The BID awards 7 prizes per category and 11 special prizes linked to the thematic axes on which its conceptual framework has an impact. In addition, honorable mentions may be awarded in each of them.

In this 2018 edition, two specific announcements are incorporated, with their own Participation Rules, for the “Design and Company Frank Memelsdorff” and “Design and Research” awards.

An international jury ratifies the selection proposed by the Advisory Committee and awards the prizes and mentions.

Below you can consult the profiles of the awards as a guide to focus the presentation of your project.

Prizes by Category

Interior/ Space Design

Interior Design, lighting, installations, temporary architecture, arts and culture facilities, retail, integrated projects.

Industrial/Product Design

Serial products, selfproducing products, collections/sets, craft manufacturing,
digital manufacturing/ 3D printing, applied research,materials, design for mobility,
design for health and wellbeing, fittings, urban fittings, lighting,  integrated projects.

Graphic Design and Visual Communication

Editing, typography, posters, logos and identity, signage, packaging, visual communication, sets of combined elements, integrated projects, web, apps.

Fashion Design. Textiles and Accessories

Clothing, sets/collections, costumes/figurines, patterns, fabrics, materials, footwear, purses, headwear, jewellery, accessories, integrated projects.

Digital Design

Web, apps motion graphics, animation, videogames, interactive installations, interactivity, experience design, integrated projects.

Design Services

Design methodology that, through a collaborative, empathetic process and a holistic approach, maps out strategies that produce value.added services, improving user experience in every interaction within the concept of omnichannel surroundings.

Even though we’re dealing with an activity which has been around for quite some time, this area of design in many aspects is still an emerging field.

The impact that this may have on traditional business practice is of particular interest (primarily top-down) to holistic digital experiences concentrated on the customer, their contextual needs and their experience in relation to suppliers and other intermediaries.

A service designer should therefore be able to easily understand and navigate everything from high-level strategic vision, to having a deep understanding of support systems and processes that form the very implementation of solutions that determine the quality of designed interactions.  In the same way, they should be leaders in the articulation of interdisciplinary visions and in the requirements of multiple participants and interest groups in order to provide them with an adequate convergence throughout the whole process.

Design of Service Experience in an emerging tool directed to innovation in the service industry.  It is a multidisciplinary collaborative process which was triggered by the conception, planning and realization of services centred on the omnichannel experience of users and clients, which allows for the creation of value for many links in the chain; the users, clients and for the organizations that stock them.

Today the service industry must tackle new challenges in the presence of a growing demand from users.  No longer is the requirement to perform focussed on issues of hygiene or basic levels of service, the customers are now demanding  a personalization that displays a closer understanding of their habits, needs and expectations.

Progress in this industry has been concentrated on, fundamentally, the incorporation of new technologies that allow for cost reductions, improvement in productivity, expansion and increased coverage, and in turn the provision of service access and availability to an ever growing number of users.  However, as of yet the industry hasn’t been able to innovate in their perceived quality of service.  That is to say, what is known as “customer experience”.

Aspects which the judges will take into consideration when evaluating the projects in this category:

1.  The Design Investigation/Process.  Assessment of user experience before intervention.  Fixing of project aims. Depth and extent of user investigation, participation levels and implication of participants, success of the selected tools to create shared visions, levels of anticipation and exploration.  Insight and archetype creation that inspire empathetic design processes. 

2. Experience/Conception and design.  Power of contact points (environmental/spacial; personal interaction; technological; communicative) to deliver meaningful sensory experiences.  Adaptation of contact points to offer different levels of interaction.  Originality and diversity of suggested solutions.  Richness and multimedia/transmedia integration into different channels.  Narrative coherence among image and brand identity throughout the project.  Sufficient evidence gathered from prototypes.

3.  The System/Implementation and project evaluation or conclusions.  Impact of the solutions on user experience, contribution to the business or brand image of the organization service provider.  That means, the capacity to generate and deliver relevant value (usefulness) and the capacity to capture added monetary value (business).

