We’ve spoken at length on this website about how the Design Intelligence Award is shaping the future of the creative industry through its novel format. Established in 2015 by the China Academy of Art, the Design Intelligence Award (or DIA for short) is more than just an award that recognizes good design. It’s an ecosystem for cultivating innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. For almost a decade, this free-to-enter program has celebrated creativity and ingenuity, with a three-stage judging and evaluation process aimed at developing products that uniquely benefit humanity. The DIA Award also seeks to create a platform for accelerating international trade, increasing connectivity, and opening up commercial opportunities that help propel the Global East in the West-heavy Design Industry. Effective design is only truly impactful when it reaches and benefits a wider audience. With this in mind, the awards program has created a prize fund of ¥5 million RMB, equivalent to $728,000 USD, to support the development of exceptional ideas into exceptional designs. This initiative aims to incubate and nurture innovative concepts that have the potential to make a significant difference in the world of design.
The Design Intelligence Award undergoes a rigorous judging process, comprising three stages. A group of 550 design experts assesses entries based on three key criteria. The first layer focuses on the essential “Principles of Design,” which includes factors such as functionality, aesthetics, technicality, user experience, and sustainability. The second layer considers the “Direction of Design,” taking into account how the design contributes to humanity, industry, and the future. The third and final layer emphasizes the “Impact of Design” on social influence and industrial development. The judging process concludes with a hands-on final round, ensuring that only the most exceptional designs are recognized.
The DIA Jury Panel is made up of 550 experts and judges from 37 countries and regions around the world. They carefully select 30 outstanding projects that showcase innovation and positive impact. These lucky winners receive a share of the DIA’s prize fund of ¥5 million RMB ($728,000 USD), with the top project receiving ¥1 million RMB. The winners are also invited to the prestigious DIA Award Ceremony, where they can connect with global representatives from various sectors such as design, academia, and media. They also have the opportunity to attend the D-WILL expert lectures, sponsored by the Zhejiang Modern Intelligent Manufacturing Promotion Center and Design Innovation Center of China Academy of Art. These lectures aim to inspire innovation and collaboration by featuring education experts, industry leaders, and pioneers who share their knowledge and achievements with the next generation. Finally, the winners benefit from media exposure through a coordinated PR campaign, which helps to promote their work to a wider audience. If you’re curious, scroll below to check out some of last year’s Design Intelligence Awards winners and honorable mentions!
This year’s Design Intelligence Award is open for entries. Submit your innovative idea for a chance to win up to ¥1 million RMB ($147,000 USD) and bring your life-changing design to reality! Don’t miss out on this opportunity to make a difference. Click here to enroll for the 2023 Design Intelligence Awards FOR FREE!
2022 Design Intelligence Awards winners and Honorable Mentions
Shuttle Footwear by SCRY
The birth of SCRY Shuttle marks a new era in the footwear industry, where digitalization is revolutionizing the way shoes are made. Unlike traditional shoes, SCRY Shuttle is manufactured using an integrated 3D printing process that eliminates the need for assembly, reduces material waste, and eliminates lengthy assembly lines… and that unique approach reflects in the shoe’s drop-dead gorgeous design too! The shoe is made from a single material that is engineered to achieve the required performance of different parts, making it easy to recycle. The midsole of the shoe is filled with an innovative lattice structure that provides a soft and comfortable foot experience. The Shuttle isn’t designed for retail, however, SCRY does sell some stunning accent footwear on their website.
HiPhi Z by Human Horizons
With two electric motors mounted on the rear wheels, the HiPhi Z can generate over 600 horsepower and 605 pound-feet of torque, making the EV China’s answer to Tesla. It’s quick too, with a 0-62 mph time of just 3.8 seconds, comparable to the Model 3. And if you’re worried about range anxiety, don’t be – the Z can travel up to 438 miles on a single charge. What really sets the Z apart, however, is its unique LED matrix under each headlight and taillight. Not only does it look cool, but it can also display text, emojis, and other fun things. So not only will you enjoy driving the Z, but you’ll also turn heads and make people smile as you pass by.
