Relaunched as a standalone program for the first time, the 2021 A+Product Awards presents an unparalleled opportunity for manufacturers and designers of building products, furniture and materials to get their most innovative creations in front of specifying architects. Every product entered will be reviewed by our highly influential jury of more than 200 architects, including representatives from BIG, Gensler, HDR, Foster + Partners, Perkins+Will, Rockwell Group, SOM and more.
For those looking to elevate their brand and get their most cutting-edge building products the recognition they deserve, the A+Product Awards is the ideal platform. But how can you maximize your chances of success when you enter? The following guide offers some insights into the entry process, including submission tips to help make the most of your submission.
1. Carefully consider your entry materials.
Here’s a list of everything you will need to submit to the A+Awards:
- Product Name
- Launch Date (month/year)
- Product Description (300 word maximum)
- Collaborators (Optional)
- Select the Category – Click here for a description of all categories
- Upload 1-12 Graphic Assets – max. 12 images and max. 1 video. (Images: 100MB max: jpeg, tiff or png file, single images only, no collages. Video: 2GB max:mp4, mpg or flv file)
Arguably the most important of these to consider is the Product Description and the Graphic Assets (images and/or video). Your product description should be concise yet persuasive in communicating to jurors the unique qualities of your product, setting it apart from your competitors. Beyond literal descriptions, use the Product Description box to explain why your product was the designed in the way that it was, and how this differentiates it from others in the same vertical.
In terms of visual materials, you can upload up to 12 files, so there is some scope for creativity here — alongside beautiful photography of your finished product, consider including the following to help the jurors understand the design and uses of your product:
- Images of your product in the context of a built architectural project
- Concept sketches of your product in development
- A video of your product being made or in use within a building
- An animation of your product’s various configurations (if it is transformable or modular)
All of these are eligible mediums, and we encourage you to submit whatever visual assets you feel best communicate your product’s strengths and unique qualities.
2. Enter multiple award categories.
The best way to maximize your chances of success in the program is to enter your product in multiple award categories. For 2021, the number of categories has been expanded to reflect the close relationship between product design and architecture. Here’s a quick run-down of the category groups:
New for 2021, the Best in Specialization categories are dedicated to products that excel in a specialized area, leading the field in their classification. There are awards for sustainable design, innovation, new materials, designer collaboration, flexible design, unbuilt (prototype) design and branding. Submissions in these categories must be available to market by January 1, 2022 to qualify, with the exception of the Conceptual Design category. Best in Specialization includes categories in the following areas:
- Sustainable Design
- New Materials
- Designer Collaboration
- Flexible Design
- Conceptual Design
Also New for 2021, the Best in Project Type categories Celebrate the world’s best products and materials designed for use in a specific architectural setting. Both realized and conceptual products of all types are eligible for submission. There are awards for the best products in residential, commercial, health, education, hospitality, cultural, transportation and landscape projects. There is no market launch date requirement for these categories. Best in Product Type includes categories in the following areas:
Finally, the Best in Product Type categories celebrate the world’s best products across every vertical, each of which are pivotal in creating amazing architecture and inspiring spaces. The product type categories include categories for building systems, façades, finishes, flooring, kitchen & bath, furnishings, lighting and openings. Submissions in these categories must be available to market by January 1, 2022 to qualify. Best in Product Type includes categories in the following areas:
- Building Systems
- Kitchen & Bath
You can enter your products across many categories, and it is particularly worthwhile entering in the “Best in Project Type” and “Best in Specialization” categories, where there may be less competition. If you are not sure which category to enter, you can email the awards team at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will recommend eligible categories for your product.
3. Take heed of the judging criteria.
The best place to start when considering how to describe your products and present them visually for jurors is to read the A+Product Awards Judging Criteria. Your product undoubtedly looks good, functions well and improves the architecture or space in which it is placed, but it is vital your submission materials are able to communicate this in a concise manner for jurors. Take a read of the three key areas in which products will be judged:
Aesthetics are the visible shape and materiality of the product. The jury will consider the product’s form, detailing and overall quality. The product’s aesthetic should have a clear stance on its relationship to the architecture it inhabits and the users who will experience it. It isn’t enough to be sculptural; it should also be relevant for its function and end users.
Performance refers to achieving the often complex goals for which the product is intended. The jury will refer to the product’s description to better understand the criteria used in designing and developing the product and what it aims to serve. This includes innovations that utilize new materials, improve existing building practices, or address new needs.
Impact refers to a product’s potential to change the way buildings are designed and built. Product designers and brands must embrace new technologies and shifting demands and trends in order to remain relevant. Products that work to improve existing materials and practices, and push technical and conceptual boundaries are considered impactful. Impact can be measured in a multitude of ways, including a product’s impact on the environment or on the construction industry itself, and high scores will be given to products that attempt to catalyze positive change. Both short-term, immediate impacts and long-term, potential impacts will be taken into consideration.
Once you have gathered your submission materials together, you can enter them immediately via the A+Product Awards Entry Portal. The Early Entry Deadline is June 4th, 2021, with the Main and Late Deadlines following on July 16th and August 13th respectively. Good luck with your submissions, from all of us at Architizer — we can’t wait to share your products with architects and designers around the world!
Featured image: Sun – Light of Love by Foscarini, 2020 A+Product Awards Finalist in the Residential Lighting category.