The works presented in this category which opt for the special prize “Service Design”, must rationalize their reasoning, and therefore, for each other the above points must document the process, the experience and the system.

Transversal/Integral Design

Projects which overlap various categories.

Premios especiales

Design and Innovation

BID seeks to reward completed projects in a wide range of innovation, both technological and non-technological.  We too often confuse innovation with technological change.  The prize seeks to recognise innovation which englobes both technological change and knowledge to find new ways of doing things.  Today technology is a kind of performance and its face is always perceived as innovative, but innovation at the start of our century has many faces, it is not necessarily performance based.

Innovative Design is much more than that.  It’s new processes, new methods, new developments, new uses, new experiences and new needs.  New ways of solving problems, that may or may not involve technology.

We understand innovative design to be a discipline of discovery for the user.  Therefore, we view designers as drivers of combinations that can overcome new, not foreseen, situations.

Defining the field of design is no easy task, as setting limits on project production and product imply foresight, when one of innovation’s own characteristics is the lack of foresight, apart from supposing change.  However, innovative design can also be the bearer of new values, simple change is not enough, innovation needs to have some value to people.  Finally, innovation implies originality as an implicit quality in the project, in its development, in the product, in its uses and in the design functions.

When evaluating the projects and designs presented for this prize special consideration will be given to novelty, contribution of new worth, unpredictability, originality of approach and the artist’s profile. 

Design for Development

Design for Social Development promotes technological creation or undertakings that improve the lives of people in vulnerable situations or poverty.  It’s design which is focussed on the needs of the poorest and most needy of the world’s population and it is often born and developed involving, both in its management and implementation, community participation, co-creation, interdisciplinary collaboration and crowd sourcing. 

Co-creation plays an important role:  it empowers communities, taking into consideration their skills and tools, so that they themselves become the innovators that develop their own technologies, instead of just applying already known technology.  That process stimulates innovation and local creativity, and is decisive in the generation of sustainable improvements in the long-term quality of life of a community.

The role of the designer in this process is to establish a two-way street which puts their knowledge and formal education at the disposal of the community.  At the same time the process takes in the community’s own knowledge in such a way that innovation can be inspired through each other, creating new ideas and technologies, finding the correct results and solutions, focussing on the needs of users.

Design for Development plays the important role of supporting and propelling people and their communities to face and resolve development difficulties and shapes a network of experiences linked to the management of design for local development.

Design for Everyone

The concept of Design for All or Universal Design strives to establish design solutions so that anyone, in any period of their life, independently of their age, gender or abilities, can use the spaces, products and services of their environment, participating actively at the same time in the building of society.  This is one of the standards associated with accessibility.   Therefore the concept eludes to design without obstacles, accessible design and assistive technology.

The main aims of Design for All or Universal Design are to provide product design and user-friendly spaces to the greatest possible number of people, without the need for special adaptation or redesign.

“Universal Accessibility” implies a standard that spaces, processes, goods, products and services must all meet.  The standard also applies to objects, instruments, tools and appliances, to make them understandable, user-friendly and practical for everyone in terms of their security and comfort, and by the most autonomous and natural means possible.  This implies considering the requirements of all possible users from the early stages of product design, so that elderly and disabled people become an important part of possible users.

These general principals of design are applicable to different disciplines, like architecture, engineering, design, and of course websites and mobile apps. 

Universal Design is an essential part of the strategy to achieve an all-inclusive society.  It stems from a model for society which is being redesigned, taking as its basis inclusion for everyone.  It derives largely from the notion around the way in which society accepts people in all their diversity, neutralizing deficiency, limitations or difficulty in participation.

Design and Sustainability

This prize seeks to highlight works which are intended to offer innovative and functional design solutions, projects which tackle environmental, social and economic issues during the development of a determined product or service.

