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QSDC - Winners' Obligations

Home > Theory > Assigning Quality Score > Obligations
This article explores the jury's weight on the quality score for a design competition.

Assigning a Quality Score for Design Competitions - Winners' Obligations

Abstract: Winners' Obligations are what the competition organizers ask from the winner participants. These details usually expressed in terms and agreements are the total due fees (such as for a potential exhibition, pr campaigns, gala nights etc), and other obligations such as participating in events, making advertisement, post-commissioning or selling or transfering designs. To calculate a raw score for winner's obligations, we check the terms and agreements of the competition, and also from the competition website or by contacting the organizers we seek to define the general obligations and any due fees as it usually happens that winners' obligations are communicated in the end of the competition, or some of them are concealed.

Winner's Obligation score is calculated with the following criteria: Existence of Terms and Agreements, Total Due Fees, Event Participation Requirements, Details on Transfer or Sales of Designs at the end of the competition.

Please note that for winner's obligations score, we do not consider other details such as the fees and costs, privacy settings etc. as they are discussed in separate sections.

Collected Information: Winners' Obligations, Event Participation, Transfer or Sales of Designs, Total Due Fees etc.

Winners' Obligations Score Sheet:

  1. Terms and Agreements, Score++10
    If the design competition clearly provides its terms and agreements, it is considered highly positive, designers could read the terms and agreements to see what they are getting into, or print the terms and agreements for future reference in case of legal actions.
  2. Total Due Fees, Score++
    Some design competitions requires winners to take part in the gala night, public relations campaign etc, indeed not as stated directly as costs, they are regardless have to be paid. This information is highly relevant and should be stated clearly.
  3. Winners Obligations
    1. General Obligations, Score++10
      Clearly defining the most important obligations is an important aspect of the design competition, for instance if the designers need to sell their designs, or if they need to participate in an event etc.
    2. Event Participation, Score++
      Providing this information in advance is considered positive as in some cases, designers might be required to take part in events that might also require substential amound of investment to do so such such as money and time, for travel and expenses.
      1. Designers have to participate in an exhibition, Score++
        Forcing designers to take in an exhibition is negative, however sharing this information in advance is considered an act of good will.
      2. Designers have to participate in a gala night, Score++
        In some competitions, designers might be required to take part in the gala night to receive their awards, sharing this information is considered positive.
      3. Designers have to participate both the gala night and exhibition, Score++
        In some rare cases, designers are asked to take part in the gala night and exhibition, this information should be shared in advance.
      4. Designers have to participate in several events, Score++
        In rare situations, designers might be required to take part in several events, such as pr campaigns, meetings, tradefairs etc, it is a must to share this information in advance.
      5. Designers are not required to participate in any events, Score++15
        The fact that the organizer does not force the designers to participate in any event is considered highly positive as this is the option that shows the greatest respect to the participants.
    3. Advertising
      In some design competitions, the participants could be forced or required to make advertisement either directly by sending emails, communication etc or through indirect ways such as asking their friends to vote on the designs. Providing this information in advance is considered positive.
      1. The participants are not required to make advertisements, Score++15
        This is the most respectful option for designers, as they are not used in the sense of an unpaid advertiser. Not requiring to make advertisements from designers is considered highly positive.
      2. The participants are required to make physical advertisements, Score++
        It could be the case that participants are required to post posters, distribute flyers etc, which does not make sense at all as this should be the job of the organizer, in any case, providing this information is considered positive due to transparency.
      3. The participants are required to make online advertisements, Score++
        In many competitions, we see that the participants are actually required to make online advertisements in an indirect way such as by asking friends to vote etc, though this is not postive at all, sharing this information in advance is considered positive.
    4. Post-Commisioning and Work Options
      Providing this information in advance is considered positive.
      1. Winner designers are given a chance to work for the organizer or sponsors, Score++10
        It is good to have an opportunity to work for a company after being already realized as winner.
      2. Winner designers are guaranteed to work for the organizer or sponsors, Score++15
        Providing a guaranteed work option for winners is also a highly positive aspect as long as it is not forced, in addition the fact that a work is guaranteed for a period could also increase interest to the competition.
      3. Winners have to work for the organizer or sponsors in order to claim any prizes, Score++
        This is a terrible way of dealing designers, as if they are design slaves being forced to make manual labor, this is highly a negative option, but in any case, giving this information in advance in a clear way is considered positive.
    5. Transfer or Sales of Designs
      1. Winners are not obliged to sell their designs to the organizer, Score++15
        This is the most respectful option, designers should not have the need to sell their designs to the organizer, however some design competitions are especially made in order to buy new designs, therefore this option could not be always possible.
      2. Winners are obliged to sell their designs to the organizer for the award sum, Score++10
        In competitions where the primary aim is to collect new designs, to build a new collection or to collect ideas to use, this option is not possible, although not requiring the designers to sell their designs is the best option, this is also considered acceptable.
      3. Winners agree to transfer their designs to the organizer for free, Score++
        To say it outright, this is a way of legally stealing designs, this is the least desirable option and such competitions should be avoided if possible, on the other hand letting people know that this is the case by sharing this information is considered positive.
      4. Winners are given a chance to sell their designs to the organizer for the award sum, Score++15
        Providing a possibility and option to sell the designs to the designers, the organizer is showing respect, however due to the fact that the price is already given (the award sum), the designer loses her power to bargain, in any case this is a highly positive option..

Maximum Possible Score (81) is achieved with a competition with the following configuration:

Winners' Obligations Score Sheet:

  1. Terms and Agreements, Score++10
  2. Total Due Fees, Score++
  3. Winners Obligations
    1. General Obligations, Score++10
    2. Event Participation
      1. Designers are not required to participate in any events, Score++15
    3. Advertising
      1. The participants are not required to make advertisements, Score++15
    4. Post-Commisioning and Work Options
      1. Winner designers are guaranteed to work for the organizer or sponsors, Score++15
    5. Transfer or Sales of Designs
      1. Winners are not obliged to sell their designs to the organizer, Score++15 OR Winners are given a chance to sell their designs to the organizer for the award sum, Score++15

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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