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

iF Design Award 2022

The iF Product Design Award

Set up in 1954, the iF Design Award is conferred each year by a jury of internationally acclaimed experts on products by leading designers and companies within the sector. Split into nine categories, the prize focuses on the intersection of design and industry at global level, with a particular emphasis on the European, American and – particularly - Asian markets. Every year more than 2,000 proposals from almost 60 different countries compete for the iF seal of global excellence. The very best of these are awarded the “iF Gold Award” – known as the “Design Oscar.” Submissions for this year are closed; the juries are set to meet in January and March 2023 to select the winning projects, on the basis of a range of objective selection criteria.

iF Design Award
Deadline for submissions: 13th January 2023

compasso doro, salone milano

Compasso d'Oro, Awards ceremony, photo Roberto De Riccardis 

The Compasso d’Oro / Award for Innovation – ADI Design Index

Set up in 1954, the award was the brainchild of Gio Ponti, designed to underscore the value and quality of products appearing on what was then the emerging Italian design scene. The winning projects, spanning more than 70 years, are collected and held in the Award’s Historic Collection. The Compasso d'Oro is assigned on the basis of a preselection process carried out by the ADI Permanent Design Observatory, made up of a committee of experts regularly involved with gathering information and assessing and selecting the top products year after year. These are then published in the ADI Design Index yearbooks.

Compasso d'Oro
Applications to take part must be made to the ADI Design Index, no later than 10th February

good design, salone milano

CAKE Kalk, the Good Design Award Winner

The Good Design Award

The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and the Metropolitan Arts Press Ltd. presents the GOOD DESIGN® Awards for the most innovative industrial, product and graphic designs each year. The contenders are judged by a jury made up of distinguished design professionals, sectoral specialists and journalists, according to criteria set out in the 1950 program for the highest aesthetic in terms of innovative design, new technologies, form, materials, construction, concept, function, utility, and energy efficiency, and sensitivity to the environment. The award-winning design studios and producers are entitled to use the prestigious GOOD DESIGN® logo.

Deadline for submissions: 1st June 2023

The Archiproducts Design Awards

The ADAs are given out on an annual basis by Spa, owner of the Archiproducts brand, and celebrate the world’s design excellence. Every year, a multidisciplinary jury assesses hundreds of submitted products, which must already have been published on, rewarding the companies and designers that have successfully joined forces to shape solutions that are a balance of aesthetics, function and innovation.  All the activities relating to the awards communication will be uploaded and available for consultation on The many categories include Furnishing, Bathrooms, Kitchens, Outdoor, Office, Contract, Lighting, Wellbeing, Finishings and more.

Archiproducts Design Awards
Deadline for submissions: September 2023

archiproducts, design, award, salone milano

Archiproducts Design Award

16 January 2023