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30 days to go until entries for IDEA 2021 close

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30 days to go until entries for IDEA 2021 close


Today marks 30 days to go until entries for IDEA 2021 close. Get your entry in before 11 June 2021 for you chance to win in Australia’s oldest independent interior design and architecture award!

With exactly a month to go until IDEA 2021 closes, we thought we’d answer a few of your FAQs about this year’s awards.

When does IDEA 2021 close?

Friday 11 June 2021 at midnight AEST.

Who can enter IDEA?

The competition is open to Australian architects and designers with completed projects in Australia. International projects completed by Australian architects and/or designers are only eligible to enter the International Project category.

All entrants must be Australian residents. The definition of an Australian resident is someone who has lived and worked in Australia for 12 months and over. Read more about the conditions of entry.

Can unbuilt or speculative projects be entered?

Projects must be completed works at the time of entry. Speculative projects, client pitches and/or mock-ups will not be valid.

This year, we’re extending the entry deadlines for eligible projects. If your project was completed between 1 January 2020 and 1 July 2021, you’re eligible!

Are there any new categories this year?

Yes! For 2021, we’re introducing our new Community Service category. This is for projects that have been completed pro-bono or at a reduced fee over the last three years, and recognises the work architects and designers do to give back to their community.

Read more about the new category here!

Which category should I enter my project into?

There are 15 categories spanning hospitality, retail, residential, commercial, workplace, institutional and public space. There are also two categories for product and furniture designers.

You can enter the same project into multiple categories.

There are also five special awards. You can nominate your project for the Sustainability and/or Emerging Designer Awards (for practices/studios five years old or younger) by checking a box on your entry form and supplying a 200-word explanation of your eligibility.

The final three special awards are selected from the year’s entries by our panel of judges (Designer of the Year, Overall Project of the Year and Gold Medal), while the Editor’s Medal is selected by inside editor Elisa Scarton.

Is the entry process complicated?

No, our entry process is pretty easy. You will be asked to supply the following:

  • A statement for each of the key criteria.
  • At least four high-resolution (300dpi) project images, 1000px wide. Renders will not be accepted.
  • At least one high-resolution (300dpi) project plan, 1000px wide.
  • Submissions to the Object – Furniture and Lighting categories may include a sketch or plan of the work before completion.
  • Any entrants that wish to be included for the Sustainability or Emerging Designer awards must present a short statement for each.

Once you have completed the online entry form and paid the fee, your entry will be automatically submitted. Remember you can come back to it and upload any photos or make minor changes until 5 June.

Download our PDF guide for step-by-step instructions and a fact sheet on submitting your entry.

Who are this year’s judges?

We are incredibly lucky to have a selection of Australian design trailblazers on our IDEA 2021 jury.

This year, you’ll get the chance to show off your projects to David Flack, Meryl Hare, Hassell principal Domino Risch, Ryan Genesin of Genesin Studio, Ritz+Ghougassian’s Jean-Paul Ghougassian and Chelsea Hing.

What will they be looking for?

While each category has specific criteria for entry (for more information, see categories and special awards), the jury will be looking at the following three key criteria in determining the shortlist, highly commended and winners:

  1. The big idea behind the project
  2. Excellence in design outcomes
  3. How the project responded to the brief

Stay tuned for a peek into each judge’s individual expectations next week.

Will I need to pay for anything else once I have submitted my entry?

No. There are no hidden costs involved with IDEA 2021. We will not charge you for your trophy or anything else if you win.

There is also no obligation to attend the award’s gala party, which will be held in Sydney at the end of November.

Will my project be published only if I win?

No! Entering IDEA isn’t just a chance to get your project in front of our jury of incredible designers and win a pretty cool (and very heavy) trophy.

We will be publishing a longlist of projects on Australian Design Review and our social media platforms. We’ll also be publishing the shortlist online and in inside magazine later in the year.

After that, we will be highlighting shortlisted projects online and in print in dedicated features and practice/studio profiles throughout 2021. Last year, we featured shortlisted designers like GOLDEN on ADR and projects like DREAMER’S Two Sheds in inside.

All winning and highly commended projects are featured in a dedicated issue of inside, which is released in December.

The winning and highly commended projects and designers will be profiled and published online and in print throughout 2022. Last year’s Emerging Designer Esoteriko was featured in an edition of inside and Freadman White’s Napier Street was recently profiled on ADR.

And you might even get an invite to be a judge in next year’s awards like 2020 Gold Medalist Meryl Hare and Designer of the Year David Flack.

So in short, there are plenty of opportunities to share your project not just with our IDEA judges, but also our editorial team and the design community at large.

Is IDEA international?

International projects completed by Australian architects and/or designers are only eligible to enter the International Project category.

What if I have problems logging into my account?

If you’ve entered IDEA before, you can use the same account details to submit your entry this year. If you have problems logging in, drop us a line at idea@niche.com.au.

What if I need help?

If you run into issues or have any questions email us at idea@niche.com.au or visit our contact us and how to enter pages for more information.


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