THE AWARD
CATEGORIES
REGISTRATION
SUBMIT YOUR WORK
ENTRY INSTRUCTIONS
TERMS & CONDITIONS
PUBLICATIONS
DATES & FEES
METHODOLOGY
CONTACT
WINNERS
PRESS ROOM
GET INVOLVED
DESIGN PRIZE
DESIGN STORE
 
THE AWARD | JURY | CATEGORIES | REGISTRATION | PRESS | WINNERS | PUBLICATIONS | ENTRY INSTRUCTIONS

Network Effects

Home > Methodology > Network Effects
This page explains why A' Design Awards has multiple categories, importance of concepts and more.

Designed for Social Value Creation
A’ Design Award & Competition is the first design competition that has been synthetically developed through research. The competition has been specifically designed to increase the overall value creation for all participants (not individual or specific participants). Within this context, the award has major differences when compared to other awards which were not designed for overall value creation. It should be noted that since the purpose is to increase aggregate / social value (i.e. sum of utilities of all participants), this systematically implies that while at social level, the system would be pareto efficent than other design awards; for individual level, improvements could be both pareto and non-pareto depending on the context as described below.

Externalities within Network
The strength of an award, in addition to prestige provided by its structural design (jury, patrons, sponsors, monetary prizes etc) comes from the prestige provided by its fame and spread; the more people know about the award, the more that award is valued. The spread should be increased both in magnitude and variety; horizontal and vertical i.e. for an award to increase its prestige both the number of people and the number of different type of people should be increased. Therefore it is crucial for an award or prize to reach a range of audience that is as wide and as varied as possible. Furthermore, the more people know how difficult, or how hard to obtain an award, it becomes more prestigious as well. Therefore it is also crucial for an award or prize to have as many lead-users well educated about the award as well.

Today, if you would inquire your non-designer friends regarding design awards, you might notice that non-designers (people outside the design and design industry circle) do not usually know even the most famous design awards, however ask them awards in their own niche or industry and they will name a few. This principle applies to all sorts of industry awards, prizes or trophies. This is because, most award schemes are niche industry-specific organizations; many people in the particular industry know of them (because they themselves participate them or because their institution participates them), but less people outside the industry even hear them (because also the reach and advertisement budget is limited for these niche events but more importantly the reach is uni-dimensional i.e. magnitude within the circle is high, but variety is low). Therefore, when designing A’ Design Awards, we asked; how can an industry specific award could become more popular? How can a design award become or be made more popular among also for non-designer audiences? What can be done such that the awards won would indeed create additional value to the people who have won them instead of being decorations in a big room?  We came up with the following insights:

To add value to the award, one should reach a larger audience, which is also well educated about the award, and one of the prominent ways to reach a larger audience, and to educate them about the award is to include them within the organization: A powerful, prestigious award should include as many stakeholders / partakers as possible within the award itself.  Different than the final audience (i.e. people who learn about the winners; the public audience), the stakeholders; sponsors, patrons and participants themselves play a crucial role in spreading an award. Not only partakers contribute to advertising and promoting the award in different industries and segments, they also create awareness of the award in the public audience as well, which in turn, adds prestige and fame to the overall organization. The stakeholders, who join the competition, perhaps had been awarded themselves know the competition better when compared to the public design oriented audience that is interested in results/inspiration only. Taking part in the process, the stakeholders contribute to the spread, fame and publicity of the award, creating additional value to winners by sharing their insights to others.

Of course, awards could be advertised also by spending a lot on advertising meanwhile limiting the categories; however this advertising budget is usually limited or it comes from a specific source: the participants. This is one of the reasons why some design competitions charge a months-wage worth of entrance fees and several months-wage worth of exhibition, awarding or advertising fees. However, by increasing the number of categories, we could eliminate such costs. Furthermore, this way of spreading the award through pushed advertisements not only creates a huge burden for the entrants as additional costs of joining, but also it creates most importantly an “access exclusivity” (since it becomes more expensive to take part in). In return, these awards are joined only by a group of high-income salary designers and large design corporations and manufacturers and could no longer be classified as “design awards for designers”.


Fig.1 : Collaborative Circles Model for Network Value Creation

However by including as many different fields of designs as possible to award categories, not only an organic connection between the participants, sponsors and patrons can be created but also the cost of advertising to reach a wider audience will be diminished and the award will spread to more and more audiences without creating added burden to the participants and without creating “exclusivity” or “barriers” to join. When the competition categories become wider, the worth of winning the award will also become bigger; the value of an award is positively correlated with the number of people who knows the award both within the circle and outside the industry, because the value proposition of an award is not just high-standard indication for a specific design, but also advertisement, reach, marketing possibilities and other public communication and visibility services for winners. Up to now, most awards have been industry specific; no one knows them except a few within the industries. But for an award to be effective, it must spread and spread; it should reach not only more people, but a higher variety of people. Therefore a good design award should cover as many categories as it could cover. This also means having a larger jury, and more participants.


