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Kokuyo Design Award 2023: Embrace

The Kokuyo Design Award is an international product design competition that’s all about imagining and creating the future together. It gathers proposals from all around the world, and turns outstanding entries into commercial products.

The Kokuyo Design Award 2023 will be the 20th competition, and this time, the organizers are calling for works based on the theme “embrace.” This word carries meanings like “inclusion” and “hugging.” In that same vein, the organizers are looking for product design proposals that make people feel cheerful and positive by accepting and acknowledging the differences between people and the challenges society is facing.

The best design will be awarded with 2,000,000 Japanese yen — about $15,000. Three Merit awards of 500,000 Japanese yen each, will also be announced and special prizes may as well be awarded.

Any stationery, furniture or tool used in working, learning and living scenes is eligible for entry. Submissions must be the original work of the entrant and must have not been made public (in Japan or overseas) before or concurrent to this contest.

Details about the theme for 2023 are available on the official website.

Diversity inspires harmony. Opposites sustain balance.
Chaos nurtures beauty. Contrast creates depth.
Distance drives expansion. Conflict urges renewal.

How can we use design to embrace different people, diverse lifestyles, uncertain times, and the ever-changing environment of our planet?

Difference, change, uncertainty—
Can they be a beginning? Can they make progress? Can they be our future?

Submissions will be evaluated based on these evaluation points:

  • The design includes a proposed solution to some social issue
  • The design has components that make people feel positive
  • The idea’s uniqueness
  • The product design’s feasibility
  • The design’s potential to become a product

Last year, the competition received a total of 1,031 entries from designers from all parts of the world.