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QSDC - Awards and Prizes

Home > Theory > Assigning Quality Score > Awards and Prizes
This article explores the awards and prizes weight on the quality score for a design competition.

Assigning a Quality Score for Design Competitions - Awards and Prizes

Abstract: The ultimate aim for any designer who joins a design competition is to win it. Therefore, it is highly important to make sure that the awards are communicated correctly. First of all, the numbers of awards are of great importance, a good competition should have at least 3 awards: Winner, second place and 3rd place. Total award prizes should be communicated in advance publicly. Highly qualifying competitions will also help realization of the winning designs, and award prizes would be distributed to awarded projects only. Awards could be monetary or non-monetary, but in any case should be clearly communicated in advance. It is suggested that a good design competition features an additional awards page where details regarding the awarding scheme, distribution etc. are explained to the public.

Please note that the gala night, physical exhibition etc although are relevant however are not discussed in this section as they are discussed in detail in other sections.

Collected Information: Award and Prizes as given in the Brief

Awards and Prizes Score Sheet:

  1. Number of Awards
    1. Indicated as none, Score++
    2. Some competitions might not provide any awards at all which is against the whole idea of awarding, however the organizer deserves at least a trivial credit for sharing this information in advance.
    3. One (1) to Two (2), Score++5
      Competitions could provide a few to thousands of awards, however in the end, it is not the number of awards but the worth of the awards that is important (quality, not the quantity). In this case we consider any competition that awards at least one or two, as a positive one.
    4. Equal to or More than Three (3+), Score++10
      A good competition, on the other hand, should have a first place, a second place and a third place at least, of course honorable mentions is an added plus, therefore competitions having more than or equal to three awards is better in this sense.
  2. Are the number of awards are based on percentage or if they are fixed
    1. Fixed, Score++10
      Having a fixed number of awards has been the best practice, however new design competitions usually provide several awards based on a percentage. Indeed having a fixed amount of awards is desireable especially if the number of participants are high, in this case this option will increase the quality of the competition, however when the number of submissions are low, this will decrease the quality of the competition because several designs will be awarded even if when they actually do not deserve an award.
    2. Based on Percentage, Score++5
      Not having a fixed number of awards could be good, especially if the number of submissions are high however it could also decrease the award sum thus decreasing the attractiveness in the monetary sense. On the other hand, it could also increase the quality when the number of submissions are less.
      1. Percentage of Awards, Score++5
        Sharing the percentage of awards clearly is important to see in advance your odds of winning and thus has a positive effect on the quality of the competition by providing added transparency.
  3. Total Award Prizes, Score++10
    It is good to indicate the total monetary award prizes or their equivalents beforeahead as some of the participants are indeed joining the competitions to win the award prizes as for them the award prizes are the main motivator.
  4. Realization of Participating Designs++20
    One another motivator for participants to join a design competition is the fact that their designs might be realized either in the form of prototypes or finished products, having this option is a great added value for the design competition.
  5. Distribution of Award Prizes and Money
    1. Prizes/Money given only to awarded designs, Score++50
      This is the best practice, and it is also the good practice, awarding non-winners is not a good idea in most scenarios.
    2. Prizes/Money given to all designs, weighted by their votes and scores, Score++20
      This type of award distribution is visible in design competitions where the main purpose is to have as many people as possible to be involved, even though, it could still be good if the scores or votes are not from "public voting".
    3. There are no Prizes/Money, Score++
      It could be possible that some competitions do not offer monetary awards, however usually they do offer other incentives and/or equivalent awards such as other gifts or services, if there is neither a money prize nor equivalents, that is kind of against the idea of organizing a design competition, in any case, if the competition organizer shares this information, it is considered positive.
  6. Award Prize (Monetary or Other) Information
    1. For each award, up to eight (including a best case scenario with a first place, a second place, a third place and five mentions), Score++
      Providing extra details about what the awards are, for sure is important for the designers who are competing for them.
    2. Awards Information Page, Score++12
      Having a special page that describes awards in detail, how to get them, what are the due fees or duties in case of gifts (such as taxes etc), is a great plus. Providing this information definetely increases the quality score of the design competition.

Maximum Possible Score (108) is achieved with a competition with the following configuration:

Awards and Prizes Score Sheet:

  1. Number of Awards
    1. Equal to or More than Three (3+), Score++10
  2. Are the number of awards are based on percentage or if they are fixed
    1. Fixed, Score++10 or Based on Percentage where Percentage of Awards Indicated, Score++10
  3. Total Award Prizes, Score++10
  4. Realization of Participating Designs, Score++20
  5. Distribution of Award Prizes and Money
    1. Prizes/Money given only to awarded designs, Score++50
  6. Award Prize (Monetary or Other) Information
    1. At least eight awards are explained, Score++8
    2. Awards Information Page, Score++12

Short Notes: Please note that ++ means to increase by one (1), and -- means to decrease by one (1), so score ++ means, score will increase by one (1). Score ++n means to increase score by n (n) points; Score ++3 means to increase score 3 points. Score // means does not affect score.

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