New Zealand's Best

Enter the Awards.


Entry Process

Key Dates 2014

Call for Entries - 1st May
Close of Entries – 6pm, 4th July
Late Entries – 6pm, 9th July
Judging –  7th and 8th August
Awards Night – 6.30pm, 10th October

Online Entering

All products entered in the Consumer, non Consumer and Furniture Categories must be in production before June 30 2014 for entry to the 2014 Best Awards.

You may enter your work in more than one category where appropriate.

Upload up to 10 images in the order you want to present your work.
The first is your Hero Image.
Images should be 300dpi RGB jpegs sized to 210mm wide x 148mm high. Images are restricted to a maximum of 8MB each.

For all categories except Student and Concept/experimental, all images MUST be photographic

CAD rendered images may only be used to explain operations or details not evident in external photographs of the product

Photographic images must be of production product, images of rapid prototypes and models are not acceptable

You have available, around 400 words 11pt font size, to explain your project so that the judges are able to understand the brief, the process and the solution.

Refer Evaluation Criteria for more detail and to understand how judges will consider work submitted.

NOTE:It is important that the name of the entrant / studio / tertiary is not visible anywhere on the online entry or supporting material.

Sustainable Product Award

All entries for the Sustainable Product Award must also be entered in one of the other Product categories.

Only products accepted as finalists for those categories will be eligible for the Sustainable Product Award

Submitting Product Samples

Product samples will be requested by the convener of judges prior to Judging Week.

The Designers Institute office will advise you of this and a delivery address, date and time.

It is the responsibility of the entrant to deliver product samples to the judging site and have them picked up in the hours advised. The Designers Institute will not be arranging the return of product samples or calling couriers on your behalf.

Students are NOT required to submit product samples.

Video Submissions as additional Supporting Material
You can submit a short 90 second video as supporting material. Flythroughs, renders and process videos all add to help you communicate the process you went through. The same rules apply to videos as other supporting materials - the videos should not have identifiable reference to your studio. Simply upload your video to Vimeo or YouTube and include the URL as apart of the entry process.


Enter the names of the:
Design Director(s)
Creative Director(s)
Design Team 
Contributors (Individual Name OR Company only and DON”T list the 'role' of the contributor)

Enter the names of the:
Design Team
Contributors (Individual Name OR Company only and DON”T list the 'role' of the contributor)

We promise we WON’T be making changes once you have submitted the entry.

Please confirm all credits with your Design Director/Lecturer before doing the final submission online.

Names omitted will NOT appear on the website, be read out on the Awards evening, be included on the certificates, nor be included in the Best Design Awards Annual.

Entry Fees

Non members $289 per entry
Designers Institute members $189 per entry 
Students $99 per entry

If you join the Institute before you enter the Best Awards, you will be able to benefit from the lower membership rate.


Can be by credit card. We accept Visa or Mastercard processed online securely through DPS.

You will be emailed a GST receipt after confirmation of payment.

When the payment is processed you will be emailed your ENTRY NUMBER.

NOTE:If you have been requested to send product samples for Judging Week please ensure you have a copy of the ENTRY NUMBER included with the delivery.

Awards and Categories

Awards Criteria

Purple - Best of the Best
Gold - Best entry in category
Silver - strongly considered for Gold
Bronze - worthy of award recognition.  
Inbook - meritorious

Evaluation Criteria

Concept design creativity and innovation
Does the product pioneer or lead the market?

Does it anticipate latent (existing but dormant or not yet developed or not yet realised) and emerging trends in similar or related products, services or technologies?

Is the design novel and creative in relation to its competitors?

Fit for purpose and ergonomics
Is it highly likely to satisfy the requirements of stakeholders in the value chain from manufacturing to the end user? Is the product fit for its intended purpose?

Is it safe to use, does it comply with appropriate standards and is it intuitive and easy to use?

Does it comply with ergonomic requirements in terms of operation, experience, convenience and well-being.

Aesthetic/Appearance and style
Is the product form, shape, size, proportions, composition, colour, texture and graphics appropriate for its intended purpose and context of use?

Is there harmony between the technical, functional (including user interaction) and aesthetic resolution of the product? Does the design express appropriate brand qualities including product identity and differentiation from others of its type?