BID seeks to boost and spread examples of good practice. To do this we are inviting to participate designers from small and large businesses that have taken efforts to incorporate sustainability into their final products.

This implies not only considering proposals that include environmental and social issues, but also those which consider the life-cycle of a product, its time in the supply chain, how it respects socio-economic contexts as well as any concepts tied to this central theme.

Sustainability demands that we consider the needs of future generations, which in turn means reducing current and potential future environmental impacts. Therefore from a design perspective we must critically analyse how to improve our production processes, and the functional systems and services connected to our finished products.

Design and Business

*See special call for this award

The Business and Design Award seeks to highlight and award any organisation that distinguishes itself through the successful application of design as a strategic-competitive resource and a fundamental component of its value proposal, articulating the development of new ideas, products, services, spaces and experiences through effective communication,

using diverse methods and supports to establish consistant advantages over its competitors.

This implies that design has an intentive and coordinated presence in all the company’s activities, through branding, products, packaging, services, spaces, in different contact points with its public or users; in every aspect of the company’s business strategy.

With this award, BID wishes to bring visibility to those organisations, SMEs and large enterprise, with at least 3 years of operational experience in the marketplace, that understand design as a systematical and transversal tool that permeates in the organisation’s culture. Companies which have bet on design as a strategic differentiation and competitiveness tool beyond any particial results from any given project. Companies which are an example of how to construct unique design culture, which can be expressed through the spaces in their structure over and above any success their products may have.

The role of companies as units of economic activity is essential. Understanding, on the part of both private and public companies, the interest of design as a productive factor is decisive for design to reach its full innovative potential for the development of the region.

BID seeks to highlight those companies which have found design to be a tool to overcome adversity, to find their own voice which sets them apart from the competition. Companies that with their activity put design thinking onto the heirarchy, becoming important players in their communities.

Companies from various sectors, public, private or mixed, with at least 3 years of operational experience in the marketplace, which understand design as a transversal and systematic tool, and have it penetrate their entire organisation’s culture as a competitiveness strategy. Companies that have a consolidated culture of good design, which you can see reflected in their products, communications, physical spaces etc.


1. Large Enterprise

2. SME

Design and Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is design regardless of field or aims, be they social, ecological or economic.  Entrepreneurs don’t restrict themselves to starting businesses, they design changes.

The fundamental distinction between modern entrepreneurs with regards to traditional ones is the added value they come up with, through a service, product or experience, in which technology plays an important role.  For any entrepreneur, designing their business means relating the creation of added value with a positive transformation in society.  Entrepreneurship is a skill which in principle every human possesses.

Entrepreneurial impact can be measured with the help of business management indicators, but these indicators are not alone.  There are others which up to now have been neglected or not sufficiently researched, especially when talking about emotional, material and social ecology, as well as the economic and social impact as such in the reduction of high unemployment levels and work inclusion, with a clear return for society.  Most entrepreneurship is orientated towards an aim, the satisfaction of a need, the achievement of a goal, which is none other than contributing to the common good.  Business model design is the key.

It is evident that business consciousness with respect to problems generated (both socially and ecologically) by human and industrial activity is growing every day.  It is for this reason that we are seeing more and more start-ups which set their aims around design and business development, producing more responsible products and services. Let’s not forget that the purpose of design is to alter established norms, changing concepts and attitudes, modifying methods and interventions; turning present situations into more desirable ones.

Design and Entrepreneurship are closely linked, therefore, BID is recognising the efforts made by entrepreneurs with a prize for ideas, projects or initiatives, products, services or environments, evaluating proposals of value which guarantee equality between both sexes, the promotion of equal opportunities, no discrimination and sustainable development.

Special consideration will be given to:

-Team projects which leave a positive impact on society.  Innovative projects thinking on a global scale.

-Desktop Publishing projects which have grown through the projection of business initiative.

-Design Studios which have established themselves through the production and commercialization of their proposals

-Proposals of value which have social, ecological and economic impact

-Service design and the proposal’s communication. 

