Call for Entries: Shaw Contract 2018 Design Awards

HR&A Advisors in Los Angeles, CA by CHA:COL. Photography courtesy of Shaw Contract. 

Shaw Contract celebrates excellent design with their annual Design Awards, which honors projects that seek to redefine and elevate the way people work, play, and organize their lives. The brand has announced the 2018 call for entries, inviting interior designers, architecture firms, and end users to enter this year's edition. Submissions must feature a Shaw Contract or Shaw Hospitality product, and must have been completed between February 2016 and February 2018. Entry is free and closes on February 28th.

Club Premier in Mexico City, Mexico by Oxígeno Arquitectura. Photography courtesy of Shaw Contract. 

Project sectors eligible for consideration include healthcare, senior living, education, public sector, retail, hospitality, large office, midsize office, and small office. A distinguished panel of industry luminaries will evaluate each project based on what makes design great today, aiming to reward and continue those methods of thinking. 

"We make sure the judges from multiple sectors and countries look at projects holistically," explains John Stephens, Shaw's vice president of marketing and the Design Awards's organizer. "We want the panel to determine their own context and criteria for judging these projects. We're very hands off—we leave it to the designers to assess their colleague's work."

Two panels judge projects in multiple stages. The first panel, comprising 12 individuals, judges the first round of submissions. Firms that pass are considered finalists and are judged by the second panel of judges. Projects are then judged by two different bodies—a second, smaller panel of four to five judges, and the wider design community via Shaw's website. Finalists whose projects are picked by the smaller panel become Global Winners and will be announced at the end of summer 2018. People's Choice winners, announced in July, are selected by their colleagues online. 

Global Awards Winners will feature in Shaw Contract marketing material, media outreach, and advertising campaigns. Additionally, two representatives from each Global Award recipient will be treated to a curated experience of Art Basel Miami 2018, where they will have the opportunity to meet and attend art and design exhibitions. 

KBTG Building in Bangkok, Thailand by Progressive Building Management CO., LTD.. Photography courtesy of Shaw Contract. 

Jim Looney of Looney & Associates served as a second panel judge for last year's Awards, and offers advice for prospective entrants: "This competition brings projects from all over the world and highlights how similar design thinking is across the globe. What differentiated the winners was how well the design told the project's story. I know that idea has been beaten to death, but it's very important and something I drive home to the design team here at Looney. I want to understand the white paper idea and see how design supports it. Last year's winners did an excellent job of stitching the story of the project into everything they submitted, both in terms of graphics and text." 

The US Grant Hotel in San Diego, CA by Rodrigo Vargas Design. Photography courtesy of Shaw Contract. 

In addition to honoring great design, Shaw Contract seeks to build a lasting legacy by donating to organizations of the winners' choosing. A $2,000 charitable donation will be awarded in the firm’s name to an organization of its choice. To date, Shaw Contract has donated a total of $114,000.

Entry to the Design Awards is free and closes on February 28th. Visit the Shaw Contract website for more information.

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