The Best of Design Educates 2023 Has Been Announced

The Design Educates Awards, which annually recognize the best projects that respond to complex social and environmental contexts and carry educational value, just announced the results of the 2023 edition. The awards look for projects that will have a lasting impact on users and the environment, and showcase the world's best ideas and realizations that can educate. NPO Aoyama Design Forum (ADF) proudly supports the Design Educates Awards 2023 as a media partner.


Winner Of The Year in Architectural Design: Bat Trang Ceramic Community House, Photo credit: 1+1>2 Architects

Categories and Jury

Each year, the esteemed judges select outstanding ideas and implementations in architectural design, product design, universal design, and responsive design. The 2023 edition Jury was joined by Prof. Toyo Itō, Prof. Anna Herringer, Prof. Masayo Ave, Prof. Joyce Hwang, Prof. Achim Menges, Lucy McRae, Julie Payette, David Basulto, Han Wenqiang, and Dr. Peter Kuczia. In addition to the general evaluation, the student project with the highest score was awarded the label of Emerging Designers. Parallel to the Jury's evaluation, representatives of Solarlux will select the laureates of Solarlux Choice.


Gold Prize in Architectural Design: Fjordenhus, Photo credit: Studio Other Spaces


Entries were evaluated based on the following criteria: overall idea and implementation, the potential for educational influence, effectiveness and quality of the informative layer, aesthetics, quality of presentation, visionary approach, originality, feasibility, and comprehensiveness. In addition, the submitted ideas had to refer to the awards’ theme and highlight the educational potential of design.


Winner Of The Year in Product Design: DiFOLD Origami Bottle, Photo credit: DiFOLD

What is the design that educates?

Design that educates is a vast concept. Art, and therefore also architecture and design, do not always use messages written in black and white. Often their educational role is subtle, but meaningful. Educational projects are supposed to respond to social and environmental problems and bring us closer to sustainability. The "Design Educates Awards" recognize works that can change our behavior - and thus the world - even if this change is quiet and gradual.


Gold Prize in Product Design and Winner Of The Year in Responsive Design: Releaf Bags, Photo credit: Releaf Paper

The initiators of the idea of the community of creators who educate, and the awards that distinguish them, do not set any rigid framework or barriers. In the submitted projects, they want to see additional values with long-term effects that take the growing complexity of our lives into account. It's not just beautiful, aesthetically and technically pleasing designs that matter here. What matters is the impact of the buildings, objects, or items on their users and the environment.


Gold Prize in Responsive Design: Stomata: Optimizing Building Energy Retrofits Through Cyber-Physical Adaptive Spaces, Artificial Intelligence, And Occupants’ Biosignals, Photo credit: Washington State University


All awards participants are invited to join the awards ceremony and Architecture in Foyer Conference to meet with other participants, judges, and organizers. The awards ceremony will be held during the Architecture in Foyer 2023 worldwide conference at the Solarlux Campus in Germany (Melle, Lower Saxony, Germany) on September 28–29, 2023. The meeting will be hosted by Solarlux GmbH (the strategic partner of the awards). It will consist of an exhibition of the results of the DEAwards, lectures by distinguished architects and designers, laureates' presentations, workshops, and networking opportunities. Participation in the awards ceremony is free (registration is required).

Gold Prize in Universal Design + Emerging Designer: WoodenWood Chair, Photo credit: Disrupt.Design Lab , Technion


In addition to attending the conference, winners have the opportunity to present their projects at an exhibition in the Solarlux Campus building. It has a special meaning because it will take place in front of the most outstanding architects and designers focused on the additional values of design and architecture. Furthermore, this exhibition is an opportunity for in-depth discussions, generating new ideas, and tightening bonds with people worldwide who think similarly about leaving a lasting, meaningful mark.


Silver Prize in Architectural Design: PREMIER OFFICE, Photo credit: TROPICAL SPACE

Winning projects find their place in a book summarizing each year's awards. It's a finely edited book whose pages feature handwritten reflections from judges and mentors on design, education, and innovation alongside the participants' work.


Honorable Mention in Architectural Design + Solarux Choice: Ressurrection Chapel, Photo credit: LP architektur ZT GmbH

Winners also receive a lifetime title, label, and certificate that proves their project's uniqueness. One of the most important benefits of the awards is exposure to possible clients and collaborators. In addition, the laureates also receive a gift certificate from v2com newswire, the world's largest specialized media network publishing the most prestigious architecture and design publications.


Silver Prize in Architectural Design: NONSPACE, Photo credit: On Architects Inc.


Gold Prize in Responsive Design: RADIO GARAGE, Photo credit: studio design & architecture O. M. Shumelda

About the Design Educates Awards

The Design Educates Awards is organized by Laka Foundation, a nonprofit and nongovernmental organization. The inspiration for the awards theme comes from the research called Educating Buildings (Bildende Bauten) by Dr. Peter Kuczia.

The awards would not be possible without strategic partner Solarlux, the Architektur im Foyer conference, and Laka Perspectives. The media sponsors of the 2023 edition were ArchDaily and designboom. Media partners for the awards were the World Architecture Community, Architonic, TOPYS,, and ADF. The awards were also under Newswire Partnership from v2com.