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Design as Reform – Traffic Design Competition vol.2

The traffic design competition returns with ‘design as reform’, and will be focusing on fostering a provincial sense of design through the re-application of existing Arab art forms on contemporary projects. Candidates are being asked to explore ways in which Arab culture should preserve authenticity in light of mass production and exportation.

After a successful competition in 2008, which focused on the categories of product, interior space and chair, ‘design as reform’ was conceived to continue the global understanding of regional design.

The competition is open to students, professionals and enthusiasts from all over the world. The wiinning entries in each category will be produced by traffic and the competition partners.


In an effort to revitalize a historically rich region, without withdrawing from constructive interactions with the modern world, this year’s competition is dedicated to exploring regional design systems as an integral part of the everyday urban landscape. The competition has been divided into four categories that address the different aspects of Arab life. As a whole the categories envelope a basic value system by which the region is governed – essentially through faith, socio-politiical engagement, access to information and knowledge, and privacy and contemplation.


The applicant’s task will be to reinterpret the following structures according to certain design disciplines without depriving them of their history, nor consequently, a sense of reverence for these forms:

  • The Mosque through Architecture
  • The Majlis through Interior Design
  • A Pattern through Graphic Design
  • A Public Installation through Experimental Design

Please, download Design as Reform Guidelines Document for more details on the suggested forms.

Winning entries will show excellence in the following areas:

  • Innovation
  • General design aesthetic quality
  • Functionality
  • Symbolic and emotional content
  • Cultural relevance


As a reward, traffic aims to put all winning designs into production as possible.

Prizes are scheduled to be awarded at an award ceremony on 10 June 2010.


  • Open to all architects, designers, design firms, artists and students from around the world.
  • Entrants must be over 18 years of age.
  • Employees or firms represented on the jury, students from schools where a juror teaches and employees of traffic and their family members may not participate in this year’s competition.
  • Entrants may enter as often as they like, but each entry must be submitted separately.

Design as Reform Guidelines Document

How to enter?

  1. Download your application form.
  2. Complete the entry form, being sure to fill in each required section. Save the application forms as two separate PDF files, one with your personal info and one with your designs (with no personal info).
  3. Email your entry to by 6 March 2010 at 23:59 UAE time.