Call for entries // The 5th SDAY

Posted on: 18. October 2022

Shenzhen Design Award for Young Talents (SDAY)
In association and cooperation with UNESCO Creative Cities Network

The Shenzhen Design Award for Young Talents (SDAY) is an international design competition for young designers from the 295 UNESCO Creative Cities under the age of 35. The SDAY is administered by the Shenzhen Innovation & Creative Design Development Office, organized by the Shenzhen Culture, Creativity & Design Association (SCCDA), and co-organized by the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

The purpose of the SDAY is to reward the efforts of young designers who, through their creativity, have made outstanding contributions to making cities more environmentally friendly and livable, society more harmonious, development more sustainable, and above all, human lives better. Meanwhile, the SDAY aims to encourage the exchange between young creative talents from different countries, the cooperation between the Creative Cities, the sharing of those cities’ experiences and ideas for developing creative and cultural industries, the production and sale of creative design products, and the promotion of design thinking.

Theme for 2022: Sustainable Design

The pandemic has overshadowed global development and the world faces greater challenges in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals delineated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by the United Nations. Meanwhile, industrial restructuring requires more time in various countries as traditional industries still form a great part of the economies, while emerging and high-tech industries have not yet grown into the leading forces of economic growth. The energy mix has not been fundamentally changed. Pollution in specific industries and areas has not been properly controlled. Carbon neutrality remains a tough task and environmental issues have weighed increasing pressure on development. Low-carbon development is inevitable and the key to success in global competition lies in the green economy.

Design has a great impact on production, lifestyle, business, ecosystem, and public environment. Young designers across the globe are cordially invited to explore ways to promote the economy, industries, and society to go green. Only sustainable design can ensure the co-existence of humans and nature, and build a planet where we share our future.


Professional designers or teams and design students from the member cities of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) who make outstanding contributions through their creativity can be registered as candidates for the SDAY.

Entrant can be individuals or teams. For a nominated individual, he or she shall be aged 35 or below by 31 December 2022. For a nominated team, all of its members shall be aged 35 or below by 31 December 2022. Entrants from architectural design shall be aged 40 or below by 31 December 2022.
For the student group, entrants shall remain registered students in colleges or other educational institutions by 31 December 2022.


  1. Communication: brand & identity, packaging design, publications, typography, posters, illustrations, information visualization
  2. Interactive media: interactive design, website UI design, PC and mobile UX design, animation design, game & software design, motion picture and television design
  3. Industrial design: automobile, furniture, product design
  4. Spatial design: architectural design, landscape design, interior design, urban and public guiding system design
  5. Fashion design: apparel, accessories, texture design, dyeing & knitting
  6. Public service design and design thinking in public policy
  7. Others



  •  Professionals:
    Grand Award (1 winner): 100,000 RMB per winner
    Merit Award (10 winners): 30,000 RMB per winner
  • Students:
    New Star Award (10 winners): 20,000 RMB per winner

Best Nominator (1 to 3 winners): Honorary prize
This award recognizes the nominator who provides the best support and cooperation for the Jury and the Secretariat or nominates the most winners. SCCDA would select the winner(s) with assistance from the Jury.

Prize payment

1. The payment of the prize will be arranged after the SDAY Awarding Ceremony and paid in accordance with fiscal regulations and tax procedures of the People’s Republic of China.

2. The payment of the prize could take up to 6 months (starting from the second day of the Awarding Ceremony). Winners are required to provide all the info and materials needed for the payment to the SDAY secretariat before deadline. If submission of info and materials is delayed, the recipient of the prize changes or any other expected situation happens on the winner’s account, the SDAY Secretariat has the right to postpone the payment and Secretariat’s explanation shall be final.

3. All prizes are pre-tax amount. All prizes are subject to income tax in accordance with local law, and SDAY Secretariat can pay the prize after paying tax on winners’ behalves.

4. International winners are strongly suggested to receive the prize via personal bank account. If recipient differs from the winner, a signed/stamped authorization letter is required for payment.


  • The entries submitted for professional group shall be works that are complete, have been implemented or have become available at the market. The entries shall be completed between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2022.
  • Conceptual designs or designs that are still under development and/or have not yet been commercially launched, as well as works for displaying, prototypes, renderings and artist’s impressions are eligible as entries only for the student group.
  • Entries submitted for the previous SDAY are NOT accepted for the new edition of the award.
  • All entrants shall be natives of or have been living for at least two years in one of the UNESCO Creative Cities or Hong Kong.
  • Entries shall be submitted by the nominators, the designer or the team’s representative with the authorization by the nominators. Each entrant can submit no more than 10 pieces of work.

Awarding Ceremony

The awarding ceremony is provisionally scheduled (to be confirmed) to take place in Shenzhen in spring 2023. All winners including the best nominator prize winners will be invited to the awarding ceremony, relevant forums, exhibitions and theme speeches if conditions allow international travelling in and out of mainland of CHINA.

Flight ticket and three nights’ local accommodation for each winner (one member if the winner is a team or an administrative department) to attend the ceremony will be provided by the secretariat.

