01 / Register or Log In

If you haven’t already registered or submitted an entry for this year’s program, you will need to register. This creates your account so you can make online project submissions, which you manage and may edit up until submissions close on September 20th. Once you have commenced your submission, you can log in and out at any time without losing submission data. If you have already registered or submitted into the 2017 program, you can log in from the home page using your email address and password.

02 / Choose Award Category

The awards are divided into three design disciplines, each with their own sub categories; Built Environment [Commercial, Retail, Hospitality, Residential, Education, Aged and Student], Communication [Illustration, Visual Communication, Digital and Student] and Product [Furniture, Industrial Design, Object and Student]. Each award entry requires a submission and entry fee to be paid.

There is one optional category, which is the Collaboration Award. This is free when entering a project into one or more of the above categories. To be considered for this you must submit further information.

03 / Create Entry Submission

Before beginning your entry submission, read the Entry Conditions (following). Submitting an entry means that you have read and agreed to all the Entry Conditions, including obtaining appropriate releases and authorities in writing from your client, photographer and where applicable, the principal of the design practice.

You will be prompted to respond to specific written criteria (details following) and upload supporting materials (images and drawings) in your secure area. Remember that you can log in and out without losing submission materials.

Submission Requirements
You must submit 1 to 5 images (not visualisations, with the exception of student submissions) of your project in high resolution format. Use the lossless PNG format (24 Bit). JPEG and TIF images will not be accepted. The image width needs to be between 2250 and 3000px and the height also needs to be between 2250px and 3000px depending on the orientation of your artwork.

To ensure that images are displayed in the order of importance, the naming convention is 01 of 08, 02 of 08 etc. You may drag the images in any order to re-sequence them if needed.

To maintain anonymity during judging, no design practice names may appear on images, floorplans, drawings or written support materials, however client or project names may be included.

Drawings [plans, elevations, sketches] + other supporting material
You should also submit up to 5 relevant drawings in a vector-based PDF format (site plan, floor plan, sections, elevations and/or any other relevant drawings, model or concept diagrams, with a file size no larger than 10MB. Drawings must include a scale bar, key and north point as applicable.

04 / Entry Submission and Payment

Once you have completed steps two and three (above) you may pay and submit your project. All categories attract entry fees, excluding the optional Collaboration Award entry.

Entry fees are outlined as follows; DIA Members entries are $190.00 + GST for the first entry, with subsequent entries costing $110.00 + GST. Non-Members entries are $330.00 + GST for the first entry, with subsequent entries costing $220.00 + GST. DIA Student Member entry fee is $90.00 inc. GST for any entry. Non-DIA Member Student entry fee is $130.00 inc. GST for any entry.

Members of the Design Institute of Australia receive a 42% discount on entry fees. Non-members entering multiple projects may find it more cost effective to apply for membership so they can access the discounted entry fee option.

Each submission and payment is confirmed by the issuing of a tax receipt, sent to your email address. Retain a copy for taxation purposes. Visa and Mastercard are accepted.


Built Environment

  1. Commercial Design
    workplace, studios, offices, warehouses, factories, medical, public, etc.

  2. Retail
    shops, retail outlets, showrooms, departments stores, food markets, shopping centres, hairdressers etc.

  3. Hospitality
    cafes, bars, restaurants, accommodation premises, hotels, day spas, swimming pools, casinos, clubs, cinemas, fitness centres etc.

  4. Residential
    apartments, private houses, housing developments, multi-unit dwellings etc.

  5. Education
    schools, universities, libraries, institutions, galleries, museums, exhibitions etc.

  6. Aged Care
    retirement homes, retirement villages, nursing homes/developments etc.

  7. Student
    open to students enrolled in affiliated interior design/architecture programs at the University of South Australia, TAFE SA and Charles Darwin University.


  1. Design Craft
    illustration, typography for design, typefaces

  2. Visual Communication
    branding, print, packaging, environmental

  3. Digital
    websites, apps, motion

  4. Student
    open to students enrolled in affiliated visual communication programs at the University of South Australia, TAFE SA and Charles Darwin University.


  1. Furniture + Lighting
    commercial production, commission etc.

  2. Industrial Design
    commercial production, commission etc.

  3. Object
    ceramics, metal work, glassware, jewellery etc.

  4. Student
    open to students enrolled in affiliated industrial, product and furniture design programs at the University of South Australia, Flinders University, TAFE SA and Charles Darwin University.

Optional Category

  1. Collaboration Award
    for entries that exemplify design collaboration between varying or identical disciplines.

Automatic Categories

  1. Judge’s Award

  2. Major Sponsor Award

  3. Premier’s Award

Written Criteria

Remember, to maintain anonymity during judging, no names of applicants or collaborating parties may appear on images, floorplans or written support materials, however client names may be included. Note word limits below are maximums, however succinct responses are highly recommend.

So that you have a backup, you are advised to first complete your written criteria in a word document, and then cut and paste your responses into the relevant parts of the online submission form. Please use standard sentence casing throughout your written submission as some of this information may be published to the online gallery, as supplied.

Design Rationale

  1. Provide a brief project summary for the jury. This statement may also be published to the online awards gallery (word limit 50).

  2. Describe the design project (word limit 200).
    Your answer should include information about significant aspects of the project, e.g. client brief, concept, site constraints and opportunities, spatial planning and volume, material strategy, sustainability principles, budget, collaborations, timeline etc.

  3. Explain why the project is an example of innovative and excellent design practice (word limit 200).

Your answer should describe how the project contributes to contemporary design practice. What does this project achieve in terms of sustainable outcomes? How does it advance its associated area of design practice? In what ways does the project demonstrate innovation?

Collaboration Award

Provide a statement about the process of collaboration in relation to the project. Why is this project a successful example of collaboration? How has collaboration enhanced the outcome?

SA/NT DIA Design Awards Design Institute of Australia
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