breaches third-party rights, SDPA reserves the right to disqualify the entrant and revoke the relevant award. The above liability provisions apply accordingly to all items supplied by SDPA in connection with the Entrant's participation in theAward.
  • The Entrant hereby grants, on a gratuitous basis free of any fee, royalty or remuneration, to SDPA, the organizer of SDA, the right or license to use, edit, amend, copy, reproduce or publish in any size the Design (which includes but is not limited to drawings, artworks, photographs, images, sketches, transparencies, sculptures, models, prototypes, and printed or digital materials) submitted for theAward or any part thereof in the promotional/exhibition materials or any publications in any media or medium related to the Award.[1]
  • The Jury will have the right to determine the number of winners; and the right not to name a winner for any of the awards. The Entrant agrees that the decisions of the Jury will be final. No appeal will be entertained.
  • SDPA reserves the right to cancel, in part or in whole, postpone or bring forward theAward for any reason and is not obliged to reimburse entrants for any expenses related to such cancellation. While actual works can be returned upon requests with entrants covering all relevant costs, all submitted material(s) relating to theAward will not be returned.
  • The Winner of theAward agrees that his/her winning design will be displayed in such exhibitions at the decision of SDPA for a period of  minimum one year subsequent to the competition, and agrees to provide information as requested by SDPA about the winning design for future activities, including but not limited to reports, publicity, marketing and exhibitions.
  • The Winner of theAwardagrees to cooperate with SDPA to promote theAward and play active role in relevant promotional activities in the future upon request.
  • The entrant agrees to obtain approval by SDPA beforehand on using the endorsement mark in printing.
  • These terms and conditions shall be governed by the laws of the People’s Republic of China and local laws of the City of Shenzhen. Any claim or dispute must be determined exclusively by the courts in the City of Shenzhen.
  • These terms and conditions are prepared in both English and Chinese languages. If there is any inconsistency between the English version and the Chinese version, the Chinese version shall prevail.

Personal Data Protection
All personal information submitted will solely be used for the Awardpurposes. The entrants preserve the rights regarding access to and correction of personal data provided for nomination.

Prevention of Bribery Ordinance
Entrants are reminded that it is an offense to offer any advantages (e.g. money, gift, etc.) to the organizer, an employee of the organizer, supporting units or the Jurors as an inducement to or reward for favorable considerations.

Optional materials requirement and arrangement[2]

  • Photos: All photos should be uploaded on theAward website. Maximum 10 photos for each item submitted. All photos should be in JPEG format, over 300dpi and no more than 1024*768 pixels each. MUST be actual photos without special effects.
  • PPT files: Maximum 10 slices for each item submitted and should be uploaded on the website.
  • Video: Maximum 5 minutes, MP4 format only, must be recorded on a DVD and DVD only, before shipping to the Secretariat. Unoriginal scores or music must come with copyright authorization.
  • Animation and other program files: Must be recorded on a DVD and DVD only, before shipping to the Secretariat.
  • Display board: NOT bigger than 90cm x 120cm.

Actual works

  • For product and industrial design, the submitted entries must be completely assembled and fully functional. Electrical products must provide transformer and adapter to match Chinese electrical voltage: 220 volts AC, 50 Hz.
  • Shipping of entries bigger than 1m x 1m x 1m or with weight over 50 KG can proceed ONLY after consulting the Secretariat, who reserves the right to refuse any oversize entries.

NOTES for material arrangement

  • All texts must be in English.
  • Entry label should be downloaded from theAward website and fixed on the top right-hand corner of the packaging of each submitted item (including supporting materials).
  • Posters, display boards, DVDs, documents, perishables and liquids are not returnable.
  • The Entrant shall have adequate insurance coverage for his or her works submitted, particularly with regards to the risk of theft, fire, breakage and damage.
  • The Entrant shall be responsible for all costs (including but not limited to all packaging costs, transport costs, documentation, postal charges, courier charges, insurance costs, governmental / jurisdictional approvals and licenses, and any other costs necessary or likely) in the passing and transporting of the entries into the possession of the Secretariat or the return of the designs upon the entrant’s request.
  • The Entrant agrees that SDPA shall not be liable for any loss or damage of the Design during the passing or transporting to and from SDPA or at the premises arranged by SDPA for the judging sessions.
  • While reasonable care will be taken when handling the Design in the premises arranged by SDPA, SDPA shall not, in the absence of negligence on the part of SDPA, be liable for any loss or damage of the Design. For the avoidance of doubt, it is agreed that superficial rust, oxidation, discoloration, or any like condition due to moisture is not a condition of damage but is inherent to the nature of the Design and SDPA shall not be responsible for such condition.
  • Entrants, except the winners of theAward, who intend to retrieve the designs, shall contact the Secretariat during the period from 15 May 2018 to 30 September 2018. Otherwise, designs may be subject to disposal.


SDA Secretariat

Room 102, 4th Building, E-Hub, Qianhai

Shenzhen, China, 518054

Phone:+ 86 755 6661 9308


Log on the website for more info.

[1] It should be reiterated that the entrants are the only owners of all rights related to the Design they submit, including but not limited to contractual rights, user rights, copyright, design rights, patents and all other proprietary and intellectual property rights. Any use or modification of the Design by SDPA is for the purpose of promotion (including promotional exhibitions and publications) of the Award only.

[2] To upload supporting files, log and register first before going to Submission and click on Submit Now.