Best In Design



DesignPhiladelphia is excited to announce its first ever “Best in Design” competition, a new challenge that asks regional designers and design companies to submit innovative, high-quality products that make life better. We are looking to support designers and companies that are ready to grow and promote products that reflect the business’s scalability.

The “Best in Design” competition is looking to propel Philadelphia’s best design businesses/designers forward by providing robust local and international exposure. Finalists will exhibit work at DesignPhiladelphia 2018. The winning design will be awarded with a cash prize of $5,000. All finalists will be covered in a national design publication and gain exposure to a loyal audience of design enthusiasts and aficionados.


Who should submit?

You should apply if you are…

  • local to the Greater Philadelphia region (Philadelphia + 5 surrounding counties)
  • creating products that have the capacity to scale in production
  • designing innovative, original, products

What are we looking for?

We’re looking for designers and companies to submit one design that can be exhibited during DesignPhiladelphia. The competition is not limited to physical products, but all designs should have an interesting visual element that can be displayed. Examples of designs include: home products, digital products, furniture, medical devices, wearables, lighting, building materials, and the list goes on.

Where is the exhibit?

This year’s Festival will create a hub on the first floor of Bok, the old South Philly technical high school turned creative workspace. A jury will select 10-15 finalists to exhibit among other curated exhibitions and programs at Bok throughout DesignPhiladelphia.

Why should you participate?

Exhibition exposure:
All finalists will receive space at Bok to display their work to thousands of festival attendees, including architects, designers, design trendsetters. Work will be on display October 3-13, 2018. Designers are invited to accompany their exhibition in person and pitch their work during the Festival’s Kick Off Party on October 3. Additionally, we will be hosting a special “Bok Night” on October 12th where the public will experience Bok’s creative spaces and the competition jury will select the winner of the competition. 

From August-October, DesignPhiladelphia works to promote all partners through social media (audience of over 325,000 people), newsletters (7,841 subscribers), blogs (19,000 unique website visitors), and public relations. All selected designers will be promoted through DesignPhiladelphia’s social media platforms, our website’s Best in Design page, and blogs during and after the festival.

In addition to DesignPhiladelphia’s promotion, all finalists and the winner will be featured in a national publication.

Winner’s Prize:
During the Festival the jury will choose the winning design. The winner will receive a package that includes…

  • $5,000 cash prize 
  • Opportunity to exhibit at partnering design festival after DesignPhiladelphia
  • $1,000 stipend to attend another design festival and exhibit your work (we have partnerships with most design festivals across the country and internationally. We will work with the winner(s) to select the best fit and negotiate exhibition of their work at another festival.

What is the process?

Late July / August:   Finalists Announced
August 1/15:   Bok Site Visit
Week of August 5:   Finalists meet-and-greet + info session
August 20:   Concept plan for exhibition DUE
Sep 3:   Progress update on display fabrication DUE
Sept 18:   Notification of Loading Times
Sept 24:   Final update on display fabrication DUE
Oct. 2:   Install Exhibition at Bok
Oct 3:   DesignPhiladelphia Kick Off Party
Oct 12:   Bok Night + winner selection
Oct 12 weekend:   Exhibition strike (scheduling TBD)


How much does it cost? 

Nothing! It is FREE to apply. Finalists will be required to exhibit their selected design during DesignPhiladelphia and are responsible for the production of their own display. Once selected, Center for Architecture and Design staff will coordinate logistics of the exhibition.



Please email any questions to Erike De Veyra at

  1. *1-3 photos and/or renderings of your design in .png, .jpeg, or .tiff files 
  2. *1 photo or image of the design challenge/issue being solved in .png, .jpeg, or .tiff file 
  3. *1 composite image: sketches, conceptual drawings, etc. in .pdf, .png, .jpeg, or .tiff file 
  4. *Headshots + Bio of your company (200 words max) and team members (each bio, 100 words max)
  5. Team/Company logo (if applicable) in .eps file
  6. Entry title and concept tagline
  7. Description of your product (100 words max)
  8. Narrative of design solution and how it can be produced for end-users (500 words max)

*Limit file size to 2MB

Please use the below questions as a guide for your design solution. Each design does not necessarily need to embody each of these values, rather these categories reflect global principles of good design.

  • Ease of use: How well does your product demonstrate an understanding of the user and their needs? How intuitive is it to use?
  • Universal design: Is your product useful and marketable for people with diverse abilities? Does your design accommodate a wide range of individual preferences and skill levels?
  • Quality/aesthetics:In what ways does your product appeal to the senses?
  • Scalability: How does your product have the ability to grow your business?
  • Sustainability: How do the materials and manufacturing process you use for this design work to reduce a negative impact on the environment?


  1. Application of global principles of good design 
  2. Evidence of applied research and process 
  3. Originality and creativity of concept
  4. Construction and organization (craft of submission)
    • Quality of graphics at submission
    • Craftsmanship of final installation at exhibit floor upon finalist selection
  5. Ability to be reproduced (i.e. material source, production costs, etc.)

If your team has any administrative questions about the competition, please contact Erike De Veyra, at


By submitting an entry to this competition, the designer acknowledges that all work submitted is original and is the intellectual property of the applicant. The design competition organizers-- DesignPhiladelphia, the Center / Architecture + Design--claims no responsibility or accountability in any form for any misrepresentations or other legally infringing matters of authorship. Design competition organizers reserves the right to publish and/or reproduce images and copy from any and all submissions, with credit to its creator(s).