Entries are now open for DOTY 2021!
*NEW DEADLINE!* Get your submission in by Friday, April 16, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. for your chance to be crowned our next Designer of the Year.
Western Living’s Designers of the Year competition is an annual celebration of the best designers in Western Canada, and 2021 marks our 14th anniversary. Winners are featured in the September issue of the magazine and online at westernliving.ca, as well on our Instagram and Facebook—and of course, at our annual Designers of the Year Awards event, too. Check out the winning designers from years past, or sort winners by category.
New extended deadline for entries is April 16, 2021, 11:59 p.m. Subscribe to our newsletter for reminders leading up to the deadline.
Entry Fee (payable upon submission): $100 (plus tax). Ready to wow our judges with your work? Read on for rules and regulations and then get ready to complete our 2021 Designers of the Year entry form below. Questions? Check out our FAQ page.
Emerging Architect or Residential Designer: Arthur Erickson Memorial Award*
Emerging Interior Designer: Robert Ledingham Memorial Award*
Maker/One-of-a-Kind (handmade products that do not fit into any other category)
*The spirit of both Memorial Awards is to acknowledge designers who appear poised for wide-spread acclaim, but who are still early in their career development. As such, only one to three projects are required to be eligible to enter.
Entries must be received by 11:59 pm PST on April 16, 2021. For the architecture, industrial, fashion, furniture, interiors, landscape, maker and industrial design categories: Three to five completed projects must be submitted. At least one project must have been completed within the last two years. Other projects can be up to eight years old. For the Robert Ledingham or Arthur Erickson Memorial Awards: One to three completed projects must be submitted. At least one project must have been completed within the last two years. Other projects can be up to eight years old. All projects must have been completed by March 1, 2021. All images must be in .jpg format, 300 dpi preferred, but under 20MB. The entrant authorizes Western Living to publish the submission on any of its publishing platforms, including (but not limited to) westernliving.ca and social media. For architecture, interior design and Arthur Erickson/Robert Ledingham categories: All projects must be residential, and have the homeowners’ permission to be photographed again by Western Living. For the landscape category: Projects may be residential or commercial, but must have clients' permission to be photographed again by Western Living.
What do I need to know before I start the submission process?
This form does NOT SAVE. We recommend jotting down your biography and project rationales in a separate document beforehand and pasting your answers into the form in case of any technical difficulties.
You'll need to have project files available via one URL. Files may be compiled into one downloadable PDF, or organized via folders. You may use Dropbox, Google Drive, WeTransfer, Hightrail, or other web hosting source of your choice. (If you don't have access to one of these services, please email us at email@example.com and we'll walk you through the process.) PLEASE make sure this link is not password protected, and does not expire.
Each project requires:
- 2-8 photographs for each project: .jpg format, colour, clearly identified by project name
- Rationale (up to 200 words) for each project: Explain the challenges, context, materials, innovations and results of this work; highlight social or ecological impact. Must include the year the project was completed.
- For architecture, interior design, landscape, Arthur Erickson and Robert Ledingham categories: Blueprints or site plans (.pdf or .jpg).
The submission form will also ask for:
- Biography and philosophy (500 words): outline your background and vision, keeping judging criteria in mind. Include year the firm was founded.
- For Arthur Erickson and Robert Ledingham Memorial Award applicants: Include a brief summary of accomplishments (up to 200 words); include a summary of education/training accomplished thus far on the path toward accreditation as an interior designer or architect.
What is the judging criteria?
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.