Judging Criteria

  • Achievement in utilizing designs to increase sales, lower costs, and improve product quality, productivity and profitability.
  • Achievement in utilizing designs to enhance urban environment and improve quality of lives in cities.
  • Achievement in utilizing designs to contribute to the transformation of local economies and the sustainability of social development.
  • Achievement in developing cultural diversity based on traditional cultures.
  • International recognition, commercial and societal success in designs.
  • Achievement in uniqueness, creativity, originality, innovation, aesthetics, sustainability, use of technology, and user-friendliness in designs.

Judging Process

The judging process will consist of two stages of detailed assessments, based on the actual products, images and additional supporting materials submitted by the entrants.

F I R S T   S T A G E 

The first Stage Judging will be carried out by the nominators according to the judging criteria listed above. Each nominator will decide how many entrants he/she will recommend.

S E C O N D   S T A G E 

An International Jury would convene in Shenzhen. Actual design works and supporting materials will be displayed on-site for the jurors to evaluate. All award winners will be selected at the end of the second stage.


The Jury will be assembled in accordance with the SDAY statute, including one judge recommended by UNESCO, three judges recommended by Shenzhen, and three recommended by other cities. In the absence of the recommendation from UNESCO, one more representative will be recommended by Shenzhen. The chairperson of the Jury shall be elected by the Jury members.


Generally, the nominators are the focal points of creative cities for UNESCO. The nominators are entrusted with the tasks of making calls for and collecting entries, organizing the first screening, and eventually nominating candidates.

All nominators have the liberty in deciding the methods, processes and schedules for their own nominations.

In the event that focal points do NOT possess adequate resources, expertise, experiences, etc., to perform nominations, they are allowed to commission or entrust the nominations to local professional design institutions or organizations who they believe possess relevant and adequate capabilities and capacities.

However, such a shift of nominating parties should NOT be deemed as the establishment of relationships of any kind between SCCDA and the commissioned or entrusted third parties. Focal points should exercise discretion when selecting nominators.

Each Creative City can have more than one nominator organization. Nominators can only nominate entrants who are natives of or have been living for at least 2 years in the nominators’ cities.

Nominators will be given accounts and passwords (specific technical instruction will be given later) to register on behalf of nominees or instruct nominees to register online before 31 December 2022.

Shipping of tangible works must be arranged so as to arrive at the warehouse (the address will be given via email) designated by the Secretariat before 15 January 2023.


  • 1 October – 31 December 2022: Call for entries worldwide
  • 31 December 2022: Deadline for online registration
  • 15 January 2023: Deadline for tangible works submission (time for arrival at the Secretariat’s warehouse)
  • Mid February 2023: Final judging and results announcement
  • Spring 2023: Awarding Ceremony and SDAY Exhibition
  • First half of 2023: Exhibition tour in chosen UNESCO Creative Cities


All nominees must register and submit documents online at the official website of the SDAY before 18:00 Beijing Time (GMT+8:00), 31 December 2022 by finishing following steps (all materials must be in English):

  • Read and agree to the Terms and Conditions;
  • Log in using the User Name and Password provided to nominators;
  • Fill out the registration form;
  • Fill out the description form, one for each entry;
  • Upload a photo of the nominee;
  • Deliver the tangible projects, if any, to the warehouse designated by the Secretariat and ensure that they arrive before 15 January 2023.


Registration, nominations and entries submissions are free. However, entrants are responsible for all logistic and insurance costs.

Terms and Conditions

Please read the Terms and Conditions of the 5th SDAY 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 this Award. 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.(1) SCCDA 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 SCCDA 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, SCCDA reserves the right to disqualify the entrant and revoke the relevant award. The above liability provisions apply accordingly to all items supplied by SCCDA in connection with the Entrant’s participation in the Award.
  • The Entrant hereby grants, on a gratuitous basis free of any fee, royalty or remuneration, to SCCDA, the organizer of SDAY, 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 the Award or any part thereof in the promotional/exhibition materials or any publications in any media or medium related to the Award.(2)
  • 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.
  • SCCDA reserves the right to cancel, in part or in whole, postpone or bring forward the Award for any reason and is not obliged to reimburse entrants for any expenses related to such cancellation. While tangible works can be returned upon requests with entrants covering all relevant costs, all submitted material(s) relating to the Award will not be returned.
  • The Winner of the Award agrees that his/her winning design will be displayed in such exhibitions at the decision of SCCDA for a period of minimum one year subsequent to the competition, and agrees to provide information as requested by SCCDA about the winning design for future activities, including but not limited to reports, publicity, marketing and exhibitions.
  • The Winner of the Award agrees to cooperate with SCCDA to promote the Award and play active role in relevant promotional activities in the future upon request.
  • The entrant agrees to obtain approval by SCCDA 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 Award purposes. 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, co-organizers or the Jurors as an inducement to or reward for favorable considerations.

(1)Limited exceptions could be allowed at the discretion of the Jury to students who elaborate the cases explicitly so that such exceptions could be justified.

(2)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 SCCDA is for the purpose of promotion (including promotional exhibitions and publications) of the Award only.


SDAY Secretariat
F18, New Media Industrial Park,
No. 3030, Fuqiang Rd.
Shenzhen, China 518048

Tel: + 86 755 83258290


F U R T H E R   I N F O R M A T I O N