The 2023 SEGD Global Design Awards Jury Process

The 2023 SEGD Global Design Awards Jury process is officially complete. Our nine expert jurors gathered together over two and a half days to deliberate over 334 project entries to determine which projects best represent design excellence in 2023.

The 2023 SEGD Global Design Awards Jury Process

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The 2023 SEGD Global Design Awards Jury process is officially complete. Our nine expert jurors gathered together over two and a half days to deliberate over 334 project entries to determine which projects best represent design excellence in 2023.

Since 1987, the SEGD Global Design Awards have honored excellence in Experiential Design. Our internationally acclaimed awards program features projects that connect people to place by providing direction, content and compelling user experiences in the places where they work, play, learn, travel, shop and connect.

Let’s take a behind the scenes look at the process for awards deliberation and selection.

In early March, nine professionals embarked on a multifaceted journey to define excellence in the experiential design field. The esteemed jury for the 2023 Awards traveled from as near as New York and as far as Riga, Latvia to convene in Washington, D.C. This is the story of their multi-day process.

On a Thursday in early March, the jury arrived in Washington D.C.. Several of our jury members were able to take advantage of their early arrival and headed out to explore Glenstone, an art museum in Potomac, MD and a perfect inspirational cultural destination for a weekend focused on design. The entire jury then convened at dinner where they reviewed the awards process and glimpsed a sneak peek at the projects.

The next morning the jurors got up bright and early (with coffee in hand) to begin the project review process. Each juror receives a printed hard copy of every single project entry which includes photos and a narrative project description; and dedicates time and attention to review each piece of work in a contemplative space without distractions.

The process continues over lunch as the jury begins to review each video submitted alongside the project entries. These videos provide insights of the submitted design pieces, offering a better understanding of the atmosphere, interactivity and overall cohesiveness of the submitted projects.

As the day progresses, the jurors collectively work to narrow down the entries to the projects that most emulate design excellence and deserve an award.

After a long day of deliberations and discussions, the jurors break for dinner. The intensely focused deliberation process is an amazing connector. At dinner the jury converses as if they had all been friends for years, even though many of them met for the first time the day before.

On Saturday morning, all of the projects selected to potentially receive an award are spread out on a large table with their hero shot on top. The next discussion is to determine which projects will receive an award, and then organize them by area of practice and honor or merit. This is the most rigorous discussion because each member of the jury can pull a project out that didn’t make it to the final cut and bring it back in for another review.

After all of the projects that will receive an award are selected, the jury then embarks on the most difficult task of selecting a Sylvia Harris Award winner and a Best of Show award winner. After deliberations are wrapped and the award winners have been selected, jurors grab lunch and begin writing their juror comments for each and every award-winning project.

This year, our jurors sorted through 334 entries, from 18 different countries, 117 different firms, and 35 student projects.

Juror Lynn Kiang of Dome Collective commented on the process, “I’ve worked in studios, consultancies, currently run my own practice, and teach but being part of the SEGD design awards jury was truly a highlight of my career. Surrounded by like-minded colleagues with the enormous task of selecting the best of the year, we had deep discussions about what excellence is and where we are headed as a profession. If I could, I’d put all the entries in a binder and have my students read through all the incredible work that represents the broad range of experience design. Each juror brought incredible insight, laughter, and warm collegiality to the table. After years of post-pandemic isolation, I left feeling inspired again professionally and connected to a greater community of designers, planners, and educators. As we mark 50 years of SEGD, we aspire to design more inclusively, sustainably, and culturally attuned to the spaces we inhabit.”

Project winners will be announced at our 50th Anniversary celebration at the 2023 SEGD Conference Experience in Washington D.C. on August 23 – 26, 2023. Attendees will receive the printed SEGD Awards Annual and attend the 2023 SEGD Global Design Awards Ceremony where we celebrate each and every awarded project.