Is the product aesthetic meaningful, attractive and desirable and is it structurally convincing with no unwanted visual disturbances?

Does the design appropriately stimulate our intellect and senses?

Technical resolution, sustainability and quality
Is the product made to a high standard of construction, fit and finish?

Does it satisfy appropriate performance and quality standards?

Does it use materials, processes and technology in innovative, sustainable and desirable ways?

On a case-by-case basis, the above criteria may need to be supplemented by additional product specific considerations as deemed appropriate by the judges.

The Sustainable Product Design Award (SPD)

This award recognises outstanding examples of sustainable product design.

The SPD award winner(s) will be chosen from across finalists in all product design categories to ensure that products addressing sustainability issues also meet award winning standards of design.

Claims about sustainability performance and compliance must be supported by verifiable evidence. Judging will consider functional, economic, environmental and social impact factors.

Consideration will be given to product improvement, product redesign, function innovation and system innovation.

Entries should demonstrate a clear understanding of the product life cycle impact and have successfully integrated SPD within the business enterprise and value chain.

The following criteria will be considered:

Product life cycle analysis and impact

Environmental impact (does product carry Eco label)

Energy efficiency

Product life extension

Avoid/Eliminate waste, toxicity and pollution

Reduce size, weight, materials, transportation and packaging

Recycle, reuse, repair or safe disposal (are appropriate standards communicated)

Socially responsible life cycle (Financial responsibility, human rights, health and safety, diversity and inclusiveness, enhanced community, ethics and business conduct)


Celebrating innovative and creative use of colour. Open to product, interactive, graphics and spatial. (This award will be judged under the spatial discipline and by spatial judges).

Concept Experimental
Concepts and experimental designs which have not been implemented

Product for the retail market including appliances, electronic, household items, sporting and recreational products

Designed Objects
Domestic consumer objects, artefacts and products that are produced in a low volume series or at least in part made by the designer.

Domestic, commercial and office furniture, kitchen and bathroom 'furniture'

Including agricultural, industrial, heavy equipment, transport, professional and medical products

Sustainable Product Design
Refer to criteria above



Convenor and Judges

In each discipline evaluation criteria differs, but across all disciplines work must be:

Well executed
Relevant to its industry and context

We take the judging process very seriously to maintain a fair and balanced outcome. The Designers Institute Head of Judges, the CEO, works with the Convenor of Judges, Prof Tony Parker FDINZ, to select individual judges and to ensure a rigorous and fair process.

Judges are selected to provide a broad, representative cross-section of the industry from the following criteria:

Respected in the industry 
Past winners 
Known for the high calibre of their work 
Able to be objective 
Those that have had a significant role to play in the industry from related organisations in the industry or from offshore (eg. AGDA, DIA, Icograda etc.)  

Judging Week

Judging week is at the AUT Conference Centre, Auckland.
Judging for Product is held over two days - Thursday 7th August and Friday 8th August.

Product samples will be requested by the Convenor prior to Judging Week

Site visits will be arranged by the Convenor prior to Judging Week where appropriate

The entries submitted are printed by the Designers Institute as four A3 pages onto quality paper.
These are laid out in their categories on large tables for the judges to evaluate.
Additional supporting information is on hand with the entry.

The Convenor will give a full briefing before judging commences on the role judges, the evaluation criteria, the process and the rules.

The judging is private and silent with a scoring system of 1-15 – srefer Evaluation Criteria. The entries are then ordered by their scores.

After each category grading, judges are then given the copportunity to discuss the work before final selections are made.

Transparency of Judging

The Convenor manages conflicts of interest during the judging process

Individual judges (including the Convenor) with conflicts of interest around a specific entry are required to abstain during the final assessment process.

Judges with conflicts cannot enter into discussion with other judges and must not influence judging of either their specific entry or other entries in that category.

The Head of Judges may temporarily take over the Convenor's role in cases where the Convenor has a conflict of interest to ensure judging fairness is maintained.

If judges reach a point of disagreement, then the Convenor can assist judges with their discussion to reach agreement or an acceptable compromise.

In the case where the judges scores are tied, the Convenor may make the casting vote with the judges consent to do so.

The Convenor is also responsible for keeping the judging fair and consistent and will manage ‘strong willed’ judges from unfairly influencing the overall results of the panel.