The most important design competitions of 2023

ro plastic prize, call, salone milano

Maria Koijck, Emotion on Communication Winner, Ro Plastic Prize 2021

Prizes, competitions and contests not to be missed in 2023. The focus is on harnessing creativity to tackle the hottest issues of the moment: the wellbeing of people and the planet

Design in all its forms, is life, and awareness of this concept has grown over the years. This is something designers are all too familiar with: creating a design product these days involves issues such as waste disposal, recycling, and developing a sustainable supply chain that also takes in the production processes.

It is this theme that the leading sectoral competitions are embracing, as privileged showcases both for designers, and upcoming talents in particular, and for the industries, increasingly keen to come up with products and technologies that will respond to the growing public demand for “beautiful and well-made” objects.

The following are the international competitions to be kept in mind.

The Ro Plastic Prize

Now into its fifth edition, the Ro Plastic Prize was set up by Rossana Orlandi, the internationally renowned expert and curator of collectible design and winner of the 2020 Compasso d’Oro Lifetime Award, and her daughter Nicoletta Orlandi Brugnoni. Following on from their project RoGUILTLESSPLASTIC, set up in 2019, based on the assumption that it is wrong and simplistic to outlaw plastic as a material, and identifying its reuse, recycling and upcycling as a potential new productive approach. The 2023 edition is split into three categories, with the winners presented from 16th to 23rd January, during Milan Design Week. Entry is free.

Ro Plastic Prize
Deadline for submissions: 23rd January 2023


It is the most important competition in the wood industry, launched by TABU (an Italian wood dyeing highflyer since 1927, located in Cantù, Como), supported by ADI, FederlegnoArredo and FSC® Italia, with Carpanelli as its main partner. It is an annual, international contest for ideas aimed both at university students and at designers of all ages. The project has a strong educational bias, designed to further the knowledge of wood and its value as a noble, living and renewable material. The competition also includes the Carpanelli Award – a special prize for furnishing products – follow the link for further information.

Deadline for submissions: 10th June 2023

holimed, award, red dot, design, salone milano

Holimed, Red Dot Design Award Winner

The Red Dot Design Award

"In search of good design” – the Red Dot Design Award is one of the largest design competitions in the world. It is recognised at international level as one of the most sought-after marks of good design. In order to appraise diversity within the field in a professional manner, the Red Dot Design Award is split into three disciplines: Product Design, Brand & Communication Design and Design Concept. The competitions for each of these disciplines take place once a year. Only the first of these is still open, devoted to industrially manufactured products.

Red Dot Design Award
Deadline for submissions: 27th January 2023

The German Innovation Awards

Split into a number of different categories, the German Innovation Awards, presented by the German Design Council, are for products and solutions distinguished by their user-friendly concept and added value compared with what is already available on the market across all industrial sectors. The award, now into its fourth edition, is aimed at innovative companies able to ‘shape’ the future by improving consumer quality of life through the design and realisation of user-centric products, and is decided by a jury of independent experts in industry, science, institutions and finance. The awards will be made on 23rd March.  

German Innovation Awards
Deadline for submissions: 27th January 2023, 3rd February for the digital session  

The A’Design Award & Competition

Starting from the assumption that “good design deserves great recognition” the A’Design Award & Competition is geared to recognising and promoting “good design” and acting as an international showcase. The 100 or so categories include the Good Industrial Design Award, the Good Architecture Design Award, the Good Product Design Award, the Good Communication Design Award, the Good Service Design Award and the Good Fashion Design Award. The awards will be made on 15th April 2023.

A’Design Award & Competition
Deadline for submissions (late): 28th February 2023