International Design Excellence Awards

The International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) were born in 1980. They celebrate the pinnacle of design achievement year after year and are a catalyst for the designers fortunate enough to win. Trends will come and go, but one thing endures … winning an IDEA is a career-defining moment and positions winners instantaneously in the global spotlight. Each year over 1,600 entries are submitted across a wide-ranging span of categories, making IDEA one of the largest and most eagerly anticipated annual awards programs in existence. 

A jury of world-renowned designers representing a cross-section of design disciplines is assembled every year and descends upon the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI for the final judging stages. Finalist entries are meticulously evaluated in a blind setting with incredible attention to detail and rigor. Point values are assigned and tabulated based upon excellence of: design innovation; user experience; benefit to the client; benefit to society and appropriate aesthetics. 

IDEA is a benchmark of design and is unweathered by shifting fads or transitory styling. Gold winners are housed in the permanent collection at the Henry Ford Museum, remaining an ever-present symbol of ingenuity and mastery of craft. Excellence is exemplified.


Michael Kahwaji, IDSA, senior design manager at Whirlpool Corp., is leading the 2018 jury that includes nearly three dozen experts in a wide variety of design disciplines from some of the world’s largest corporations, major design studios and leading universities. 


"One of the world's most prestigious and rigorous design competitions is moving into its 38th year—revitalized and energized."

—IDEA 2018 Jury Chair Michael Kahwaji, IDSA


Entering is Simple!

1.    Create an IDEA profile.

Your profile allows you to manage and track your submissions.

2.   Tell us about your product.

Share the intent, exploration, methodology and insights that inform your design. Point values are assigned based upon excellence of: design innovation; user experience; benefit to the client; benefit to society and appropriate aesthetics.

3.   Upload your files.

You can give us up to 5 images. You can also upload a short video to help demonstrate the design. Be sure designers or design firm names are not in any photos or video. At least one image should have no text and will be used publicity if you win. 

4.   Complete your submission.

Pay by credit card or wire transfer. If you choose to make a wire transfer remember, the money must be transferred before judging begins.

5.   Sit back and relax!

We will notify you if your design moves on to round two by April 18. Good luck!

Many of the world's most recognized brands and celebrated design firms are IDEA winners. 


Follow the journey at #IDSAIDEA.