The KOKUYO DESIGN AWARD is an international competition for user-centric design, where the best of the best are actually turned into products for the consumer market.


The KOKUYO DESIGN AWARD will be the 18th time the competition is held since its founding in 2002, and many of the winning designs have gone on to become successful products. There was a total of 1,377 submitted entries for the previous competition (17th), and with over 40% of the entries submitted from countries other than Japan, it has truly grown as an international product design competition.


The theme for this competition is “POST-NORMAL”.
People all over the world have witnessed society changing at overwhelming speed—whether they want it to or not. That’s precisely why we set this theme: so that it would serve as an opportunity for us to question again the value of the things around us, and think together about what kinds of value will continue to be widely loved for a long time to come.
In addition to that, many of the designs we’ve received in recent years have been based on ideas of high social value. The AWARD has rated those kinds of proposals highly up to now, too. This time though, we’re going to go back to its origins in product design, and call for entries that are complete as a product besides having value as an idea.


“Any stationery, furniture or tool used in working, learning and living scenes” are eligible. As all tools used in everyday life are eligible, and not just stationery and furniture which are KOKUYO’s main product categories, we expect more flexible ideas. Submissions are comprehensively evaluated based on the three evaluation criteria:


More information will be released in successive stages on the Kokuyo Design Awards Website.

—The main application guidelines for the KOKUYO DESIGN AWARD 2021


The world became new while we were totally unprepared for it.
Before we are given time to think carefully about things,
what we like, dislike, agree with, disagree with,
our once-familiar everyday life continues to change.
So we try to catch up with the changes, and in our rush
many ideas spring up and disappear.
What’s important in product design now
is to try to face the things around us anew.
To take a deep look at the value of continuing to be lastingly and broadly loved.
To end not only with an idea, but to think through every detail,
to be persistent, and give shape to a product.


2. Eligible entries:
Any stationery, furniture or tool used in working, learning and living scenes


3. Registration and submission:
August 21 to October 19, 2020


4. Judges:
- Ryosuke Uehara (CEO, Art Director, & Creative Director of KIGI Co., Ltd.)
- Masashi Kawamura (Chief Creative Officer of Whatever)
- Tsuyoshi Tane (Founder of Atelier Tsuyoshi Tane Architects / Architect)
- Teruhiro Yanagihara (Designer)
- Yoshie Watanabe (Art Director & Designer at KIGI Co., Ltd.)
- Hidekuni Kuroda (KOKUYO Co., Ltd. President and CEO)


5. Prizes:
- Grand Prix (one from all entries) ¥2,000,000 (about $18,000)
- Merit Award (three from all entries) ¥500,000 (about $4,500) / winner
*Prize money will be paid net of withholding tax, surtax for reconstruction funding, and other applicable deductions.
*Not all prizes may be awarded for all categories if there is no winner selected.
*The amount shown in dollar is that calculated at the time of publication. The prize will be calculated according to the exchange rate at the time of payment, from the amount shown in Japanese yen.


6. Judging criteria:
- The design’s interpretation of the theme
- The design’s level of completion
- The design’s potential to become a product


7. Award announcements:
March 13, 2021 [tentative]


Website: https://www.kokuyo.com/en/award/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KokuyoDesignAward.japan/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kokuyo_designaward/


cash prize award: $ 31,500.00 USD

click here for call for entries
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