2016 SEGD Global Design Awards: Creative Experiential Designs that Communicate

WASHINGTON, DC – In a world that is increasingly complex visually, designers are experimenting with ways to enhance users’ enjoyment of the “real” world with creative experiential designs that communicate. Operating at the intersection of communications and the built environment, the field of experiential design embraces a wide range of disciplines including graphic design, architectural, interior, landscape, digital and industrial design.

Winning projects in the 2016 SEGD Global Design Awards were announced at The 2016 SEGD Conference Experience Seattle. From a museum for human rights in Winnipeg to a children's hospital in The Hague to a financial research center in San Francisco, thirty-nine winning projects use a wide variety of design tools to tell stories, build brands and create a strong sense of place.

Since 1987, SEGD’s Global Design Awards have honored design that connects people to place by providing direction, content, and compelling experiences in the places where we work, play, learn, travel, shop and gather.

"The world is wide open for designers, who are leading the charge to create true user-centered experiences. They are also guided by Design Thinking and solid principles of design for user experiences.,” says Stephen Minning, founder and managing director of BrandCulture (Sydney) and chair of the 2016 SEGD Global Design Awards. "These principles are represented in the winning work."

For example, at the new Canadian Museum for Human Rights, designers were challenged to communicate, in a highly accessible and engaging way, stories about struggles and triumphant movements for change in the realization of human rights around the world. Their interactive designs involve system response to user action; provocation of interaction between visitors and between visitor types; cause-and-effect scenarios; and soliciting, using and managing user-contributed content.

For the interactive Experience at Juliana Children's Hospital the main focus of the design was how young patients experience their hospital visit. The designers added an experiential layer to the existing clinical design by creating an “adventure journey” for the young patients’ treatment process. All over the hospital, games, play sets, interactives, drawings and puppets are installed to surprise, distract or relax the children. Impressive care and attention was paid to transitional spaces of the hospital experience−places where fear and anxiety are most palpable.

For Bloomberg's San Francisco Tech Hub, the designers provided an experience that sets a successful precedent for what a corporate interior can be—an elegant and not-expected design solution that honors both historical precedent and technological advancements, while harmoniously working within the building’s material finish palette.

In addition to Minning, the 2016 SEGD Global Design Awards jury includes eight talented and innovative designers leading their fields in user experience design, architecture and digital experience design:

  • Lonny Israel,Associate Director of Branding, Identity and Graphic Design for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
  • Marcia Lausen,Director of the School of Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago and founder of the Chicago office of Studio/lab
  • Eric LeVine,Brand Design Director at Gensler 
  • Paul McConnell,Director of Design at customer experience innovation firm Intersection
  • Despina Macris,Co-founder and Managing Director of Dotdash, an interdisciplinary design studio focused on wayfinding strategy
  • Anna Sharp,Creative Director at public information design firm Two Twelve
  • Traci Sym,Experience Design Director at Skylab Architecture 
  • Mike Garzarelli,Associate Designer at Comcast and 2015 student winner in the SEGD Global Design Awards program

The jury evaluated projects in seven categories that represent the core of Experiential Graphic Design: Digital Experience Content, Exhibition, Interactive Experiences, Placemaking and Identity, Public Installations, Strategy/Research/Planning and Wayfinding.

11 Honor Awards and 28 Merit Awards—spanning the full spectrum of experiential graphic design, from wayfinding to placemaking and identity, public installations, exhibitions and research projects were chosen from among 371 submissions of experiential graphic design projects from around the world.

A list of the all time Honor and Merit winners is also available. Expand the firms list to see more.

Following is a listing of the 2016 SEGD Global Design Award winners. Images, descriptions and team credits can be found in the SEGD Global Design Awards Gallery. Past winners dating to 1998 are also in the archives.




2016 Best of Show / Honor Award


Exhibitions | Riga, Latvia

Design: Studio H2E


2016 Sylvia Harris Award/Honor Award

Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Interactive Experience | Winnipeg, Canada

Design: Gagarin


2015 Honor Awards

Alserkal Arrows

Wayfinding | Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Design: PenguinCube FZ-LLC


Bloomberg San Franciso Tech Hub

Placemaking & Identity | San Francisco, United States

Design: Volume Inc.


