Envisioning the Future of Asian Design: DFA Awards
Asia is now at the centrestage of the design world. With the rapid socioeconomic development and collision of diverse cultures in the region, Asia is the breeding ground for exciting design projects that can impact the world. Founded in 2003 by Hong Kong Design Centre, the DFA Awards is now one of the most established and prestigious design awards in the region. The DFA Awards are comprised of 5 award programmes which recognise design excellence at various career stages - whether they are outstanding design projects, or established or up-and-coming design talents. It provides a ladder for them to rise to the international spotlight.
The judging for the DFA Hong Kong Young Design Talent Award (DFA HKYDTA), and the DFA Design for Asia Awards (DFA DFAA), which are two of the programmes of the DFA Awards this year has just completed. DFA HKYDTA and DFA DFAA recognised 16 design talents and 187 design projects respectively last year. And coming to 2019, the competition is especially keen – around 150 valid submissions for DFA HKYDTA and over 1,100 submissions for DFA DFAA are received.
In the past month, the judging panels, which are comprised of international and local designers and industry practitioners have been reviewing the submissions for DFA HKYDTA and DFA DFAA. Among them, we have representatives from all across Asia as well as Europe and America. The selection process takes in both local and global perspectives.
“We are looking for confident young designers who will rise to challenges and have a forward-looking mindset”
The DFA Hong Kong Young Design Talent Award (DFA HKYDTA) recognises and supports budding young designers and design graduates. Awardees may receive sponsorships to work in overseas renowned design companies or study abroad, to sharpen their skills and broaden their horizons. The judging is based on the candidates’ potential contribution to local design and innovation development, personal aspirations and achievements, communication skills, portfolio, and overseas work or study proposal. Mr. David LO, chair of the final round judging panel shared his take on what qualities awardees should possess. “We are looking for confident young designers who will rise to challenges and have a forward-looking mindset. The overseas work/study opportunity will help them re-define their career path and propel them forward.”
“Asia is becoming a major player in technology and design, and can lead the way in addressing critical issues of relevance to the whole world.”
The DFA Design for Asia Awards (DFA DFAA) commend a wide range of design that embodies Asian aesthetics and culture and influences the design trends in Asia and for Asia. The awards cover 4 major design disciplines in 26 categories. In the past weeks, judging panels have been working closely to select winners for the Grand Award and Category Award. The Grand Award submissions were reviewed by a judging panel formed by 9 leading local and international designers, while the Category Award assesses candidates in 4 disciplines - Apparel & Accessory, Communication, Environmental, and Industrial & Product and are reviewed by 2 judges. The selection considers the overall excellence of the project, use of technology, its impact in Asia, and Commercial & Societal Success. Luisa Elena MENGONI, one of the DFAA Grand Award judges, shared her expectations, “The winning projects, whilst perhaps responding to specific challenges in Asia, should have a truly global impact. Asia is becoming a major player in technology and design, and can lead the way in addressing critical issues of relevance to the whole world.”
The final results will be announced in end October, and the award presentation ceremony will be held on 4 Dec, 2019. Selected awardees will also be sharing at the DFA Forum during Business of Design Week (BODW), alongside an award exhibition at DesignInspire the same week. Let’s expect the DFA Awards to present the forefront of Asian Design and envision the next big trend for us!