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Entry Requirements for Submissions

To partake in the IDEA competition, projects to be submitted must have been completed between September 1st, 2017 and August 31st, 2020

Innovation Design Excellence Awards

Entry Requirements

The IDEA 2020 competition is open to architects, designers and manufacturers from across Africa whose buildings, spaces, and products are developed and produced using a proper and correct design process. All entries must be of great quality and will be rigorously assessed by an eminent panel of regional and international design experts that represent the diverse range of design disciplines showcased by the awards.

The evaluation process is based on various judging criteria which constantly adapt to new technical, social, economic and ecological requirements. They provide an orientation framework, which is complemented by each individual juror according to their expertise and socio-cultural background. The judging criteria include amongst others:

  1. Level of innovation
  2. Functionality
  3. Formal quality
  4. Industry standards
  5. Durability and sustainability
  6. Symbolic context
  7. Self-explanatory quality
  1. All projects to be submitted must have been completed between September 1st, 2017 and August 31st, 2020.
  2. Design Innovation Fund Award entries must still be a work in progress as at the time of submission.
  3. There is no limit on the number of projects that can be submitted.
  4. Projects can be submitted in more than one category where relevant.
  5. All designs must be executed by qualified professionals.
  1. Register your account on the awards website.
  2. Choose the category that you want to enter. You can enter more than one.
  3. Give us details of your project and upload images.

The winners will enjoy the following benefits:
1. Extensive publicity of their winning projects which will highlight their design and execution prowess, not only to Africa but also on the world stage.
2. An IDEA trophy designed by the renowned Demas Nwoko in collaboration with Axor Design / an Italian manufacturer).
3. Inclusion in the press campaign directed to hundreds of thousands of design professionals, architects, press, and potential clients worldwide. There will also be networking opportunities with other architects, and designers at the Winners Event. This coverage by IDEA helps raise one’s profile and plays a role in bringing new business and collaboration opportunities.
4. Winner Certificate with the Seal of Excellence.
5. Winner Badge to promote your win online, on printed materials or in store.
6. Inclusion in the IDEA Book of Design.


With this award, we aim to recognize those whose exemplary works show an understanding that good architecture embodies more than just the practical functions of a building.

Their innovative creations must inspire societal development and offer a lasting impact on the users as well as the economy. Their work must encourage competition within the architectural industry. The Architect of the Year award is an honorary recognition of achievement to its winner. The mission of the Architecture Award is to advance the appreciation and exposure of quality architectural design. The award not only celebrates creativity and innovation in the fields of architectural design, but also acknowledges sustainability in design by offering solutions to environmental issues.

Architecture Categories

1. Residential Architecture: apartments, private houses, housing developments, multi-unit dwellings etc.

2. Commercial Architecture: offices, studios, warehouses, factories, shops, retail outlets, showrooms, department stores, food markets, shopping centres and salons.

3. Hospitality Architecture: cafes, bars, restaurants, hotels, spas, clubs, cinemas, fitness centres etc.

4. Institutional Architecture: galleries, museums, theatres, exhibition venues, places of worship, educational institutions, medical institutions, libraries, consulates, governmental buildings, airports etc.

Interior Designers

This honorary award is aimed at those who create spaces which are not just aesthetically pleasing, but also function to enhance the experience of the users and observers.

The IDEA Interior Designer of The Year award is directed at recognizing interior design professionals from interior designers to design agencies. We will be highlighting the works and efforts of professional individuals whose designs seek to solve social issues.

Interiors Design Categories

1. Residential Design: apartments, private houses, housing developments, multi-unit dwellings etc.

2. Commercial Design: offices, studios, warehouses, factories, shops, retail outlets, showrooms, department stores, food markets, shopping centres and hairdressers.

3. Hospitality Design: cafes, bars, restaurants, hotels, spas, clubs, cinemas, fitness centres etc.

Industrial Designers

At the IDEA Awards, we want to reward the strategic thinking, innovation and imagination which goes into making a valuable product.

The winner of this award would have spotted a need in the society and created an appropriate solution for it, thus advancing social impact with their contribution.

Industrial Design Categories

  • Packaging Design
  • Lighting Design
  • Toy and Recreation Design
  • Home Appliance Design
  • Food and Culinary Design
  • Building Materials Design
  • Heavy Machinery Design
  • Bathroom and Sanitary Ware Design
  • Fabric and Textiles Design

Furniture Designers

With the IDEA Furniture Designer of the Year Award, we seek to honour forward-thinking yet aesthetically timeless designs that are inspired by African concepts and themes.

We also look forward to honouring works focused on sustainability and functionality. The work must be able to create a solid social impression.

Furniture Design Categories

  • Corporate Furniture
  • Residential Furniture
  • Hospitality Furniture
  • Furniture Accessories
  • Interior Objects
  • Decorative Items

Urban Designers

The IDEA Urban Designer of the Year Award celebrates and acknowledges efforts focused on designing and shaping cities, towns and villages.

Urban design is a field that combines elements of the built environment, including landscape architecture, urban planning, architecture, civil and municipal engineering.

Urban Design Categories

  • Landscape Architecture
  • Urban Planning
  • Civil Engineering
  • Municipal Engineering

Brand + Communication Designers

The IDEA Brand and Communication Design of the Year award is aimed at championing groundbreaking designers and their graphic design works, from logos and corporate branding to posters and other promotional materials which are key in creating social impact in the socio-economic environments they regard.

Brand and Communication Categories

  • Graphic Design
  • Illustrations and Visual Projects
  • Packaging Design
  • Communication and Marketing

Technology Designers

The IDEA Technology Design of the Year award focuses on honouring innovators and their technological contributions through the best use of design, social media and event technology, to enhance live experiences of the society.

Technology Design Categories

  • Community Impact
  • Most Innovative Start up
  • Solution Design of the Year
  • Software Design
  • Electronics Design

Animation Designers

IDEA aims to recognise the best animations design ideas in Animation Design.

Animation Design Categories

  • 3D Animation
  • Hand Drawn Animation
  • Vector Animation
  • Stop Motion Animation
  • Motion Graphics Animation

Design Innovation Fund Award

The IDEA Design Concept & Innovation of the Year award recognizes and celebrates new design concepts and innovation which create global social impact.

The entry criteria focuses on well developed projects which follow the design and creative process. This innovation or designed object must cater to a need peculiar in society through innovation and design thinking. The Design Innovation Fund Categories are: Architecture, Interior design, Industrial design, Furniture design, Urban design, Brand + Communication design, Technology, Animation, and Design innovation fund. There is one winner of this category.

Important note

The shortlist will be announced on September 6th, 2020. All of those shortlisted have to purchase a pass for themselves or their representatives to attend the IDEA Gala in October.

  • Early bird entry deadline: July 31st, 2020
  • Final entry deadline: August 15th, 2020
  • Latecomer cut off deadline: September 5th, 2020

Registration fees vary depending on the registration date. Registration fees per entry area exclusive of VAT;

  • Early Bird- $100
  • Regular- $250
  • Latecomer- $300
  • Student- $80

Registration precedes payments, but all entries must be submitted before the September 5th, deadline.

To enter a project into more than one category, you must complete a second project entry form. This means the registration fee is incurred twice.

Submit your project