Hettich and Rehau; organisers of the 2018 International Design Award received 1,360 registrations from 71 countries. One of the biggest competitions for creative discipline students, the award is a pool of ideas for innovative design solutions like the washbasin and shower cubicle taking up only one square metre of floor space.

The adjudicators – Dr. Andreas Hettich (Hettich) and Andreas Albig (Rehau) explain how they chose the ten best entries which are now going to the public vote. From 3rd April to 30th May 2018, design aficionados can take part in the online public vote: www.internationaldesignaward.com

Dr. Andreas Hettich said “This year we drew up a list of nine criteria that reflect the demands and expectations of the International Design Award: uniqueness, design achievement, viability, theme focus, relevance to the furniture world, orientation towards the future, time of market entry, degree of detailing, international applicability. We also felt it important that the solutions really do come from the furniture world and are realistic. Most of the designs immediately gave us a good idea of how to implement them in practice. Rating anything is always a subjective matter. To measure all of the designs by the same yardstick, we drew up the criteria above. This makes sure that you pay closer attention to entry content and avoids being blinded by any fancy looking makeup. But with Andreas Albig and I perhaps being won over by somewhat different aspects, we decided we would each select 20 designs. As this resulted in a couple of overlaps, we ultimately decided on the top ten from 35 entries.”

Andreas Albig said “The various scores were weighted differently though. Design achievement was one of the criteria carrying the highest weighting, with high priority also being given to the aspects of uniqueness and viability. We consciously placed the emphasis on creativity. Yet contestants were not only expected to produce ideas but create real solutions to existing problems. We can justify shortlisting ten designs with a clear conscience. Whoever now makes it to the top in the public vote is completely out of our hands. 1,360 students from no fewer than 71 countries registered for the 2018 International Design Award. Among the nations submitting the most designs were Poland, Italy and Germany, Russia, South Korea and, above all, China.” Dr. Andreas Hettich added “Yes, China heads the hit list. It very much looks as if the Award remit provided a semester long focus at Nanjing Forestry University. In the meantime, we have real fan following, with this I mean universities and professors who give the Award a lot of promotion – many of them now competition regulars. This is reflected in contestant numbers from these countries. Of course, it also helps that we’ve been staging the competition since 1997 and that it meanwhile enjoys huge international popularity and fame.