Who can participate?

Students and recent graduates (up to 2 years after graduation) are welcome to register their entries for the 2017_02 award topics.

Concepts should not be older than 2 years at the time they are submitted. We will also accept works by small teams of designers with no more than 4 team members.



For the second 2017 competition (2017_02), students and young graduates are encouraged to submit their concepts only to the four following topics. Concepts to other topics will not be accepted.

1. Smart Homes, Connected Cities – Visions for Cities and Citizens

Your task: Use technology to make our cities and houses more livable, safer and more efficient.

No longer the realm of science fiction, 'smart' devices (meaning technology that responds intuitively to human activity) are becoming reality. Doors and gates that lock and unlock automatically, parking meters that sense when a car arrives and leaves -- these are just the beginning.

Models of smart city planning include Santander and Barcelona in Spain, Stockholm in Sweden and Amsterdam in the Netherlands. But the potential for integrating technology into our homes and cities is endless. What are the benefits for efficiency, for comfort, and for resilience to natural catastrophe?

We expect new thinking, breathtaking ideas and the combination of creating new options without ignoring the existing problems.


Your concept can be one of the following:

  • Product or Application
  • Project
  • Communication or Service


Inspiration on designing smart communities of the future:

2. Public Value, Life & Humanity – Living Together

Your task: Design a product or idea to support people living together peacefully.

In the next 35 years, an estimated three billion people in the developing world will move from rural areas to cities. In the Middle East, millions of people are now leaving their homes and heading towards Europe, fleeing war and poverty. How can we improve the way we live together, both newcomers and long-term residents? Which products might make life easier for new city residents? What concepts could assist in reducing resentment and improving mutual understanding?

Changing values, technological progress and globalization are processes that deeply affect both family life and the network of social relationships.


Your concept can be one of the following:

  • Product or Application
  • Project
  • Communication or Service


Inspiration on "Life & Humanity – Living Together“:

3. Micro Apartments – Maximizing Small Space

Your task: Design a better mini apartment.

In Europe and Asia, small apartments are a necessity: often the space in metropolitan regions is only sufficient for one or two room homes. In North America, small houses have become hugely popular, often for reasons of economy. In all cases, small homes are cheaper and easier to build than larger ones. People are finding that not only are these spaces 'big enough' -- they also have a charm of their own.

The challenge for architects and designers is to fit the most functionality, comfort and luxury into the smallest space possible.

What makes a small apartment perfect?


Your concept can be one of the following:

  • Product or Application
  • Project
  • Communication or Service


Inspiration on good small homes you will find here:

4. Future Healthcare – Using Technology to Keep Us Healthier

Your task: We are looking for interesting concepts and ideas to improve the healthcare of tomorrow.

Since time immemorial, man has tried to heal the sick with medicine and technical assistance.

Technology has indeed progressed, however, there are still many areas in which our healthcare system could use a 'redesign'. Worldwide, 400 million people have no access to regular medical care. Even in cities, patients must often wait weeks for an appointment. Longer life expectancies will put a further strain on healthcare systems.

Today, technology in the form of fitness trackers or DNA analysis is already advanced enough to track health indicators and reveal risk factors. But technology can also be misused or abused. Some patients already rely more on search engines more than their doctor.

How can our health systems be improved through new technologies, digital tools, services and information, so that people who otherwise have no access to medical care can benefit from them?

We are looking not only for technological devices: your design could also be an app or an infographic to draw attention or enlighten an aspect of heathcare.


Your concept can be one of the following:

  • Product or Application
  • Project
  • Communication or Service


Inspiration on rethinking our medical healthcare and technology:


Evaluation Criteria

The most important aspect is the creative concept behind your design. This means, we are first and foremost looking for great ideas. The ideas should help solve a problem or make life more comfortable: in short, it should serve people.

In order to win an iF DESIGN TALENT AWARD, your idea must get above-average marks regarding several evaluation criteria and must clearly stand out among other submitted entries. The better you score in as many criteria as possible, the greater your chance of winning an award will be.


Innovation and Elaboration

  • Degree of innovation
  • Degree of elaboration
  • Uniqueness


  • Use value and usability
  • Ergonomics
  • Practicability
  • Safety


  • Aesthetic appeal
  • Emotional appeal
  • Spatial concept
  • Ambience


  • Human dignity
  • Respect for the individual
  • Fairness
  • Consideration of environmental standards /carbon footprint
  • Social responsibility
  • Societal value


  • Target group fit
  • Differentiation

Public Value

We are looking for projects meaning ideas, approaches and possible solutions for societal problems as well as proposals for the realization of Products and Applications – they all referring to the topic "Public Value – Life & Humanity". For Public Value, there are special evaluation criteria applicable:

1. Does it solve a problem?

For Projects, Communication and Services:

  • Use value and usability
  • Scale and scope of the solution
  • Innovativeness and uniqueness of the solution

For Products and Applications:

  • Degree of elaboration
  • Innovation

2. Does it reflect or promote high-moral ethical standards?

For Projects, Communication and Services:

  • Human dignity, respect for the individual
  • Justice and fairness
  • Awareness of the given environment's moral standards

For Products and Applications:

  • Safety
  • Environmental impact
  • Social responsibility

3. Does it strengthen group relations?

For Projects, Communication and Services:

  • Sensitivity for local cultural traditions and power relations
  • Concern for common goals and the collective
  • Addressing social conflict through dialogue with different groups (e.g. age, sex, political attitudes,...)

