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Two weeks left to save $90 on IDEA 2020

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Two weeks left to save $90 on IDEA 2020


With our extended early bird entry discount for IDEA 2020 ending in just two weeks, we thought we’d share the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this year’s awards.

When does the early bird entry end?

Thursday 30 April 2020.

How much can I save by entering before 30 April?

If you enter before 30 April, you’ll save $90 on your first entry and $100 on every subsequent entry. Remember that entering the Object – Furniture and Lighting (Rising) category is free.

Is the early entry deadline being extended due to coronavirus?

We extended our early bird entry by a month to 30 April to help support the architects and designers who reached out to us with concerns about the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak.

This year, we’ve also introduced a new feature in response to COVID-19. You can now submit your entry, pay and come back to upload any photos or make any final changes until entries close completely on 5 June.

That way, you can still benefit from the discounted entry fee even if you don’t have everything ready just yet. Email us at idea@niche.com.au for more information.

Who can enter IDEA?

The competition is open to Australian architects and designers with completed projects in Australia. International projects completed by Australian architects and/or designers are only eligible to enter the International Project category.

All entrants must be Australian residents. The definition of an Australian resident is someone who has lived and worked in Australia for 12 months and over. Read more about the conditions of entry.

Can unbuilt or speculative projects be entered?

Projects must be completed works at the time of entry. Speculative projects, client pitches and/or mock-ups will not be valid.

Eligible projects must have been completed between 1 January 2019 and 28 May 2020. Email us if you’re unsure whether your project is valid.

Which category should I enter my project into?

There are 14 categories spanning hospitality, retail, residential, commercial, workplace, institutional and public space. There are also two categories for product and furniture designers.

You can enter the same project into multiple categories.

There are also five special awards. You can nominate your project for the Sustainability and/or Emerging Designer Awards (for practices/studios five years old or younger) by checking a box on your entry form and supplying a 200-word explanation of your eligibility.

The final three special awards are selected from the year’s entries by our panel of judges (Designer of the Year, Overall Project of the Year and Gold Medal), while the Editor’s Medal is selected by inside editor Elisa Scarton.

Is the entry process complicated?

No, our entry process is pretty easy. You will be asked to supply the following:

  • A statement for each of the key criteria.
  • At least four high-resolution (300dpi) project images, 1000px wide. Renders will not be accepted.
  • At least one high-resolution (300dpi) project plan, 1000px wide.
  • Submissions to the Object – Furniture and Lighting categories may include a sketch or plan of the work before completion.
  • Any entrants that wish to be included for the Sustainability or Emerging Designer awards must present a short statement for each.

Once you have completed the online entry form and paid the fee, your entry will be automatically submitted. Remember you can come back to it and upload any photos or make minor changes until 5 June.

Download our PDF guide for step-by-step instructions and a fact sheet on submitting your entry.

Who are this year’s judges?

We are incredibly lucky to have a selection of Australian design trailblazers on our IDEA 2020 jury.

This year, you’ll get the chance to show off your projects to SJB director (and IDEA 2019 Gold Medal winner) Andrew Parr, Alexander & CO principal Jeremy Bull, The Stella Collective’s Hana Hakim, Brendan Wong, Luchetti Krelle’s Rachel Luchetti, Simone Haag and Anna Spiro.

What will they be looking for?

While each category has specific criteria for entry (for more information, see categories and special awards), the jury will be looking at the following three key criteria in determining the shortlist, highly commended and winners:

  1. The big idea behind the project
  2. Excellence in design outcomes
  3. How the project responded to the brief

Stay tuned for a peek into each judge’s individual expectations next week.

Will I need to pay for anything else once I have submitted my entry?

No. There are no hidden costs involved with IDEA 2020. We will not charge you for your trophy or anything else if you win.

There is also no obligation to attend the award’s gala party, which we very much hope will go ahead as planned at the end of November, but we are following developments with the coronavirus outbreak in regards to this.

Will my project be published only if I win?

No! Entering IDEA isn’t just a chance to get your project in front of our jury of incredible designers and win a pretty cool (and very heavy) trophy.

We will be publishing a longlist of projects on Australian Design Review and our social media platforms in May. We’ll also be publishing the shortlist online and in inside magazine later in the year.

After that, we will be highlighting shortlisted projects online and in print in dedicated features and practice/studio profiles throughout 2020. Last year, we featured shortlisted emerging designers like INK Interior Architects’ Dana Vuletic on ADR and projects like Flack Studio’s Castorina & CO in inside.

All winning and highly commended projects are featured in a dedicated issue of inside, which is released in December.

The winning and highly commended projects and designers will be profiled and published online and in print throughout 2021. Last year’s Emerging Designer Adele McNab is to be featured in the upcoming edition of inside and Genesin’s winning Ban Ban restaurant was recently profiled on ADR.

And you might even get an invite to be a judge in next year’s awards like SJB’s own Andrew Parr.

So in short, there are plenty of opportunities to share your project not just with our IDEA judges, but also our editorial team and the design community at large.

What if the coronavirus outbreak means the November gala party doesn’t go ahead?

Any decision made about the November gala party will be informed by the Victorian health guidelines, the state and federal government and all other relevant bodies. We really hope we’ll be able to celebrate Australian design and its designers safely at the end of this year.

However, even if the gala party does not go ahead, the IDEA awards WILL! We are workshopping other ways to celebrate this year’s winners in the event the gala party cannot go ahead as planned. Sign up to our newsletter for updates.

Is IDEA international?

International projects completed by Australian architects and/or designers are only eligible to enter the International Project category.

What if I have problems logging into my account?

If you’ve entered IDEA before, you can use the same account details to submit your entry this year. If you have problems logging in, drop us a line at idea@niche.com.au.

What if I need help?

If you run into issues or have any questions email us at idea@niche.com.au or visit our contact us and how to enter pages for more information.

Enter IDEA 2020 now to save $90 ›


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