Design and the City

Our culture is becoming more and more metropolitan. The trend, and this has been especially true throughout IberoAmerica in the past two decades, is one of a population which is moving, from the country to the city, from sparsely populated areas to built-up metropolises. With this comes important urbanistic challenges, as well as environmental and social ones…. Therefore, we must dedicate part of our reflexion capacity, and with it our design, to thinking about our cities. Cities which, with few exceptions, were founded centuries ago and whose needs, structures and considerations at that time were very different to our current day city, where 70% of population growth takes place.

Putting forward design proposals, planning and focusing on improving the city, or rather, improving the lives of city dwellers, is the aim of this BID Prize and the City, which is promoted jointly by the Ibero-American Design Biennial, the DIMAD Foundation, and the City of Madrid. 

This prize seeks to highlight the search for solutions to the most pressing problems, which are often not clear at first sight: public transport; traffic and pollution; lack of public amenities and spaces; inequality and social vulnerability; basic supplies and provisions; special attention to children, pensioners or minorities; sanitation, planning and relevance of common areas etc.

The BID Prize ‘Design and the City’ will judge design projects that contribute both an improvement to urban landscape and to functional aspects in the city, which should allow its inhabitants to enjoy improved liveability, quality of life, as well as a warmth towards their city environment: street furniture, landscape and public space redevelopment, signage, urbanistic interventions, urban design proposals that are beneficial to the environment and improve accessibility, works which contribute to social development within the city and which serve the population’s needs equally.

Design and Citizen Participation

Numerous factors have influenced the transformation of Ibero-American countries, modifying their social, economic and environmental conditions.  In the midst of a worldwide economic crisis, large segments of populations are still suffering attacks from political and economical elites, with GDP fluctuations, uncertain educational policies, technological advancement bringing about changes and the globalization of the world economy.  This has made citizens move from having a passive stance to being the driving force of change.  They are realizing that they can work to kick start their own ideas in their own environments, and that design itself is a driving force in social transformation.

Civic and social sectors are organizing themselves to modify political and social relations in response to present needs, and without compromising the future of generations to come.  They’re not only redesigning ties, but also new ways to communicate and display.  Their movements are creating brand power.

In this edition, BID is seeking projects that reveal the social responsibility a designer adds, where design acts as an effective communicative tool in this field, showcasing individual cases and paradigms in different Ibero-American countries.

Design “for people, prosperity and planet” is increasingly occupying an important space in public life, designing urban spaces, democratizing information, influencing cultural conservation and production, as well as public policy.

The purpose of this prize is to encompass innovative projects and their dynamic creativity, promoting consumptions, attitudes and responsible behaviour for the well-being of all living things in their ecosystems, that is to say, design which takes users as its protagonists, letting itself be contaminated by local culture through collaboration, cooperation and citizen participation.

The Union of Ibero-American Capital Cities (UCCI) is joining BID16 by supporting and awarding the Design Prize and Citizen Participation. Applicants’ proposals should highlight good practice in design, the city, social innovation and citizen participation.

DESIGN for (by and with) CULTURE

There’s no question that design is culture, however, does culture have a design?

Our experience up to now is that culture needed design to produce book covers, film posters or opera festivals, in order to host an exhibition or furnish and equip premises.  Design was a fragmented appendix to give concrete shape to a cultural product, to publicize a movie or announce this season’s opera program.

However new artistic proposals or consolidated cultural institutions need contemporary visual language in order to survive, they champion spaces presented ascetically and functionally as just another call to their users.  In the changing cultural paradigm designers should form a part of cultural projects, form a part of the investigation processes into new languages by adding their design tools.

In this way new experimentation fields are opening up to renew and modify graphic repertoires, recomposing design strategies and incorporating new tools and technologies into proposals.  Whether that be communicating through design, through installations or exhibition resources.

BID seeks to spot proposals, works and ideas tied to this renovation and to these new statements in order to emphasise their value.  Therefore we are inviting not only designers but also the institutions that have put forward proposals consistent with this candidacy to take part.  Here the customer is transformed into the driver of good design, and as such, they can be a suitable candidate for this prize.

Social and civic sectors are organized by modifying political and social relations to respond to the needs of the present, and without compromising the future of future generations. They not only redesign links, but also new forms of communication and visualization. They manage to create a brand of their movements and manage open processes in their languages and actions.

Design Prize and Design Publications

At the start of the 20th century magazine production was in the hands of typographers and printing workshops.  It was then when those at the forefront of design made magazines, where they could debate and spread their ideas, a true example of their experiments and findings.

Nowadays we still abide to these aims.  Design magazines are either an expression of some graphic tendency, or they simply award prizes or insults in equal measure.  At best they organize prestigious events.  And of course they look to be exemplary and establish standards. 

However in a landscape inundated with publications and discussion groups the prospect of being an industry leader is becoming increasingly difficult.  Abundant publications, coupled with newspaper supplements, cultural magazines, architectural or lifestyle magazines are all, in their own right, graphic design and editorial manifestos.

In this regard BID seeks to evaluate and award honest editorial proposals that fight for design culture, raise debate, show typographies, channel tools, alert to complex design processes and diffuse architectural endeavours as well as daring and emerging interior design, whilst continuing to cultivate the work of maestros.  And of course those that forge new paths in their editorial design pages.

At present many of these concepts have made the move to digital platforms, in some cases that in itself being the best expression of pioneering concepts.  There exquisite works of design, reasoned professional opinions and criticisms of close-knit governmental policies on the creative industries are all brought together.

Therefore BID has decided to give recognition to the efforts made by these professionals with a prize for design publications (printed, blogs and collections).   These should stand out for their contextual and formal audacity, as well as their commitment to communication and editing linked to the discipline.

This prize will assess:

  • The brand quality (header, typology of header, semantic value etc)
  • The editorial structure (agile feature sections, opinion pages, interview prototypes, narrative ability, complexity of information etc)
  • The layout (graphic elements, surprise factor, typographical play, use of color etc)
  • Graphic image (originality of photography, models and infographs , correct use of images etc)
  • The product or community produced (web, book collection, events or prizes, design conference etc)

Research and Design

Design and Research play the same essential strategic role in the economy. Both activities are equally transversal to all sectors of production and to all areas of the economy. They are also indispensable for changing and improving our lives by defining and improving the quality of the objects we produce and the products and services we consume. Design and research are the best demonstration of how talent and creativity are not only cultural values but also valuable tools for economic intervention.

Companies that allocate resources to research and design increase their competitiveness and improve their profits. In the same way, countries that dedicate efforts to stimulate and promote Design and Research guarantee the quality of life of their citizens and strengthen their economy. Linking design with scientific research, technological innovation and the experimentation of new materials generates multiplier synergies for industrial activity. The countries capable of disaggregating the value of design and research into percentages of their GDP are precisely those that devote the most resources to research and design, those that achieve the highest levels of income, well-being and quality of life.

The creation of a Research and Design prize at the Ibero-American Design Biennial, sponsored by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, will allow the discovery, stimulation and dissemination of the best practices of interaction between Design and Research in the innovative activity of Ibero-American companies.

There is no doubt that collaboration between research teams and designers or teams of designers can strengthen the activity of both. These awards will seek to increase awareness of this joint action and the impact when it comes to strengthening their results. With this award, the IDB wishes to highlight the importance of the R&D-design binomial and how it generates new opportunities for the best ideas, both scientific and creative. The announcement of this award aims to give visibility to the synergies derived from this fortunate encounter and the dialogue between scientific knowledge and design practice, and to the potential of this interaction in the value chain.

The IDB Research and Design Award will designate those research projects that have gained viability thanks to the intervention of a designer, as well as others, generated by designers, who have required the support of a research team to develop or improve a new product or service.


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