Just like any other field, the design industry also deserves appreciation for the efforts developers and designers put in. Each year, a number of award shows and honorary performances are organized worldwide. Such ceremonies are purposefully settled for recognizing, celebrating, and promoting legendary design visionaries and for promoting emerging talent across the design world.
The iF Design Award is such an endeavor that aims to recognize and promote the talent and efforts of designers and developers from all over the world. Dive in to know more about them, including some backstory on their origin and the iF Design Award 2021 winners, all in the article below.
In this article
Part 1Introducing iF Design Awards - The World Design Guide
The iF Design Award is a prestigious design competition hosted by the iF International Forum Design GmbH. First originating in 1953 after World War II, the founders of Industrie Forum (iF) wanted to create an institution to bring the worlds of culture and business together. Today, the aim of iF is to highlight the importance of designs in industries and what can be achieved via them.
Since 2001, iF International Forum Design GmbH took hold of the business, including the iF Design Award. The iF Awards offer one of the most sought-after certifications of appreciation design, which can be your key to publicizing your success. The winners of the design award certificate can use it as an effective image booster.
iF Guiding Principles
The iF Awards are one of the oldest and most influential design awards, working on the following six disciplines and principles:
- To recognize, promote and support quality designs.
- To increase recognition of web designs and their importance in everyday lives.
- To ensure that businesses incorporate design into their plans and policies.
- To increase awareness regarding designer as a profession.
- To produce and influence changes in social and cultural norms through design.
- To create an accessible design platform for talented individuals.
Part 2An Overview on iF Design Award Winners of 2021
The iF Design Awards have made a strong impact on the design and social trends of the world. The iF Design Award 2021 was held not too long ago, where almost 10,000 entries were submitted for the 9 categories. Among these, a total of 1744 entries were successful in receiving the iF Award 2021. 75 participants were able to score an iF Gold Award.
Owing to the ongoing pandemic, the 2021 iF Awards ceremony was digitally executed, where 98 design experts from 21 countries worldwide acted as judges. A total of 9,509 contestants from 52 countries participsated in the 9 major disciplines, which can further be divided into 78 categories.
1. iF Gold Awards
The iF Gold Award is a pretty big deal in the design business. Although a regular design award certificate is still good enough to boost your recognition and popularity, a Gold Award is on completely another level. Winning an iF Gold Award indicates that you have created something truly remarkable, which was recognized and appreciated by design experts all across the globe.
For the iF Design Award 2021, 75 lucky candidates were successful in scoring an iF Gold Award in different categories. This included the following products and projects:
i. E-PIT Ultra-Fast Charger by Hyundai Motor Group.
ii. Airluna, which is the world’s first air purifying lamp equipped with nanotech.
2. Product Design
When Product Design is concerned, a wide variety was seen in the products that were able to score an award. All sorts of products ranging from home fitness to AI-centered designs captured the eye. From all across the globe, a dominating number of products belonged to health and hygiene.
Under the category of Product Design, around 2051 products made the mark for an iF Design Award. Some of these lucky products are mentioned below.
i. KARE - A mobile clinic module equipped with all the dire needs of a medical emergency.
ii. VITA Neo - A stainless steel sink and a top-load dishwasher in a unique combination.
3. Packaging Design
Product packaging and transport were other categories in the iF 2021 Awards. Winners were selected based on the sustainability and premium packaging designs of products. Special emphasis was laid on products that used recycled or environment-friendly materials for their packaging.
Among the 299 winners, here are a few iF Design Award holders:
i. BAUM - Skincare products that come in packaging recycled from old wood cutouts obtained from the furniture industry.
ii. Paper Tube - A tube made entirely of paper, without using any other typical materials such as plastics.
Some innovative and creative communication designs were seen in the 2021 iF Awards. A broad range of spectrum was provided for entries that featured some contemporary communication designs. The category covered designs of digital events along with some website designs and innovative communication projects.
Out of the 368 lucky winners who were able to grab a certificate of appreciation design from iF, a few are mentioned below:
i. Angstea - Halssen & Lyon’s innovative tea comes in blood-red color and is the shape of horror skulls and heads.
ii. Nation’s Campaign Video covered all of Kenya and highlighted the message that Nation was there for every African citizen.
The site-specific architectural bodies that secured an iF Award in 2021 ranged from busy urban centers to residential cabins at quiet places. Observations were made from multiple angles, including the project's connection with the natural environment, the sustainability of the materials used, and the techniques used in construction.
42 winners were selected for an award in this category. Here are a few of these:
i. Honest House is a housing design featuring an environment-friendly essence by minimizing the needs of living.
ii. Gospel - A Chinese-style church with twelve pillars symbolizing the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
6. User Interface
The User Interface category in the iF Award 2021 focused on innovative and aesthetically pleasing user-centered designs. A wide range of products, from pastel-colored catalogs to accessible audio clips, were seen in the nominees.
Following are a few of the 96 award-winning products and designs under the User Interface category:
i. Huawei HarmonyOS for Watch featuring a dedicated user interface that is capable of performing a variety of complex tasks.
ii. Hyundai Aqua Design for the Hyundai Motor’s Infotainment System.
7. User Experience
User Experience deals with how easily a product can interact with its users. Provision of ease and comfort are key elements of a well-crafted product design. With a combination of product and digital interfaces, the iF Awards saw some remarkably well-thought designs.
44 lucky winners were selected, including the following:
i. Haptic - A smartphone for the visually impaired people by Xiaomi, which can take UI experience to a new level.
ii. Smartap UX - A smart speaker that can be attached to any ordinary appliance and enable AI functions and voice interaction.
8. Interior Architecture
From all over the globe, some astounding interior designs were seen in the iF Design Award 2021. The designs featured a fusion of the old styles along with a sleek modern minimalist element that included sustainable material.
A total of 141 winners were selected, a majority of which were influenced by Asian studios. Some of the winners in Interior Architecture are listed below:
i. Times Pavilion - Part of a series of exhibitions launched by Times China, which is based on a spatial concept of "revelation."
ii. Romantic - A series of residential interiors featuring a blend of both classical and modern design elements.
9. Service Design
Service Design includes the process of design creation, touching on areas such as user involvement, sustainability, animal-cruelty-free processes, and healthier benefits. 38 winners were chosen for this category, which included the following:
i. MIMAMORI - An AI-based smart monitoring service for senior citizens.
ii.NEXT - A social platform providing means of introducing overseas students to people who are interested in applying.
10. Professional Concept
The Professional Concept category of the iF Award 2021 revolved around the benefits gained from designs over time. The category focused on elements such as convenience, energy efficiency, participation, technology, and sustainability.
Among the 125 winners, the following stood out most:
i. Air Window - An easy and innovative solution to ventilation systems, providing new levels of comfort.
ii. Smartbox - A modular educational math toy to help children between the ages of three to nine significantly boost their cognitive ability.
The immense amount of hard work and determination that designers and developers put into their work needs to be valued and appreciated in a way that they deserve. That was the main motive behind the iF Awards.
With an impressive origin history, the iF Design Award has become a symbol of excellence in the design industry. But it’s not just the remarkable historical achievements that the iF Awards focused upon. The iF is hopeful that the upcoming years of design will be even more exciting and rewarding than the previous ones.