Spark Design Awards Announces Competition Deadlines

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Last Call For Entries For The Five Spark Competitions

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"The Spark Countdown Clock is ticking," said Spark's volunteer marketing director, Clark Kellogg. "We're beginning an intense five weeks of outreach and entry processing. The design community is Sparking!"

With registrations and entries streaming in from around the world, Spark Design Awards organizers are bracing for their busiest season. "It all comes down to these final few days. Our staff is finalizing plans for the judging process and the jurors are studying the Spark Criteria," said Kellogg. "The Spark Standard Deadline is September 17, and the Late Deadline is October 8th."

Continuing this organization's wave of innovations this year, which began with the launch of six new competitions, Spark launched its own jury voting app. Spark Director, Peter Kuchnicki, pointed out the merits of the system. "In years past, competitions used everything from poker chips to business cards to tally their votes. Spark has had a modern electronic system for three years, and now we're moving into telecom."

The new voting system consists of landing pages for every entry, a mobile phone app for access and voting and a unique entry QR code for secure tallying. "We use a voting scale of zero to five," said Kuchnicki. "This provides lots of nuance to facilitate the judge's decision-making. We also have included a "champion" button, so that every judge gets one opportunity to send an entrant directly into the elite All:Spark competition. Spark plans on utilizing this system for all five of its vertical design competitions.

The Spark competitions honor the finest designs in Mobility, Concepts, Spaces, Product and Communication, with Bronze, Silver, Gold and Spark! awards. "These awards are highly regarded in the design community, the result of tough juries, thorough debates and years of experience and training," Kellogg said. "But this year we're taking it up a notch. The Gold and Spark! winners of each competition, plus the jury 'champions' (see above), automatically become contenders in the All:Spark competition in January. Three winners will be chosen.

The All:Spark Chair, Arnold Wasserman, asked the jurors to choose their own criteria: "What should separate All:Spark awardees from already outstanding Spark!, Gold, Silver or Bronze winners? A significant advance in the state-of-the art of a particular design category? A brilliant integration across sectors, say, Product/Communication/Mobility? Transformation of a complex socio-technical system into an elegant human-centered solution? Scalable impact on agriculture? Water? Resources? Health? Learning? Sustainable production and consumption? Social, economic, political or environmental systems? Something altogether different? We want to 'expert-source' the definition. You, the jury, are the experts. In the final All:Spark judging, you will describe what criteria led you to confer distinction at this level."

The bottom line, according to Kuchnicki: "When you see the Spark, you know it!"


To honor and continue Spark’s tradition of being the “One For All” design competition, we have inaugurated the All:Spark Awards. This competition is only for the elite top winners of this year’s five focused competitions. These top-level winners of Spark Concept, Communication, Product, Mobility and Spaces competitions will be the only participants in the All:Sparks.

We have assembled a very special jury to choose the All:Spark winners, composed of veteran judges from most of the juries that have served since 2007. The Jury Chair is the renowned design thinker, Arnold Wasserman, of the Idea Factory and Collective Invention.

The All:Sparks will take place in January, 2013, and winners of the Platinum Award will be announced at the All:Spark Celebration.

You may be one of those lucky and talented designers. They will come from all design disciplines, from all levels and from all over the world. Spark Winners are everywhere.

Five competitions are now open for entries. The winners of the 2012 Spark:Concept Awards, Spark:Communication Awards, Spark:Product Awards, Spark:Spaces Awards and the Spark:Mobility Awards will become the stars of the next Spark Annual, to be published in 2013. Designers may enter these competitions after registration.

More information about this organization and these competitions can be found at the website landing page at Sparkawards.

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