Shenzhen Design Award for Young Talents

Posted on: 15. September 2017

Photo: SDAY

Shenzhen City of Design Promotion Office and Shenzhen City of Design Promotion Association (SDPA) warmly invite you to participate in the award “Shenzhen Design Award for Young Talents” (SDAY) which recognizes successful or potential young designers from creative cities and Hong Kong.

The purpose of the Award is to reward the efforts of young designers, who, through their creativity, have contributed to the enhancement of environmental sustainability, social and economic development and, above all, quality of lives in cities. The Award aims to encourage exchange between young talents from different countries, cooperation between creative cities, and the sharing of experiences and ideas for developing creative and cultural industries. The Award also aims to promote the value of design thinking, concepts and products as contributors to the transformation of economies and society.

Theme for 2017:


Craftsmen are not necessarily good designers. However, excellent designs are always results of intense craftsmanship. Constant refining is what good designers always do. Perfection is what they expect for each and every piece of their own works. In an age of fickleness when enterprises are hunger for quick successes, young designers shall understand that only designs with craftsmanship can survive and prosper, which will eventually make them great designers.

Eligibility & Requisites

The Entrant can be an individual or a team. For an individual, his or her age should be under 35 by 31 December 2017. For teams, all members should be under 35 by 31 December 2017. For architects, the age limit is under 40 by 31 December 2017. For the student session, entrants should remain registered students in colleges or other educational institutions until 1 January 2017. The entries must have actually been completed or produced and, in the case of commercial products, have become available in markets between 1 January 2015 and 31 October 2017. Entries submitted for SDAY 2013 or 2015 are NOT accepted in the 2017 award. Conceptual designs or designs that are still under development and/or have not yet been commercially launched, as well as show flats, prototypes, renderings and artists’ impressions of designs are only eligible as entries for the student session.

All entrants must be natives of or have been living for at least 2 years in one of the UNESCO Creative Cities or Hong Kong.

The entries can only be submitted by the author or the nominator. Each entrant can submit no more than 10 pieces of works. For series, there should be no more than 5 pieces for each serial.

Entries from all fields of design which contribute to the sustainable growth of cities are welcome to participate, including but not limited to:

A. Visual communication: Brand & identity, packaging design, publications, graphic design, posters, illustrations, information visualization

B. Interactive media: Interactive design, UI design, UX design, Animation, Game & Software design, Motion pictures design

C. Product and industrial design: automobile, furniture, product design

D. Spatial design: Architectural design, landscape design, interior design, urban and public guiding system design

E. Fashion design: apparel, accessories, texture design, dyeing & knitting

F. Public service design and design thinking in public policy

G. Others


For Professionals
Grand Award (maximum 1 winner) 20000 USD per winner
Merit Award (maximum 10 winners) 5000 USD per winner

For Students
New Star Award (maximum 10 winners) 3000 USD per winner
Best nominator (maximum 3 winners) Honorary Prize

This award recognizes the nominator who provides the best supports and cooperation for the Jury and the Secretariat or who nominates the most winners. SDPA would select the winner(s) with assistance from the Jury.


Awarding Ceremony

Awarding ceremony is scheduled to take place in Shenzhen in February 2018. All winners including the best nominator prize winner (one representative per nominator) will be invited to the awarding ceremony, forums, exhibitions and theme speeches.


Judging Criteria

Achievement in utilizing designs to increase sales, lower costs, and improve product qualities, productivity and profitability.
Achievement in utilizing designs to enhance sustainability in urban environment, social and economic development, and to improve quality of lives in cities.
Achievement in utilizing designs to contribute to the transformation of local economies, of social development, and of cities’ 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, 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.
First Stage Judging will be carried out by the nominators according to the judging criteria listed above. The best 8 entrants including maximum 3 students will be nominated.
Second Stage: An International Jury would convene in Shenzhen. Actual design works and supporting materials will be displayed side by side for the jurors to evaluate. All award winners will be selected at the end of the second stage.


The Jury will consist of 7 professional members with international reputations and judging experiences from different cities in different countries. The Jury would be assembled based on the recommendations by UNESCO Creative Cities. Names and biographies of jurors will be published on the award website as soon as they are available.



Generally, the nominators are the focal points of creative cities for UNESCO. The nominators are entrusted with the tasks of making call for and collecting entries, organizing first screening, and eventually nominating candidates.
The nominator in Hong Kong is Hong Kong Federation of Design Associations. 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, who they believe possess relevant and adequate capabilities and capacities. However, such shift of nominating parties should NOT be deemed as establishment of relationships of any kind between SDPA and the commissioned or entrusted third parties.
Focal points should exercise discretion when selecting nominators. Nominators can only nominate entrants who are natives of or have been living for at least 2 years in the nominators’ cities. Nominees of SDAY 2013 or 2015 should NOT be nominated again.
Nominators decide themselves on the number of candidates for both professional and student session. However, nominators are advised to emphasize qualities, not quantities of candidates.
User names and passwords for the online registration system will be given to nominators who then can register on behalf of nominees or instruct nominees to register online before 31 October 2017.
ONE User Name together with ONE password is for ONE entrant ONLY. Shipping of designs and supporting materials must be arranged so as to arrive at the Secretariat before 15 November 2017.


1 July – 31 December 2017 Call for entries and first screening by nominators

31 December 2017 Deadline for Online Registrations

30 December 2017 Deadline for arrival of entries at Secretariat

Early January 2018 Final Judging

February 2018 Awarding Ceremony and Exhibition


All nominees must register online at before 10:00 AM (GMT), 20 November 2017 by finishing following steps (all materials must be in English):

Read and Agree to the Terms and Conditions
Log in using User Name and Password provided by the nominator (ONE User Name and ONE password for ONE entrant ONLY)
Fill out the registration form
Fill out the description form one by one for all entries
Upload a photo of the nominee
Upload a recommendation letter (PDF or JPG) signed by the nominator
Send the Actual Works to the Secretariat and ensure they arrive before 30 November 2017.

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


SDAY Secretariat
Room 102, 4th Building, E-Hub, Qianhai
Shenzhen, China, 518054
Phone:+ 86 755 6661 9298

For more information visit