Category specific rules
- Design Grand Prix
- Architecture Grand Prix
- Chairman’s Award for Design
- Chairman’s Award for Architecture
- Design Agency of the Year
- Architectural Practice of the Year
Categories 1-6 cannot be entered – selected by panel from all entries.
- PRINT DESIGN
Incorporating publications, corporate literature/annual reports and promotional material. We are looking to award a project that stands out and pushes the boundaries of print creativity and craft. Where possible samples of a finished product should be supplied for our judges to review tactile qualities.
- BRAND IDENTITY
Typography, slogans, symbols and images which convey and define a specific company or product. Our panel will be looking for the best examples of designs, formats and cross-media delivery. Winning work must demonstrate a good understanding of the brand, capturing and translating its core identity through graphic design.
- CAMPAIGN DESIGN
In this category, we will dissect the visual communication strategy employed by advertisers and designers to establish the best tactics, themes and campaign ideas which effectively elicit a response and audience engagement.
We will be on the lookout for those adverts and campaigns which successfully catch the eye and stick in the mind, lodging themselves in our thoughts long after passing from view. Great examples of posters, social media campaigns, pop-up events, spatial interventions, videos and illustrations are all encouraged.
- DESIGN EFFECTIVENESS
A great design means nothing if it does not also bring commercial and social benefits as well as improvements to utility. Here judges will employ an evidence-based approach to dig beneath superficial qualities and establish how the design delivers a competitive edge to the client, consumer and society.
A broad category, we are open to all types of design with each project judged on its terms. Judges will look for proof of how the design impacted the client’s business performance. Projects including Brand Design, Brand Identity, Exhibition Design, B2B &B2C websites, online promotion design and mobile/app design are invited.
The materials used to contain, protect and describe a product at the point of sale. The judges will look for designs that push the boundaries of craft and creativity without neglecting the user experience. Physical samples should be provided.
- DESIGN FOR GOOD
A great design can catalyse social change and improve our world. The judges will be looking for the best example of how design and creativity can benefit our society and improve our lives. The award will go to an entrant who helped others through the use of intelligent and creative design in a product service or campaign. Judges will be seeking an inspirational piece of work that demonstrates its ‘design for good’ purpose.
- EXPERIENTIAL DESIGN
Projects including audiovisual, graphic and object-based displays within museums, galleries, exhibitions, visitor centres and sales centres. Judges expect to see a creative execution of conceptual ideas and exemplary delivery. Work must engage the audience through intelligent design.
- DESIGN CRAFTS
Entrants must demonstrate innovative treatment of their chosen category in a design context. The judges will be on the lookout for exceptional craft and skills that push boundaries and confound expectations.
- WEBSITE DESIGN
Digital interfaces which promote interaction, eliminate redundancy and guide the user toward desired information.
Please provide images and links to your website.
- MOBILE/APP DESIGN
An efficient UI is the unsung backbone of any app and we will be looking for examples of genuine innovation, pioneering design and natural navigation. Any contributing element to the overall interface such as the logo, layout, visuals and colour schemes can be submitted.
Please provide links and images/videos illustrating your app for the judges to review.
The visualisation category is open to all representations of work produced by architects, graphic, product and interior designers. This may be in the form of CGI, virtual or augmented reality or other mediums which communicate the headline work through imagery. This category is open to any formal presentation of conceptual designs.
- MOVING IMAGERY DESIGN
The best use of design and imagery in film. The judges are looking for a great example of work which not only presents an exemplary skillset but equally demonstrates outstanding creativity.
Please provide examples of your animations for the judges review.
- ANIMATION DESIGN
The best use of design and imagery in animation. The judges are looking for a great example of work which not only presents an exemplary skillset but equally demonstrates outstanding creativity.
Please provide examples of your animations for the judges review.
- PRODUCT DESIGN
Judges will be looking at those physical goods which best address user needs and requirements or solve a given problem. Winning work must serve to enhance our lives by solving a practical problem while raising a smile in the process. Consideration will be given to those projects which embrace new technologies to solve previously intractable problems.
Award-winning work must smash preconceptions that product design is solely an industrial process by evidencing a fully-fledged multi-disciplinary approach that combines user and cultural insights to deliver class-leading work. We are particularly keen to see demonstrations of how new digital tools are facilitating improved communication, visualisation and modelling.
