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Event History

The KOKUYO DESIGN AWARD 2023 will be the 20th competition, and this time, we’ll be calling for works based on the theme “embrace.” This word carries meanings like “inclusion” and “hugging.” In that same vein, we are looking for product design proposals that make people feel cheerful and positive by accepting and acknowledging the differences between people and the challenges society is facing.

What Makes this event different?

We received a total of 1,031 entries from 58 countries all around the world last year, and have made 20 past award winners into commercial products to date. Through the design of things that are familiar to everyone, the competition aims to give form to the possibilities of design and the power of products.

Copyright Policy

•The contest organizer recommends all entrants take steps to protect their rights as necessary. •Worldwide rights related to patents, utility models, designs, trademarks, or copyrights (including rights specified in Article 27 and 28 of the Copyright Act of Japan) for winning submissions shall reside with the contest organizer for any works selected for awards (winning submissions). The entrant agrees not to exercise his/her rights to such works for winning submissions. Payment for the transfer of said rights from the entrant to the contest organizer shall be deemed as made in the form of contest prize money. •All rights (intellectual property rights, etc.) and obligations related to works not selected for awards shall, as a rule, reside with the related entrant. •An award given to any winning submitted work with the same (or very similar) design as an article made public may be withdrawn at any time, even after winners have been announced. The foregoing also applies to any submitted works that infringe on the intellectual property rights of a third party, either prior to, concurrent with, or subsequent to submission.

Image Usage Rights

•Submissions must be the original work of the entrant. Submissions cannot have been made public (in Japan or overseas) before or concurrent to this contest. •Submitted works cannot have been entered into other competitions. Submissions may not be displayed publicly without the agreement of the contest organizer. •The organizer shall not be held responsible for any expenses incurred with the entry of works withdrawn. The contest organizer will exercise due care in the handling and transportation of works submitted. However, the contest organizer shall not be liable for any damage or loss resulting from natural disasters or other unexpected events. •Works (including Presentation Sheets and Models) submitted shall belong to the contest organizer and shall not be returned. The contest organizer retains all rights related to contest exhibition or publication of submitted Works.

THEME: embrace

Any stationery, furniture or tool used in working, learning and living scenes

Corporations, organizations, individuals, and groups are all welcome, regardless of age, sex, professional background, or nationality.
Only designs that have never before been shown publicly (in Japan or other countries) are eligible for entry.
Entrants must be able to give a presentation at the final judging that’s scheduled for March 18, 2023.

- Registration & Submission: July 29 to 12:00 (noon) JST on October 11, 2022
- First Round of Judging: Late November 2022
  Judgement based on the presentation sheet.
- Notification of First Round Results: Mid December 2022
- Final Judging and Ceremony (Announcement of the Winners): March 18, 2023 (tentative) (Held in Tokyo)
  Judgement based on a presentation and model (either online or in-person).


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