Contro-Spazio: Punti in Aria

Public Installation | Venice, Italy

Design: Anne Bush Design


Drawbot for Brian Eno Project

Interactive Experience | Pasadena, United States

Design: Pearlyn Lii


Fukuoka Children's Hospital

Placemaking and Identity | Fukuoka, Japan

Design: Shimazu Environmental Graphics Co.


Han Meilin Art Museum

Wayfinding | Yinchuan, China

Design: Beijing Trycool Culture & Art Development


KU Design Week

Public Installation | Lawrence, United States

Design: KU Design Students


Open Source

Exhibition | Philadelphia, United States

Design: J2 Design Partnership, in collaboration with ex;it


QT Sydney

Placemaking and Identity | Sydney, Australia

Design: Fabio Ongarato Design


Target Open House

Interactive Experience | San Francisco, United States

Design: Local Projects


Virtual Depictions: San Francisco

Digital Experience Content | San Francisco, United States

Design: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP Architects, Refik Anadol Studio



2016 Merit Awards


101 Collins Street

Public Installation | Melbourne, Australia

Design: Fabio Ongarato Design


300 South Wacker for Beacon Capital Partners

Placemaking and Identity | Chicago, United States

Design: ESI Design


Center for Civil and Human Rights

Exhibition | Atlanta, United States

Design: Rockwell Group (exhibition design)


Delft Train Station Ceiling

Placemaking and Identity | Delft, Netherlands

Design: Geerdes Ontwerpen


e°FLOW Interactive Sculpture

Interactive Experience | Chicago & Pasadena, United States

Design: Ueberall International LLC


Experience Juliana Children's Hospital

Interactive Experience | The Hague, Netherlands

Design: Tinker Imagineers



Interactive Experience | Baltimore, United States

Design: Chenyudesign


Haus der Bildung Bonn

Wayfinding | Bonn, Germany

Design: Polyform, Götzelmann Middel Schumann GbR


Hyundai Card Music Library + Understage

Placemaking and Identity | Seoul, South Korea

Design: Gensler


Interactive Book on Paul Gauguin

Interactive Experience | Reihen, Switzerland

Design: iart ag


Jacob A. Riis: Revealing New York's Other Half

Exhibition | New York City, United States

Design: Studio Joseph


Makara Peak Mountain Bike Park Wayfinding

Wayfinding | Wellington, New Zealand

Design: Massey University School of Design


Me Too

Public Installation | Philadelphia, United States

Design: Karen Watkins, MFA Candidate, Graphic and Interactive Design


Noticing Tools

Digital Experience Content | New York City, United States

Design: Local Projects


Parc Olympique Lyonnais Wayfinding

Wayfinding | Lyon, France

Design: Populous Activate


Revolution in the Landscape: Re-experience Halprin's Fountains

Public Installation | Portland, United States

Design: SEGD Portland Chapter; Mayer/Reed, Portland State University Graphic Design Department, Sticky Co, PNCA Animation Arts,


Rockaway Boardwalk Beach Graphics

Placemaking and Identity | Queens, United States

Design: Pentagram


SAIC LeRoy Neiman Center Donor Recognition

Public Installation | Chicago, United States

Design: Media Objectives at Valerio Dewalt Train


Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center

Placemaking and Identity | Lead, United States

 Design: C&G Partners


Texas Children's Hospital Wayfinding Research & Assessment

Strategy/Research/Planning | Houston, United States

 Design: Formation


The Riverdale Country School Learning Complex

Placemaking and Identity | Bronx, United States

 Design: Open


Turn Left Turn Right

Placemaking and Identity | Shanghai, China

Design: Public Design Lab, Tongji University College of Design & Innovation


WalkNYC Pedestrian Wayfinding

Wayfinding | New York City, United States

Design: PentaCityGroup (consortium)


Wayfinding for Moscow

Wayfinding | Moscow, Russia

Design: City ID and Billings Jackson Design


Whitney Museum of American Art

Wayfinding | New York City, United States

Design: Entro Communications


World Architecture Festival Exhibition London

Exhibition | London, United Kingdom

Design: Populous Activate

Related Links: