2016 New York Design Awards

spaces, objects, visual, graphic, digital & experience design, design champion, best studio & best start-up, plus over 40 specialist categories

accelerate transformation, celebrate courage, growing demand for design

How do the ratings work?

Or in other words, how do I win an award?


The aim of all DRIVENxDESIGN award programs is to engender an appreciation for the value of design in more than just designers. Everyone consumes design whether it be a Faberge egg or a roll of toilet paper.

Those who commission and consume design are the lifeblood of those who create design. This is a marketplace where both have to co-exist. The quality of design choices we make every day should be a mix of sound, commercial understanding and courageous, relevant design.

One cannot live without the other.

It's why our rating process collects ratings from both the Panel comprised of industry experts who have an understanding of design from both an aesthetic and marketplace perspective and the marketplace who commission and consume those designs.

Rating process

Many awards programs use a knock-out process where work if viewed and either included or excluded through a series of rounds until the final few are debated buy a jury.

DRIVENxDESIGN award programs use a rating model, this removes inherent judge bias and ranks work based on a collective ratings not one strong opinion in the room. 

Community ratings provides additional insight from the design community without the pitfalls of a popularity contest. With likes or up votes the quantity of votes will change the outcome with ratings the quality of the review shines through.

Panel ratings: Every Panel member is given a number of nominations to rate. Every nomination is viewed by at least two panel members. The nomination is rated across the criteria including:

  • The project brief
  • The response to the brief
  • Overall quality of the project

Each Criteria is rated out of 5 and the score is averaged.  Panel members can only rate a project once and if they or their organisation was involved with the project, then they abstain from rating.

DRIVENxDESIGN Community ratings: Members of the community include design peers, commissioners and those that consumer design. They also provide a rating out of five. However, their rating is only placed against one criteria:

Overall quality of the project

All ratings for each project are aggregated and averaged. Awards are provided to the leading nomination with the highest average. Any projects that share the same rating will be referred back to the Panel for final consideration with the Awards Chairman having the final say if there is still a deadlock.

And for the “Best Of” awards?

The Best Studio & Design Champion Awards highlight the depth of work from designers and commissioners.

The score is worked out as the aggregate rating across the nominations. The very first time we awarded the Best Studio we had one recipient who hadn’t take out any category but was a strong runner up in many categories. The result was a triumph for their commitment to excellent work and an opportunity for those who show consistent performance to be recognised.

Best Studio awards are awarded to less than 5, 5-20 and 20+ providing recognition for both major and boutique studios. The Design Champion Award is awarded to the commissioning organisation that has demonstrated the most courage through sponsoring projects that expand the use of design and show industry leadership.

These are an automatic nomination category, just our way of saying thanks and showing respect for those with depth to their work.