We believe there are 4 fundamental ways to level up your career – Studying further (specializing), changing/upgrading your job or industry, getting coverage in media, or winning an award. The first is incredibly expensive, the second has a high amount of risk… the third and fourth are somewhat interconnected (both involve getting recognition), and are relatively easier if you play your cards right. Design awards are a great way to compare yourself to your peers, get your work seen by elite jury members, and win all kinds of accolades – whether it’s a trophy/certificate, a cash prize, or having your work featured in a post-award exhibition… and if you play your cards right, you don’t even have to pay to enter the competition.
Now in its successful eighth year, the Design Intelligence Award is a free-to-enter program organized by the China Academy of Art since 2015. The award’s mission has been simple – to identify good design and reward creatives for their potential, helping them take their work to the next level.
Beyond recognizing good design, Design Intelligence Award (or DIA for short) also seeks to propel international trade, foster global connectivity, and open up commercial opportunities. This initiative is a bold step towards balancing the global design industry, which has long been West-heavy, by introducing and promoting the creative prowess of the Global East.
At its core, DIA believes that design gains true impact when it resonates with a wider audience, both in its appeal and its utility. DIA’s jury is a panel composed of global design luminaries, featuring 550 experts and judges from 37 countries and regions around the world. Their expert critique ensures your creation undergoes rigorous examination, cementing the award’s commitment to quality and innovation. To encourage the materialization of exceptional ideas into tangible designs, the DIA program offers a prize fund of ¥5 million RMB, equivalent to $726,000 USD. This substantial support serves to incubate innovative concepts with the potential to create ripples of significant difference in the design world.
How DIA Bolsters Your Career and Creativity
1. Prize Money: A ¥5,000,000 RMB Grand Fund
A jaw-dropping prize fund of ¥5 million Yuan ($726,000 USD) makes DIA an unmissable opportunity for designers of all ages, experience levels, and across the world. These financial rewards are divided among various categories and tiers of winners, a substantial boost that not only recognizes winners’ exceptional talent but affirms the value of design as a key contributor to societal progress. This prize money not only acknowledges the winners’ exceptional talent but also affirms the value of design as an essential societal contributor.
2. Exposure: Spotlight on Talent
Winning the DIA (or even landing an honorable mention) is by far the easiest way to enter the global spotlight. Your work reaches not just the eyes of esteemed jury members (who could also be your potential well-wishers, mentors, and employers), but also the rest of the world through a coordinated PR campaign and media push both in China as well as globally. This exposure is a golden opportunity to showcase your creativity and ingenuity to the industry’s influential figures, earn global recognition, find new inroads for your product or your career, and potentially catapult your career to new horizons.
3. Prestige: China’s Largest Design Award
Widely acknowledged as China’s largest design award and a leading international award for design and innovation, the DIA carries an immense prestige that significantly strengthens your standing in the international design community. Winning or even being shortlisted for the DIA validates your talent and demonstrates your competitive edge, ensuring your work is recognized and respected; award winners often wear these accolades proudly on their sleeves, in their portfolios, and in their resumes.
4. Protection: Sheltering Your Innovation
For designers keen on entering the Chinese market, the DIA offers invaluable guidance in being able to swiftly apply for patents in China. Through introduction to specialized institutions and a referral system for competent legal representatives, DIA helps participants protect their designs locally. This assures your innovative ideas are safeguarded, offering confidence as you venture into new territories.
5. Networking: Connections that Count
The DIA extends beyond the boundaries of traditional competition. It evolves into a vibrant, dynamic hub of visionary talents, industry experts, and potential collaborators. Participating in DIA opens doors to forge invaluable connections with other designers, peers, experts, and potential business partners/investors. You might be able to find a job, get feedback on your designs, or even see your work entering a new market through strategic business partnerships – all thanks to the massive DIA community.
6. Education: Learning from the Masters
Participation in DIA comes with the golden chance to attend D-WILL expert lectures, sponsored by the Zhejiang Modern Intelligent Manufacturing Promotion Center and Design Innovation Center of China Academy of Art. These enlightening sessions serve as a deep dive into the evolving trends of the design world, enhancing your knowledge and refining your skills. The objective of these talks is to encourage creativity and teamwork through the participation of education specialists, business executives, and trailblazers who impart their expertise and accomplishments to the upcoming cohort.
Bonus tip – Embrace the Opportunity, Free of Cost
Dispelling the common misconception surrounding prestigious awards, the DIA does not impose any submission fees. This encourages a wide spectrum of talent to participate without the barrier of cost, ensuring the competition truly stands as a beacon of creative meritocracy. This attribute makes DIA an even more attractive proposition for designers around the globe. So, seize this golden opportunity, share your unique design narratives with the world, and propel your career to an international stage. The DIA is not just an award; it’s your launchpad to global recognition and success.