Square Off Swap by Infivention Technologies
Following the launch of Square Off, an AI-automated chess board that you could play against, the Square Off Swap extends the same technology, but now with the ability to play multiple games on the same board. Offering users the ability to now play games like Chess, Checkers, Halma, and Connect 4 on a single surface, the Square Off Swap features better internals that are much more responsive, offering faster and more reactive gameplay and interactive embedded lights that just do wonders to uplift the gaming experience, while keeping everything extremely real!
U-Lab 001 Guitar by Unknown Galaxy Technology (Shenzhen) Ltd. & inDare Design Strategy Ltd.
The U-Lab 001 may look like a typical guitar, but it’s anything but ordinary. With a hollow cutout, no strings, and the ability to fold in half for easy travel, this guitar is perfect for beginners with little to no formal training. The right-hand rocker switches simulate strumming, while the touch-sensitive light-up fretboard under the left hand teaches notes, chords, and music theory. A companion smartphone app enhances the learning experience. The ULab 001 also boasts a built-in speaker, volume control, a knob to change the guitar’s scale, and a headphone jack for silent practice.
Little Patience Meditation Seat by Shine Meditation Health Technology
The Little Patience Meditation Seat is designed to guide users into sitting cross-legged, promoting an upright back and inwardly folded legs. This posture has been used for thousands of years in Oriental and Indian cultures for meditation and eating, as it increases blood circulation, joint flexibility, and strengthens bones while aiding digestion. The seat’s unique design resembles a saddle with a concave middle, requiring some guidance for first-time users. However, it encourages a healthy sitting practice that benefits both physical and mental well-being, making it an unusual but worthwhile addition to any space!
VT-30 by EHang
The VT-30 is an eVTOL aircraft created by leading Chinese manufacturer EHang for inter-city travel. It follows a “lift and cruise” model and is fully autonomous, with a capacity of two passengers. The aircraft can travel up to 300 km on a single battery charge, with flight times of up to 100 minutes. It can take off and land on both runways and helipads, given its vertical and take-off capabilities. Unlike other air taxi developers, EHang’s design is compact and sleek, with a smaller cockpit contributing to its impressive range.
FlipPack by Guangzhou Korin Technology
Korin Design’s engineers have developed a cutting-edge backpack that boasts magnetic side pockets for swift access and a sleek, waterproof exterior. Dubbed the FlipPack, for its flip-out magnetic side pockets, the backpack also offers exceptional security with RFID blocking, a concealed magnetic back pocket, air cell straps for added comfort, and a collapsible structure for effortless storage.
Sustainable Shopping Bag by Lim Sungmook
Crafted rather wonderfully from a single sheet of durable and waterproof Tyvek material, the Sustainable Shopping Bag is a smart alternative to single-use plastic bags that end up in landfills. Its net-based design is not only strong but also requires less material, making it an eco-friendly choice. The bag’s clever cuts allow it to expand and accommodate a range of items, from groceries to clothes and even a wine bottle. Available in various sizes, colors, and patterns, the bag’s patented design is both practical and stylish.
YA CONG Handle Pot by Hangzhou Great Wisdom Creative Design
Challenging the common silhouette of the teapot, the YA CONG features a unique squarish design that strays away from tradition, and also exhibits a new style of pottery that can’t be crafted on a rotary potter’s wheel. The unique shape is systematically designed with the characteristics of “square outside and round inside”, emphasizing both rigidity and softness. In straying away from the traditional shape of teapots, the YA CONG creates its own style and tradition with high artistic value and practical function.
Helloface Transparent Respirator Mask by oneoverthree for Handan Hengyong
While it’s safe to say that the pandemic is behind us, it’s also worth remembering that we still need masks, not for protection from pathogens, but rather from terrible air quality. A majority of the third world lives with incredibly polluted air (urban cities in first-world countries aren’t any better), and the Helloface Transparent Respirator Mask hopes to usher in a future where people can wear masks without obstructing their facial expressions. The mask features a cartridge on the front as well as inlets and outlets on the side that allow air to flow in and out comfortably without fogging up the inside. The rest of the mask itself is made from transparent plastic, allowing the wearer to still visually express themselves and interact with others without any barriers.
Click Here to Enroll for the 2023 Design Intelligence Awards FOR FREE! Registration Closes on 30th June, 2023 (24:00, UTC+8).