Jul 22nd, 2020

Japan’s largest design competition KOKUYO DESIGN AWARD 2021 will be held! Theme : “POST-NORMAL”

KOKUYO Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Osaka City; President and CEO: Hidekuni Kuroda), is holding the KOKUYO DESIGN AWARD 2021 which is a competition aiming to gather and commercialize designs from a wide range of users in the general public that are excellent from the perspective of those using them. We will accept submissions of works from August 21 to October 19, 2020.

The upcoming KOKUYO DESIGN AWARD will be the 18th time the competition is held since its founding in 2002, and many of the winning designs have gone on to become successful products, such as Kadokeshi, Campus Note Paracuruno, Nameless Paints, and True Measure. There was a total of 1,377 submitted entries for the previous competition (17th), and with over 40% of the entries submitted from countries other than Japan, it has truly grown as an international product design competition.

The theme for this competition is “POST-NORMAL.”
People all over the world have witnessed society changing at overwhelming speed?whether they want it to or not. That’s precisely why we set this theme: so that it would serve as an opportunity for us to question again the value of the things around us, and think together about what kinds of value will continue to be widely loved for a long time to come. In addition to that, many of the designs we’ve received in recent years have been based on ideas of high social value. The AWARD has rated those kinds of proposals highly up to now, too. This time though, we’re going to go back to its origins in product design, and call for entries that are complete as a product besides having value as an idea.

“Any stationery, furniture or tool used in working, learning and living scenes” are eligible. As all tools used in everyday life are eligible, and not just stationery and furniture which are KOKUYO’s main product categories, we expect more flexible ideas. Submissions are comprehensively evaluated based on the three evaluation criteria:
1) The design’s interpretation of the theme
2) The design’s level of completion
3) The design’s potential to become a product

Japan’s largest design competition KOKUYO DESIGN AWARD 2021 will be held! Theme : “POST-NORMAL” Japan’s largest design competition KOKUYO DESIGN AWARD 2021 will be held! Theme : “POST-NORMAL”


Details will be published on the KOKUYO website in the near future.

■ Main application guidelines for KOKUYO DESIGN AWARD 2021

1. Theme : POST-NORMAL
The world became new while we were totally unprepared for it.
Before we are given time to think carefully about things,
what we like, dislike, agree with, disagree with,
our once-familiar everyday life continues to change.
So we try to catch up with the changes, and in our rush
many ideas spring up and disappear.
What’s important in product design now
is to try to face the things around us anew.
To take a deep look at the value of continuing to be lastingly and broadly
To end not only with an idea, but to think through every detail,
to be persistent, and give shape to a product.

2. Eligible Entries : Any stationery, furniture or tool used in working, learning and living scenes

3. Registration & Submission : August 21 (Fri) – October 19 (Mon), 2020

4. Judges
Ryosuke Uehara (CEO, Art Director & Creative Director of KIGI Co., Ltd.)
Masashi Kawamura (Creative Director & Chief Creative Officer of Whatever Inc.)
Tsuyoshi Tane (Founder of Atelier Tsuyoshi Tane Architects / Architect)
Teruhiro Yanagihara (Designer)
Yoshie Watanabe (Art Director & Designer at KIGI Co., Ltd.)
Hidekuni Kuroda (KOKUYO Co., Ltd. President and CEO)

5. Prizes
Grand Prix (one winner): ¥2,000,000
Merit Award (three winners): ¥500,000 per winner
*Prize money will be paid net of withholding tax, surtax for reconstruction funding, and other applicable deductions.
*Not all prizes may be awarded for all categories if there is no winner selected.

6. Judging Criteria
The design’s interpretation of the theme
The design’s level of completion
The design’s potential to become a product

7. Announcement of the Winners : March 13 (Sat), 2021 (tentative)

Detailed application guidelines will be published on KOKUYO’s website and social media accounts on August 21.
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