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 work that has been commercially released by 30 June 2014 is eligible 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.

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 Institution is not visible anywhere on the online entry or supporting material.

Supporting Material - delivered to the Designers Institute by Friday 11th July

The judges encourage you to send additional supporting material such as drawings or mood board,  to the Designers Institute as judges will take these into consideration in the judging process.
Please note that A2 presentation boards are no longer required or considered.

Ensure your ENTRY NUMBER is sent with any supporting material.

It is the responsibility of the entrant to courier the supporting material.

During the entry process online, you can elect to pay for supporting material to be returned to you by the Designers Institute following judging

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

Address for supporting material
Designers Institute of New Zealand
Ground Floor, Suite 5
27 Gillies Avenue

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:

Designer 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.

Get your CD/ Lecturer to check before you do the final submission. EG. Any names omitted will NOT appear on the: website, nor read out on awards evening, nor be on the certificates, nor be in the Best Design Awards Annual.

Entry Fees

Non members costs $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.

Ensure you have a copy of the ENTRY NUMBER included with any additional supporting material you send to the Designers Institute.

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

Evalutaion Criteria

Aesthetic and Appearance
The judges will look, not only at the aesthetics, but the consideration and resolution of the elements that drive the aesthetics, e.g. context/location, brand alignment and choice and use of materials in support of design.

Concept and Creativity
This encompasses design thinking, conceptual development creativity, originality, and critical reasoning, e.g. appropriateness of response to the brief, relevant research and themes for inspiration.

Answering the brief
What was important to achieve as an outcome for the client and how does the design achieve this, and fit for purpose from a user experience point of view.

Technical resolution and innovation
This is the opportunity to communicate any technical aspects. It may include special details, challenges or opportunities and how they have been overcome or used to their advantage.

Explain if innovation was important or a driver in the design.

Consistency and clarity
Have all the elements been resolved with consistency and clarity through the process.

Project budget
To assist jury deliberation, please indicate an indicative project budget range. This information is not for publication.
Under $50,000

$50,000 - $150,000

$150,000 - $300,000

$300,000 - $500,000

$500,000 - $1,000,000
More than $1,000,000
For commercial interiors, please indicate cost per square metre

Criteria for Sustainable Award

Entries in the Sustainable category must be accompanied by a written Statement of Sustainability, which clearly describes the project objectives, design process and solutions, and technical resolution. This should include appropriate measurement and metrics where applicable.

The project and its outcomes will be assessed in terms of a Triple Bottom Line approach:

Economic e.g. Does the project meet the budget? Is it efficient (i.e. doesn't waste materials during fitout or energy/natural resources in use)? Does it bring in, or increase business? Has whole of life cost been considered?

Social e.g. Does the project educate users about sustainable ethos? Does it improve community involvement in sustainable initiatives?

Environmental e.g. How does the project minimise impact on the environment? How intensive is use of resources? What construction methods and materials were selected (sustainable supply, third party verified, embodied energy, locally sourced, recycled content, recyclable etc)? Is it designed to be disassembled, and what happens at the 'end of life' of products used (is process documented)? A schedule with explanations of the environmental initiatives incorporated into the project including but not limited to: energy, water use, indoor environment quality, materials, management, waste and transport would be an advantage



Built Environment
This is an opportunity for entries whose project has included a significant architectural component as part of the design solution.
Colour Award
Innovative and creative use of colour. Open to spatial, graphics, interactive and product.
Emerging Designer
Entrants in the Emerging Designer category will be 35 years or younger submitting a realised project either wholly or substantially under their responsibility or leadership.

Projects that might be entered in any of the other spatial categories are eligible for this award.

The entrant must be 35 years of age or younger on the last day for entries to the awards programme.

In addition to the general evaluation criteria entries will be assessed on the basis of:
Complexity of project e.g. how involved was the project? Did it have multiple clients or stakeholders to be managed? What, if any, external pressures existed on the project? What design challenges were faced?
Contribution and/or leadership responsibilities e.g. what level of contribution and responsibility did the entrant have? What capacity for decision making was theirs? Did the project involve a larger team under the entrant’s direction?

Exhibition Installations & Temporary Structures 
Exhibition installations, studios and stage sets
Bars, cafes, hotels, motels, lodges, retreats, spas
Offices & Workplace Environments
Offices, factories, specialist facilities
Public & Institutional Spaces
Hospitals, schools, community/conference centres, museums
Schemes for dwellings or home apartment, mobile home
Retail Environments
Shopping outlets, banks, supermarkets, salons, showrooms, galleries
A single space such as a bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathroom, reception

Spatial Design Communication
This category recognises and celebrates the design process through recognition of the tools, processes and outputs required to realise a project.

The project must have been realised and completed to be eligible for this category.

Rendering, animation, sketches, models and other modes of presentation supporting the development of the design process on a given project may be entered. Examples include but are not limited to: developmental sketches and drawings, models, animations and fly-thru’s, finished renderings or similar.

Entries will be assesed on the basis of:

Appropriate media selection for intended outcome e.g. demonstrate that the selected media is appropriate for the purposes it was chosen. Why was it selected (best way of demonstrating intended outcome, cost, time)?

Quality of execution e.g. present the information to its best effect demonstrating the quality of the output.

Effectiveness of outcome e.g. demonstrate how the piece(s) impacted the project and the role they played in the ultimate outcome. Comparative images between design communication pieces submitted and the realised outcome along with explanations of differences (as the design process progressed) would be an advantage.
Spatial projects which strongly demonstrate design of sustainability.


Unrealised and Concept Projects 
Entries in this category will be projects either unrealised but of sufficient quality to warrant recognition, or purely conceptual ventures with no intent to be realised.
Submissions must include material supporting the clear explanation of the project given its unbuilt or conceptual nature. This should include content outlining the purpose and intended outcomes for the project. If originally intended to be realised, an explanation of the reasons for incompletion would be an advantage.

Entries will be assessed on the basis of the general evaluation criteria for realised projects.


Convenor and Judges

In each discipline evalutaion criteria differs, but across all disciplines we strive to judge:

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, Al Hood PDINZ, 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 spatial is held over two days - Thursday 8th and Friday 9th August.

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 placed with the entry.

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

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

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

Transparency of Judging

The Convenor of Judges 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.