Call for projects issued for Shenzhen Design Award For Young Talents

Manon Gauthier, member of the Montréal Executive Committee responsible for Culture, Heritage, Design, Space for Life and the Status of Women, invites Montréal designers and architects to submit projects for the second edition of the Shenzhen Design Award for Young Talents. The competition, an initiative of Shenzhen, a UNESCO City of Design, aims to recognize the success and talent of young creators working in any of the 69 member cities of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, plus Hong Kong (Montréal is the only Canadian city on this list). Prizes totalling US$105,000 will be awarded by the City of Shenzhen to a maximum of 16 winners.

Under the theme Transformation: The Mission of Design, the Award will reward the efforts of young designers who, through their creativity, have contributed to improving environmental quality as well as to social and economic development—more broadly, making cities more liveable. The competition also seeks, among other things, to encourage exchanges among young designers from various countries, co-operation among the various UNESCO Creative Cities, and the sharing of experiences and ideas in the development of creative and cultural industries.

“This second edition of the Shenzhen Award competition is a fine opportunity for our local designers and architects to spread the word about their talent, creativity and passion,” Ms. Gauthier said, adding: “Montréal is recognized over the world for its creativity and taste for innovation. So I am delighted to issue this invitation to design students and professionals alike to submit projects and, in so doing, raise awareness of the talent and boldness that are hallmarks of our city.”

Montréal excelled in the inaugural Award competition, held in 2013. Design studio Daily tous les jours took home the US$30,000 Grand Prize for the interactive installation 21 Balançoires (21 Swings), while the Bornéo project (a device that mounts a drinking water fountain onto a fire hydrant) by the Association des designers industriels du Québec, received a US$5,000 Merit Prize. In addition, Montréal earned a prize—along with Berlin, Germany, and Saint-Étienne, France—for having provided a large number of winning entries and extending support and co-operation to the City of Shenzhen in organizing the competition.

As a UNESCO City of Design, Montréal, through its Bureau du design, is heading the finalist selection process for the city’s entrants. Each participating Creative City may submit a maximum of eight candidate applications.

Selection process

The call for projects is open to design professionals or students aged 35 or younger (in the case of architects, aged 40 or younger) whose main office is located in Montréal, or students enrolled full-time at a Montréal university-level institution.

The judging process will take place in two stages:

  • Eight projects by Montréal designers (three students and five professionals) will be selected by a local jury;
  • The selected finalists will then be nominated anonymously by the participating cities to the international jury, which will choose the winners.

Projects will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Contribution to transformation of local economies as well as to social and territorial development.
  • Increase in sales (if applicable), lowering of costs, improvements in quality, productivity and profitability.
  • Improvements in sustainable development of cities, in socio-economic development, and in citizens’ quality of life.
  • Innovation, singularity, creativity, esthetics, sustainability, and user-friendliness.
  • International recognition, critical success and commercial success.

The Montréal jury tasked with nominating eight candidates for the Shenzhen Design Award for Young Talents consists of the following members:

  • Stéphanie Cardinal, designer, President, Huma Design + Architecture
  • Mathieu Drapeau, Section Head, Gestion de projets, Bureau de projets d’aménagement – grands parcs, Service des grands parcs, du verdissement et du Mont-Royal, Ville de Montréal
  • Kurt Hibchen, industrial designer and Partner, Toboggan Design
  • Louise Pelletier, Director, École de design, UQAM
  • Christian Thiffault, architect and urban designer, Partner, Atelier Christian Thiffault

The international jury that will select the Award winners will consist of seven members from different countries and having complementary design expertise. The names and biographies of the jury members will be posted on the website


The winners will share the following prizes awarded by the City of Shenzhen:

Professional category

Grand Award (one winner): US$30,000

Merit Award (maximum ten winners): US$5,000 per winner

Student category

New Star Award (maximum five winners): US$5,000 per winner


The prizes will be awarded in Shenzhen, China, in the spring of 2016.


Interested designers must submit an application package. There are no fees for submission of entries. Application packages must be submitted by e-mail no later than September 30, 2015, at noon Montréal time, to [email protected]

For more detailed information, visit the site

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1 Comment
  1. Vlad Mayzel says

    My best wishes to all those young talents who are submitting projects related to Shenzhen Design. Great to see all the guidelines for submitting projects.

    I am sure this will enhance inner entrepreneurship. when these young talents convert their talent to business then they need designing of their thinking & in those cases companies will come into picture.

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