2020 SEGD Global Design Awards—Honoring Excellence in Experiential Graphic Design

A grid of eight images pertaining to the 2020 Global Design Awards Winners

2020 SEGD GLOBAL DESIGN AWARDS: Celebrating Design that Connects People to Place

WASHINGTON— This year's winning projects in the SEGD Global Design Awards were announced on July 9, 2020 during the live 2020 SEGD Global Design Awards virtual ceremony.

The 30 winning projects span a range of topics, disciplines and verticals, from highlighting the role of technology in addressing injustice in communal workspaces, creating interactive experiences that unearth unconscious biases to material-driven, nature-inspired park placemaking totems. The award-winning designers represented diverse parts of the globe, but what was a common thread for many, was a commitment to use design for the betterment of society.

The Best of Show award was awarded to the "National Memorial for Peace and Justice," submitted by design firms Small Stuff and afreeman in collaboration with MASS Design Group Architects and the Equal Justice Initiative in the category of Public Installation. The thoughtful experiential design of the monument effectively communicates the sobering history of racial terror in the United States, contextualizing and imbuing the space with meaning through the use of art, and design.

Equal Justice Initiative will also collaborate to place a monument—identical to the monument found at the National Memorial—into the community, whose past it addresses to help transform our national landscape into a more honest reflection of the history of America and reflect a community’s ongoing commitment to truth-telling and racial justice.

One juror wrote of the work, “This project was a winner from the first moment we saw it: The care, intention, material, typography, and form of each aspect of the experience deliver a powerful focus on this history, and its continued contemporary impacts.”

The 2020 Sylvia Harris Award—selected from all submissions for a project, which exemplifies design for the public good in honor of the legacy of Sylvia Harris, the founder of Citizen Research & Design—went to an exhibition called “The Truth is Local: Experiential Storefronts” developed by Local Projects, across the five boroughs of New York.

The project served as a campaign highlighting the value of local journalism with five perspective-shifting storefront installations that brought important reporting from each borough to life. The storefronts told the true tales of wrongful murder convictions in Brooklyn, educational inequality in the Bronx, reckless taxi lending schemes in Manhattan, the life of an overlooked woman in Queens and forgotten history in Staten Island. 

“The winning projects have a way of connecting with you. As the jurors moved through hundreds of project submissions, you could see when they came across a project that defined excellence. We were all extremely moved by the intention, care, and focus that was taken to bring these projects to life.” says Traci Sym, principal at plus & greater than +&>, SEGD Board Member and 2020 SEGD Global Design Awards Jury Chair. “To stand back and take in the magnitude of perspectives that were before us, a truly global representation of design, was humbling. And to remember that design excellence is not achieved by one, but by many.”

In addition to Sym, the 2020 SEGD Global Design Awards jury includes eight additional multitalented and internationally acclaimed designers:

  • Inguna Elere,Co-founder and Lead Designer, Design Studio H2E (Riga, Latvia) and Best of Show winner in the 2019 SEGD Global Design Awards
  • Bosco Hernandez,Design Director, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (San Francisco)
  • Chad Hutson,Co-founder and CEO, 2020 SEGD Board Member, Leviathan (Chicago)
  • Jonathan Jackson,Partner and Designer, WSDIA | WeShouldDoItAll (Brooklyn)
  • Joe Lawton,Managing Director, Media Objectives (Chicago)
  • Cynthia Jones Parks,President and CEO, Jones Worley Design (Atlanta)
  • Nadia Tran,Graphic Designer, CORE Design Studio (Houston)
  • Darlene van Uden,Design Director, Infinite Scale (Salt Lake City)


The jury evaluated projects in seven categories that represent the core of experiential graphic design practice: Digital Experience Content, Exhibition, Interactive Experiences, Placemaking and Identity, Public Installation, Strategy/Research/Planning and Wayfinding.14 Honor Awards and 16 Merit Awards—spanning the full spectrum of experiential graphic design were chosen from among 340 submissions of experiential graphic design projects from around the world.