Fig.2 : Focusing on an Interlink

By having a wide-category design competition it also provides people from different design industries and fields to compete under a fair and ethical ground to present their ideas as well and this is why A’ Design Award includes many competition categories. Each of the different categories supports the main value within the award itself. Of course it is not easy to start or sustain a design award with many categories; therefore the initial strategy of A’ Design Award was to create base categories, and an "open" category, which allows entries that do not fit other categories to be submitted. The "open" category, is the "Unexpected" design award for the A' Design Award & Competition and some entries which could still not be classified could be submitted to the “Idea” category. These two categories allowed participants to submit high-quality designs, in diverse fields and also helped us to identify previously non-existing competition categories such as “futuristic design award”. A Second way to create more categories, is by sub-dividing large competition categories, such as "industrial design" or "product design", this is indeed not a marketing strategy, but an essential step towards the transparency and methodology of the competition itself, as by sub-diving main design competition categories, sub-specific criteria can be defined.

For example, if a competition has only a single "product design category", it usually means that all product designs will be judged together with other designs; i.e. if you submit kitchenware designs, and another designer submit bathroom-ware designs, your kitchenware designs will be judged in comparison to the bathroom-ware design which does not make sense; however by introducing further categories, we could cluster the designs better and judge them in comparison with others. This is another aspect, why a good design competition should have more categories, because you cannot simply compare apples and bananas with the same quality criteria. Of course having more categories creates a significant burden for the organizer. With more competition categories the organizer should reach more people, should increase the jury size and should define criteria for each and every category, should reach sponsors, should reach press in these industries etc but it is fundamentally required for having a good competition organization that compares apples with apples only.


Fig.3 : Collaborative vs Competitive Networking through Competition Categories

A further but likewise important reason why design competitions should cover more categories lies in the participant behaviors and networking effects. During award events such as the gala-nights or exhibitions of design awards and competitions, award winners come together. The situation in niche awards (i.e. awards which focus on particular categories) is as follows; all the designers who come to the award ceremony are more or less competitors in the sense that they do similar designs within similar categories and therefore compete for similar design tasks, and also all the “design buyers” (such as design oriented manufacturers) who are awarded are likewise competitors. In niche awards, thus the collaborative behavior could only exist between “designers” and “design buyers”. In contrast, at A’ Design Award since many different partakers join the event under many distinct categories, collaborative behavior could be observed. Designers are able to meet other designers in distinct design knowledge domains for which they could collaborate with; which we call as collaborative-industry-circles. For example at A’ Design Awards, the following is a likely scenario: A Real Estate developer meets an Architect who meets an Interior Designer who meets a Furniture Designer, who meets an Advertising Agency who meets a Creative Write etc. ensuring that the system creates and captures value within itself.

Fig.4 : Discovery and Exploration Effects through Competition Categories

A further underestimated issue is Discovery & Exploration; i.e. to find out knowledge in a passive manner without actively searching for it. The principle system of A’ Design Awards is based on these two aspects, all the systems and structures for spread and reach were designed in a manner to create opportunities for people both inside and outside the collaborative design circles to discover and explore different partakers in distinct design categories. This allows the realization of the following scenarios: An editor who searches for furniture designs, also finds out interior designers. A buyer who searches for design oriented manufacturers also finds out auto-producer designers. A design enthusiast who wishes to find inspiration for graphic design learns and discovers packaging designers. A company who was browsing for packaging designers could meet also product and visual communication designers, creative writers and more. This allows award winner designers of A’ Design Award & Competition to be found, discovered and explored by others, including potential customers, media members and collaborators etc.

In summary, a good design competition should have more categories, because a) Reaching more categories, allows reaching more stakeholders, participants and a wider audience which increases the prestige content from fame and publicity angle. b) Having more categories allows sub-definition of criteria for different types of entries, thus providing the fundamental basis of a prestigious competition from the methodology, transparency and fair competition perspectives. c) Having more categories allows a design award winners to demonstrate collaborative behavior and benefit from networking effects much more than the niche awards which lead to competitive behaviors.  d) Having more categories allows a design competition to unlock the potentials of discovery and to tap in to the externalities generated through exploration.

Importance of Concept Designs
A’ Design Award & Competition accepts both realized and concept design projects, judges them with similar but slightly different criteria but awards them with the same honor. However as you might already know, this is a rather an unorthodox way for “design awards”. The reason that concept designs and finished products are separated in other competitions is based on the idea that they could not be judged equally since concept designs would have advantage of not being restricted by practical issues and applications; however this condition only holds true when the jury is not able to imagine the potential issues with concepts, thus by having a strong qualified jury, the potential concept-practice bias could be eliminated or decreased to an acceptable level. Furthermore, concept designs that are “not likely to be realized in the current era” are categorized in “Futuristic Design Competition” thus further eliminating the biases. In these conditions, it makes sense to accept concept designs because concept designs are usually more unique and interesting than existing products or finalized projects since the imagination is less limited by practical issues and commercial aspects. Since concepts are highly interesting, they spread more virally and drive more visitors to the awards which are channeled to finalized products or project. Likewise, visitors who searched for award winning finalized products or projects could discover the design concepts and share them for further reach, increasing the utility generated by the awards through additional visibility and reach.

Content Syndication Systems
For all award winner designers, we wish to note that the content syndication systems (IDNN + DXGN networks) have a particular purpose: Visibility & Discovery for All Winners. The syndication systems have been especially designed in a way to attract visitors to A’ Design Award Winners’ Profiles rather than webpages of individual designers. This strategic decision has been undertaken in order to maximize the social benefits (benefits to all award winners combined) rather than individual designers; the inner working of the system is as follows: Once design oriented visitors (including media members) searches for specific content such as typology of products, designers’ names, competition categories etc. in this case pages from the syndication network is displayed. Once a visitor clicks this pages, they are taken to A’ Design Award profile pages which helps to promote the award and the award winner. But more importantly, the system lets discovery of other designers and award winning works as well, and when the effects of visitor channeling of all the award winners combined, the aggregate results of the system creates a positive impact on all designers combined through further visibility, discovery and recognition. Individual designers benefit from the system since it is not just their names or products that are searched for, but many others. The system was especially designed considering the research that explained how the value of a design award is set; within this context, the value of a design award is directly proportional to its reach, since content syndication method allows us to reach a greater audience, it increases the overall value proposition for all winners and the system creates positive social welfare for the overall system through aggregated externalities. Please once again be reminded that the IDNN + DXGN Content syndication network is a very distinct functionality and service for A’ Design Award winners and should not be confused by other services for PR: while IDNN + DXGN network showcases all winners by publishing them through the network, additional communication and further visibility is provided to winners through other distinct A’ Design Award services such as the PR Campaigns, Press Releases, Media Communication and Editorial Placements, and also additional services do exists for “Visitor Channeling” to individual’s websites. For example, winners could utilize the PRHOW service and ListOf.Net services to drive traffic to their own websites or platforms. Winners could also use the DesignAmid platform to write an article and a link to their own webpages. While the IDNN+DXGN services are automatically activated and provided passively for all participants, further free services might require manual input and therefore could be activated within the control panels. In addition to these services, design award winners’ press releases are distributed through both DesignPRWire to Design Media List and through other services to major media outlets; such as Associated Press and others. However, once again, we should remind you that once we do the press release, we cannot truly control any media authors to publish “specific” designers or how they would publish their information. For all press releases we provide two links; link to the designers’ websites and link to the A’ Design Award website; we cannot choose which link they would want to use. Furthermore, we cannot choose which designs they would publish, therefore instead of picking some designs, we relay all the design award winning designers to all editors so that they could choose and publish the works that they truly like or feel that would fit their own audience; this also creates better outcomes since by publishing the works they like, the editors write stories that are more genuine and appealing to their own audiences.

The A' Design Award and Competition, creates unmatched value for its participants; in addition to networking possibilities, laureates are provided a series of services to promote and highlight the award winning designs. Learn more about benefits of joining the A' Design Awards.

Submit Your Designs What is A' Design Award? Learn more about A' Design Award and Competition
 
design award logo

BENEFITS
THE DESIGN PRIZE
WINNERS SERVICES
PR CAMPAIGN
PRESS RELEASE
MEDIA CAMPAIGNS
AWARD TROPHY
AWARD CERTIFICATE
AWARD WINNER LOGO
PRIME DESIGN MARK
BUY & SELL DESIGN
DESIGN BUSINESS NETWORK
AWARD SUPPLEMENT

METHODOLOGY
DESIGN AWARD JURY
PRELIMINARY SCORE
VOTING SYSTEM
EVALUATION CRITERIA
METHODOLOGY
BENEFITS FOR WINNERS
PRIVACY POLICY
ELIGIBILITY
FEEDBACK
WINNERS' MANUAL
PROOF OF CREATION
WINNER KIT CONTENTS
FAIR JUDGING
AWARD YEARBOOK
AWARD GALA NIGHT
AWARD EXHIBITION

MAKING AN ENTRY
ENTRY INSTRUCTIONS
REGISTRATION
ALL CATEGORIES

FEES & DATES
FURTHER FEES POLICY
MAKING A PAYMENT
PAYMENT METHODS
DATES & FEES

TRENDS & REPORTS
DESIGN TRENDS
DESIGNER REPORTS
DESIGNER PROFILES
DESIGN INTERVIEWS

ABOUT
THE AWARD
AWARD IN NUMBERS
HOMEPAGE
AWARD WINNING DESIGNS
DESIGNER OF THE YEAR
MUSEUM OF DESIGN
PRIME CLUBS
SITEMAP
RESOURCE

RANKINGS
DESIGNER RANKINGS
WORLD DESIGN RANKINGS
DESIGN CLASSIFICATIONS
POPULAR DESIGNERS

CORPORATE
GET INVOLVED
SPONSOR AN AWARD
BENEFITS FOR SPONSORS

PRESS
DOWNLOADS
PRESS-KITS
PRESS PORTAL
LIST OF WINNERS
PUBLICATIONS
RANKINGS
CALL FOR ENTRIES
RESULTS ANNOUNCEMENT

CONTACT US
CONTACT US
GET SUPPORT

Follow us : Twitter Twitter | Twitter Facebook | Twitter Google+.
Share |