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opening spread of best practice paper on organising design award competitions

Ico-D Best Practices for Design Competitions

Ico-D, the International Council of Design, has revised and released two best practices papers on design competitions: Best Practice Paper: Organising Design Award Competitions and Best Practice Paper: Serving as a Juror for a Design Award Competition. The documents are intended to establish an ethical practice to be used globally as a basic reference in either organizing or evaluating a design competition.

Ico-D has focused on developing best practices for design competitions in recognition of the important role design competitions play in furthering design. However, improperly organized or conducted design competitions can undermine designers. For example, competitions which require participants to create new work as a condition of entry are in effect asking for work on speculation. By establishing a common set of ethical standards, the best practices papers will assist organizations in avoiding such unethical practices.

The existing best practices papers were updated by removing references to old technologies and practices, and by adding a considerable amount of new content in a lexicon with descriptions of types of awards competitions, planning methodologies, and detailed explanations. Organising Design Award Competitions guides organizers through the process of establishing the goal, developing the concept, assigning responsibilities, and developing the planning and execution of the competition. Serving as a Juror provides recommendations for those invited to participate on a design competition jury, so that they can evaluate whether the competition is a good fit, and ensure they are fulfilling their obligations ethically.

A Policy Review Committee headed by ico-D’s General Secretary Tyra van Zweigbergk spent two years working on the revised best practices paper. Participants on the committee included President Zachary Haris Ong (Malaysia), President-Elect Johnathon Strebly (Canada), Past President David Grossman (Israel), Treasurer Rebecca Blake (USA), and Managing Director Ana Masut (Argentina). Each member brought experience from their region to craft truly international guidelines. As the Graphic Artist Guild’s Advocacy Liaison, Rebecca Blake brought the Guild’s experience with intellectual property and speculative practice issues to bear.

Download Best Practice Paper: Organising Design Award Competitions

Download Best Practice Paper: Serving as a Juror for a Design Award Competition