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Introducing Western Living’s 2023 Designers of the Year Award Winners
WL Architectural Designer of the Year 2023: SMStudio
Have a question regarding our Designers of the Year awards? Chances are, we've been asked before. Check out our FAQ below and then get ready to enter!
There is a $105 submission fee for each entry (plus PST and GST), payable upon submission of your entry form.
Each entrant will be judged according to the following criteria:
Awards and accolades: what makes this the year that the entrant should be celebrated (body of work, peer recognition, awards, high-profile projects, media, national/international notice)
How innovative is the body of work (fresh, forward-thinking design, unique niche in the field or market, solves problems creatively)? Points will also be awarded for sustainable design.
How successful is the execution of the work (selection, quality, combination of materials, unique techniques and processes, technical proficiency)? The work will also be evaluated by its functional merits, and for its poetic value/design aesthetic.
Yes, unless you have won a Designers of the Year award with those projects in a previous year. Previous winners may enter again, but must submit all new projects. Past winners of the Arthur Erickson award, Robert Ledingham award and “one to watch” categories may enter previously submitted works, provided at least one new project is included in the body of work.
Of the three to five projects submitted, at least one project must have been completed within the last two years. Other projects can be up to eight years old. For our 2023 competition, all projects must have been completed by April 3, 2023.
Entrants must be residents of one of the four Western Canadian provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba). Projects can be located anywhere.
For the landscape category, projects may be residential or commercial. All other spatial design categories are for residential projects only.
For most categories, you need to submit 3 to 5 projects. The exception is the “emerging” categories: the Robert Ledingham Memorial Award for an Emerging Interior Designer, and the Arthur Erickson Memorial Award for an Emerging Architect/Residential Designer, which each just require 1 to 3 projects to enter.
Entrants can enter more than one category; each entry requires a separate cover letter and separate entry fee. Those entering the Maker category cannot enter any other category with the same product.
Yes, but note that 3 to 5 projects are required for Architecture and Interior Design submissions, and only 1 to 3 are required for Robert Ledingham and Arthur Erickson Memorial Awards. You must submit a separate entry form with fewer projects for the latter two.
As of 2019, we accept applications via online form only. On the entry form, you’ll be prompted to upload photos, rationales, and in some cases, blueprints or site plans of your projects, and fill out text fields with a designer biography. Project photos should be colour .jpgs, 300 dpi if possible, clearly identified by project name. Site plans or blueprints may be PDF or .jpg. Designers may also choose to compile all of their projects into a PDF for download, as long as it includes photos and rationales as requested.
Industrial design should be product designs that have the capability of being mass-produced. Maker design submissions should include products that are either hand-made, or products that cannot fit into other categories like fashion or furniture—examples may include pottery or textiles. If you’re not sure what category your work belongs in, feel free to ask!
We will announce our shortlist in July. The winners will be celebrated in our September issue, and at our annual Designers of the Year party..
For 2023, the submission form may be saved if you need to take a break during the application process.
You will be asked to input a biography (up to 200 words) into a text field. Files may be compiled into one downloadable PDF, or uploaded as individual files.
Each project requires:
The submission form will also ask for:
Are you over 18 years of age?