Apply now - Innovation By Design Awards!

The 2019 Innovation by Design Awards honor the designers and businesses solving the problems of today and tomorrow. The competition, now in its eighth year, has featured a cross section of blue-chip companies, scruffy startups, and hungry young talents. It is one of the most sought-after design awards in the industry. There are 21 categories you can enter, and the judges include renowned designers from a variety of disciplines, business leaders from some of the most innovative companies in the world, and Fast Company’s own editors. Entries are judged on the key ingredients of innovation: functionality, originality, beauty, sustainability, depth of user insight, cultural impact, and business impact.

New in 2019!

There are seven new categories, including Learning, Mobility, Data Design, and top designs for each major region in the world.

  • Products:
    Hardware and industrial design geared toward mass consumers and niche markets.
  • Apps and Games:
    Interfaces and tools built for phones, tablets, and touch screens.
  • Spaces, Places, and Cities:
    Built projects that improve the world around us, including architecture, landscapes, urban and civic design, and apps.
  • Experimental:
    Concepts, prototypes, and pioneering designs intended to push boundaries and excite the imagination.
  • Retail Environments:
    Physical settings that bring a brand, service, or product to life.
  • Health:
    Consumer products that improve health and wellness, including apps, medical devices, fitness trackers, and athletic equipment.
  • User Experience:
    Projects that consider a user’s journey, from beginning to end, whether in an app, a physical product, or a brick-and-mortar experience.
  • Mobility 
    Projects that improve how we get around, including apps, vehicles, and transportation networks.
  • Social Good:
    Products, systems, processes, and platforms that help underprivileged communities or developing countries.
  • Students:
    Work created while attending either an undergraduate or graduate program, or within a year of graduation.
  • Timeless Design:
    Honoring iconic, impactful, and measurably lasting design– including spaces, graphics, digital experiences, and products– developed any time in the past 30 years.
  • Fashion and Beauty:
    Products, environments, and services that reflect–and enhance–who we are and what we wear.
  • Graphic Design:
    Visual design that serves a function, from typography to branding. Includes both static and interactive design.
  • Workplace:
    Buildings, interiors, furniture, desk accessories, and tools built to make workers happier and more productive.
  • Learning:
    Products and services that enhance learning.
  • Data Design:
    Projects that harness the power of data to create better experiences for users, whether it’s an algorithm, a visualization, or an interface.
  • Best Design:
    The most innovative designs overall in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

DEFSA conferences

DEFSA promotes relevant research with the focus on design + education through its biennial conferences, to promote professionalism, accountability and ethics in the education of young designers

Design Educators of South Africa...

With your support & active membership, the Design Educators Forum of Southern Africa can positively influence the young designer's formative training and promote all facets of design across Africa