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Kokuyo Design Award 2024: Primitive

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 2024 will be the 21st competition, and this time, the organizers are calling for works based on the theme “primitive.” The word is usually used to describe something close to nature and in its “original state,” or something “basic” before it is refined. This time, however, the organizer wants to see entries that interpret it as “redefining the essence of something” and present a product design that will replace that essence for years to come.

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 2024 are available on the official website.

What do you picture upon hearing the word “primitive”?

Is it the “original” state, close to nature, the bare form before it is polished, refined, or developed? Or the “primordial” state, which predates artificial touches? For this year’s Kokuyo Design Awards, we interpreted “primitive” as “redefined essence.”

If we return to the idea of “primitive” in order to create the future, what form of evolution can we imagine?

When we take a fresh look at our familiar materials, we may discover the possibility of further development.

By utilizing your unique perspectives and creativity, we can explore the “primitive” in each of us. We invite you to show us the “essence” of the 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 1,023 entries from designers from all parts of the world.