- YOUNG DESIGNER OF THE YEAR
All-round design excellence over a body of independent work by a designer under 30 years of age. Judges will award a young individual who stands out from their peers by exceptional design talent and work ethic. Submission must include an example of their best, independent work, a short description for their career accomplishments and the reason for nomination. The person can be nominated by their studio, peers or can nominate themselves.
- CLIENT OF THE YEAR
Must be a client of an SDA entrant.
Demonstrate best practice in commissioning.
Must make quality architecture an integral part of the procurement process.
Show commitment to addressing a societal and/or commercial need.
Entries are invited for architectural lighting projects such as exhibitions and event installations that were in place for a minimum of three days or which were erected in more than one location and open to the public for at least three days. Awarded work must pack a visual punch and/or embrace novel techniques and technologies to enhance the subject and its setting.
- INTERIOR DESIGN
We are looking for examples of interior fit-outs in the commercial, leisure, retail and residential sectors which make their occupants healthy and happy as well as an attractive and efficient use of space.
– Projects under £100k
– Projects from £100k – £250k
– Projects over £250k
Examples of building projects which promote economic growth, social capital and environmental improvement. Projects in this category must positively contribute to a sense of place, transforming perceptions of areas which may carry entrenched prejudicial physical and historic labels.
Single or multiple units designed for occupation as a home either for private rent or sale. Winning work must add value for both client and the public, cognizant of its immediate context and improve upon what has gone before.
- AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Any home provided by local authorities, housing associations, private developers and individuals for the purposes of rental below market values or subsidised homeownership. Judges will expect to see work which brings broad societal benefits and is capable of standing the test of time.
- HEALTH BUILDING OR PROJECT
Spanning all hospitals, medical facilities and promote physical and mental wellbeing. More important than ever before our judges will demand an appropriate balance of brief, budget and location which eschews institutional environments in favour of domestic human-centric values.
- EDUCATION BUILDING OR PROJECT
Open to all schools ( both public and private), universities and colleges this category rewards those projects which hand the next generation the greatest chance of success. Work which promotes the flexible use of space enhances the curriculum and democratises qualities of space and light will be favoured.
Encompassing examples of buildings designed for business or industrial use such as offices, hotels and distilleries. Awarded work must engage on an aesthetic as well as practical level. Working within the confines of budget and practicality recognised project will signal new approaches, demonstrate ambition and meet the aims of the client.
- PUBLIC BUILDING
Open to all buildings which are either publicly funded or open for public use. This category includes leisure and cultural attractions such as sports halls, theatres and art galleries.
This project can be in a proposed state meaning not under construction but must have planning approval. It is also for buildings and projects under construction which have not been yet completed. Judges will be seeking those projects which demonstrate the greatest skill in navigating the planning process through consultations and improvements to achieve desired results.
Buildings demonstrating excellence in conservation, restoration or adaptive re-use. Submissions should include information about the condition of the building before the work was undertaken, a short statement about the building’s significance and a description of the intention behind the works undertaken. Works which retain, safeguard and communicate our built legacy will be recognised. Awarded work must be sympathetic to the original, provide a sustainable future and demonstrate mastery of traditional skills.
- LOW-COST PROJECT
Any construction project delivered for £200k or less. Judges will be hunting for work which works miracles on a shoestring budget. How can we achieve more for less using novel materials, new construction techniques and innovative thinking?
- PUBLIC REALM/LANDSCAPING
Including both hard and soft landscaping. Work must improve upon the existing environment to the benefit of flora and fauna. Interventions should lift the spirits and serve as places where people will choose to linger.
Submissions are sought for examples of comprehensive roadmaps for the improvement of a localised area in terms of access, services and provision of facilities. Judges will look for strong design and evidence that the location, orientation of the buildings, the activities that they contain and the design of the surrounding space formed a critical component of the brief and proposed/complemented project. It is also important to make evident how people have primacy in proposals. For the purpose of these categories, the masterplan is analogous to the development plan, design framework and development framework.
- YOUNG ARCHITECT OF THE YEAR
All-round excellence over a body of independent work by an architect under 35 years of age. Submission must include an example of their best work, a short description for their career accomplishments and the reason for nomination. The person can be nominated by their practice, peers or can nominate themselves. Only qualified architects can be nominated.