“These practice areas are distinct but layered. Great work is not made from a single pair of hands, it is collective and it is cumulative. The choreography of experience, the weaving of disciplines and story, this is what connects visitors to place. Experiential design is a temporal animal that remembers the human aspect of experience” says Sym.

The following is a listing of the 2020 SEGD Global Design Award winners. Images, descriptions and team credits can be found in the SEGD Global Design Awards section of SEGD.org.Past winners dating back to 1998 are also available in the archives.


2020 Best of Show and Honor Award

National Memorial for Peace and Justice
Public Installation | Montgomery, Alabama
Design: Small Stuff and afreeman

2020 Sylvia Harris and Honor Award

The Truth is Local: Experiential Storefronts
Exhibition | New York, New York
Design: Local Projects

2020 Honor Awards

1MQ Workplace
Placemaking and Identity | Melbourne, Australia
Design: THERE Pty Lyd.

First Sentier Investors workplace
Placemaking and Identity | Sydney, Australia
Design: THERE Pty Lyd.

Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice
Placemaking and Identity | New York, New York
Design: Gensler

Gimpo International Airport_Info Inclusive for Everyone
Wayfinding | Seoul, Republic of Korea
Design: YiEUM Partners, Inc

Hobsonville Point Habitat Markers
Placemaking and Identity | Auckland, New Zealand
Design: Isthmus

International Airport Gagarin Art Exposition
Digital Experience Content | Saratov, Russia
Design: Radugadesign and Ars Nova

Louisiana Children's Museum
Placemaking and Identity | New Orleans, Louisiana
Design: Studio Matthews

Make Some Room – Unconscious Bias Workshop
Strategy/Research/Planning | Global Initiative
Design: Second Story, Part of Publicis

New Glass Now
Exhibition | Corning, New York
Design: Studio Joseph

The Parlors
Digital Experience Content | Catskill, New York
Design: Second Story

Rising Together: The Black Experience with Police in America
Exhibition | New York, New York
Design: Isometric Studio

V&A Wayfinding
Wayfinding | London, England
Design: dn&co

2020 Merit Awards

AKC Museum of the Dog
Exhibition | New York, New York
Design: Gensler

Bodies in Motion
Interactive Experience | Milan, Italy
Design: Studio TheGreenEyl

Cook County Forest Preserves interpretive trails
Placemaking and Identity | River Forest, Illinois
Design: Studio Blue

Death in the Ice -The Mystery of the Franklin Expedition
Exhibition | Quebec, Canada
Design: Canadian Museum of History

Far Out - Suits, Habs, and Labs for Outer Space
Exhibition | San Francisco, California
Design: SFMOMA

The Incas, Treasures of Peru
Interactive Experience | Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Design: Gagarin

International Dairy Queen, Inc. | Corporate Headquarters
Placemaking and Identity | Bloomington, Minnesota
Design: HGA

McDonald's Headquarters Interactives
Interactive Experience | Chicago, Illinois
Design: Leviathan

MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility, East Campus Housing
Placemaking and Identity | Woodburn, Oregon
Design: MAYER/REED, Inc.

Memphis River Parks Signage
Wayfinding | Memphis, Tennessee
Design: afreeman, Original Champions of Design

Notman – Visionary Photographer
Exhibition | Quebec, Canada
Design: Canadian Museum of History

Seeing by Touch - inclusive exhibition
Exhibition | Zagreb, Croatia
Design: Rasic+Vrabec

The Sea Ranch - Architecture, Environment, and Idealism
Exhibition | San Francisco, California
Design: SFMOMA

The Senses - Design Beyond Vision
Exhibition | New York, New York
Design: Studio Joseph

Te Hauāuru Reserve - Westgate Town Park
Placemaking and Identity | Auckland, New Zealand
Design: Isthmus

Who We Are - Visualizing NYC by the Numbers
Exhibition | New York, New York
Design: Isometric Studio

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About SEGD
SEGD (the Society for Experiential Graphic Design) is the multidisciplinary, global community of professionals who create experiences that connect people to place. Find out more at www.segd.org.

CREO Industrial Artsis the Presenting Sponsor of the 2020 SEGD Global Design Awards.

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