Evolution of Design Competitions: A Scientific Study on the State-of-art of Design Competitions

By Onur Mustak Cobanli, Alessandro Deserti and Cabirio Cautela.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

First design competitions were searching for the “aesthetically beautiful” designs, schematics or drawings. That was the purpose. Design competitions have evolved. They are no longer just beauty competitions. As digital platforms advanced, design competitions have become something more. The rules have changed and the transformation is so great that once secondary aims, or externalities, out of the box thinking, innovative collobration, outsourcing design, subsidizing design or brand communication have become primary aims. Design competitions also grew in size, from sketches to protoypes to just ideas to complex product/service systems, and shifted in a direction to be more “multi-disciplinary” than ever. New aims such as community building, customer base formation, database building, co-branding with designers, recruiting of employees, money making, creating standards, social working, brainpower collection, trend identification and research have come to be. Many companies and platforms have appeared which exploit this new phenomenon. All these advancements are happenning out of academic sphere. Papers and discussions regarding design competitions date from 1970s are no longer valid, as they are from pre-internet periods, almost always about “architectural” competitions. This new phenomenon and transformation about design competitions is worth being investigated in a scientific approach. Because the design competitions are just too important for a “laissez-faire” kind of approach.

Keywords: Design Competitions, Outsourcing Design, Innovative Collaboration, Subsidizing Design, Design Standards, Multi-disciplinary Design Competitions

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp.391-406. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1013.637KB).

Onur Mustak Cobanli

Ph.D. Candidate, Advanced Design Research Unit, Politecnico di Milano, Como, Co, Italy

Onur Mustak Cobanli is a Ph.D. candidate in Design, Faculty of Design, Politecnico di Milano, Italy, expected 2012, and holds a M.S. in Furniture Design from the Faculty of Design, Politecnico di Milano, Italy, 2009. Academic publications include Generative Design using Design DNA and Design DNA Approach for Defining Styles. Hobbies and interests include design, collaborative innovation, and game theory.

Alessandro Deserti

Professor, Industrial Design, Arts, Communication and Fashion Department, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy, Italy

Prof. Cabirio Cautela

Professor, Design Department, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, MI, Italy


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