For Products and Applications:

  • Universal design
  • Target group fit

4. Does it create a positive experience?

For Projects, Communication and Services:

  • Positive experience and fun
  • Aesthetical and hedonistic potential
  • Comfort and pleasure through design

For Products and Applications:

  • Spatial ambience
  • Usability and ergonomics
  • Brand fit
  • Aesthetics

5. Does it balance effort and use value?

For Projects, Communication and Services:

  • Efficient use of resources (e.g. people, money, reputation,...)
  • Feasibility and ease of implementation (e.g. technical, financial,...)
  • Long-term perspective (e.g. sustainability)

For Products and Applications:

  • Efficiency in production and logistics
  • Practicability
  • Execution

What we need for registration

1. Description

Each entry must be described using both text and images so that the jury is able to fully understand and properly assess it.


We need:

  • English language text /description (max. 650 characters incl. spaces)


Please note: Google Translate does not always provide a correct translation! Without a clear English description your application will not be accepted.

2. Images

Please upload 1 or 2 images of your entry as follows.

  • Image size: 1536 pixels min. edge length, max.15 megapixel
  • Aspect ratio: Landscape, 4:3
  • File format: JPG
  • File size: max. 5 MB
  • Color space: RGB
  • Naming: your Entry-ID_name of your entry_No. of picture,
    an example: 325-222222_car_1


We will briefly check the entry regarding completeness and thematic correctness, and if it meets these criteria, we will publish the entry in the iF WORLD DESIGN GUIDE. If you win an award, we will use your entry description and images also for the iF design app and for our press work.

3. Student ID

As a student please upload a scan of your student ID. As a recent graduate please upload a scan of your graduation certificate.

4. Presentation Poster

Very important for the jury process is your digital presentation poster! You can submit 1 or 2 pages for each entry. It should represent your idea clearly in words and images.


Poster details:

  • Format: DIN A1, horizontal (840 mm length x 594 mm height)
  • Font size for description and index data: 20 pt
  • Font: Frutiger or other sans serif fonts such as Arial, Franklin Gothic,
    Futura, Helvetica, Univers
  • Resolution: 300 dpi at 100% positioning
  • Data must be sent as platform independent PDF-X3 file
  • Maximum file size: 5 MB (each poster)
  • The information about yourself, your team and your entry must also
    include: topic, name of your entry, name(s) of student(s), name of university, city and country


You will find some good examples of the poster in the "Information for Participants" (PDF file).

5. Video

You can also submit a video to explain your entry. The video should not be longer than 3 minutes and it must be possible to play it using standard software.

The intellectual property rights of all submitted designs remain with the participants. The organizers will not implement any concepts submitted. The projects submitted must not violate the patent and protective rights of other parties. The organizers assume no liability for such infringements.


In other words:

All intellectual property rights of your submitted design belong to you. iF will not implement your design, whether or not it wins. Please keep in mind that you are not allowed to copy any ideas from anyone else. If you copy a design, you entry will be disqualified. As the organizer, iF is not responsible for publishing copied designs and will make efforts not to do so.



Jury and Prize money

We will have an online judging session. Experts from all over the world will select the award winners. The jurors will decide on the winners and the prize money winners. Every jury consists of 3 jurors at minimum.

The total prize money for all 2017_02 award topics is EUR 20,000.


1. Smart Homes, Connected Cities – Visions for Cities and Citizens EUR 5,000
2. Public Value, Life & Humanity – Living Together EUR 5,000
3. Micro Apartments – Maximizing Small Space EUR 5,000
4. Future Healthcare – Using Technology to Keep Us Healthier EUR 5,000


The decision of the jury is legally binding and final.


Dates and Fees

Registration deadline 20 June 2017  
Jury session

6 July until
4 August 2017

Announcement of the award winners mid-August 2017  
Publication September 2017 iF WORLD DESIGN GUIDE (Design Excellence),
iF design app, press release

The participation of the iF DESIGN TALENT AWARD is free of charge.



We offer all award winners the following advertising tools:


  • Winner's logo for download
  • Winner's certificate in PDF form
  • Your award-winning entry will be specially marked and shown in the iF WORLD DESIGN GUIDE (Design Excellence) unlimited in time.
  • All winning entries will be published in the iF design app. This app is free and has already been downloaded 70,000 times.
  • Your university will receive points in the iF University Ranking. This ranking is based on all winners of the past three years and it is updated once a year. Of course, the school can request the logo for their ranking position from iF for PR purposes.
  • Our iF press and PR work helps you get media attention for your successful design.
  • Your entry will be represented in digital form at our iF design exhibition Hamburg throughout the year.




Before you can apply, please accept the Terms of Participation and the General Terms and Conditions of the iF DESIGN TALENT AWARD.


Additional information for registration

You can submit as many entries as you like - but each entry can only be submitted once per competition. You are not permitted to submit one entry to several topics.

To admit your concept to the jury, the online registration has to be complete! After you have submitted your online registration, we will immediately send you a confirmation email. Until you receive a confirmation email from us, your design has not been registered.


Address data

  • Please use the index tab “Address Data” to indicate your university address. If already available in “my iF addressbook” just choose an address from there. If you want to create a new address as your university address, please click on the button “Change” under your university address and then click on “Add New Address”.
  • If you have studied at more than one university, please enter the one where the entry you are submitting was mainly designed.


Team projects

  • Teams with up to four members can submit entries together. You can only create one user account for the whole team.
  • In order to add up to three additional team members, go to “Address Data” and click the button “Change” under your university address. There you can add the further team member with name and university (if different).
  • All correspondence will be sent to the team member who created and manages the user account for the team. If your team concept wins an award, all team members will receive an award.


Andrea van Velzen
Andrea van Velzen