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The Good Design Awards 2011

The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and Metropolitan Arts Press Ltd. present the Museum’s annual GOOD DESIGN Awards Program for the most innovative and cutting-edge industrial, product, and graphic designs produced around the world.

Now in its 60th year, GOOD DESIGN is the oldest and the most prestigious Awards Program organized worldwide.

Annually, designers and manufactures in over 30 nations have been honored for their singular achievements in producing hallmarks of contemporary design.


The emphasis of the GOOD DESIGN program is on quality design of the highest form, function, and aesthetic – a standard beyond ordinary consumer products and graphics. The Chicago Athenaeum’s GOOD DESIGN program forwards the ideals of a design process that embodies product excellence and endurance and strong public identity.

Submissions to the program are judged by a jury of distinguished design professionals and leading industry specialists and design press on criteria established in the original 1950 program for the highest aesthetic in terms of innovative design, new technologies, form, materials, construction, concept, function, utility, and energy efficiency, and sensitivity to the environment.

Submissions are accepted in two formats:

  • Product Design
    Electronics, Protective Equipment, Bionics/Robotics, Energy Systems, Office and Residential Furniture, Housewares, Tabletop, Textiles, Floorcovering, Building Materials, Lighting, Appliances, Transportation, Consumer and Household Products, Business and Industrial Equipment, Hardware, Tools, Machinery, Children’s Products, Personal Effects, Sports and Recreation, Telecommunications, Computer Equipment, Medical Products, Kitchen and Bath, Environmental Design, Public Environments, Materials.
  • Graphic Design
    Books, Magazines, Websites, Advertisements, Catalogues, Corporate Identity Programs, Annual Reports, Handbooks, Posters, Signage, Labels, Packaging, Product Communication, Typography, Atmosphere, Sales Promotion, and Digital and Media Interfaces.


In this year’s edition, selected products and graphics for GOOD DESIGN are announced to the international press in December. The Awarded products and graphics are accessioned into the Museum’s Permanent Design Collection. Selected designers and manufacturers are allowed use of the Museum’s GOOD DESIGN logo in publications, promotions, and marketing as specified in the joint legal agreement with The Chicago Athenaeum.


  • Any product produced and/or designed from January 2009 to the present is eligible.
  • All submitted products must have been produced by a manufacturer or scheduled for production.
  • Any graphic produced and/or designed from January 2009 to the present is eligible.
  • All submitted graphics must have been produced by a client or scheduled for production.

How to enter?

Please print out the application, or apply online on the official website.

Each entry must be accompanied by:

  • an application form;
  • a one-page description of the entered product or graphic;
  • plus one color digital image per product or graphic in a Jpeg format (no larger than 4MB) along with the description reproduced on the same CD.

Entry fee

The fee is $350 USD per entry. Foreign checks must include a $25 USD additional payment for bank processing fees.

Late submissions (postmarked after 1 July 2011) add $100 per entry.