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Reasons to be cheerful

Design Guild Mark - January 28, 2021 - 0 comments

Last month we sorrowfully announced that the Design Guild Mark judging days would be switching to virtual events in 2021.

Although deviating from the norm isn’t something we’d elect to do, the exceptional circumstances require agility to be the order of the day.

Being the perennially up-beat people that we are, we thought we’d shine a light on some of the positives of the situation for those who enter and are shortlisted for this year’s judging days.

Zero transportation or travel into the City

In a normal year, shortlisted entrants would have to deliver their hopeful piece to our venues ahead of the judging day, which doesn’t sound too bad if you’re submitting a fabric for the 2D category. However, it becomes much more of a logistical exercise if you’re entering a desk system for the Furniture category and need to travel to the City of London while battling the elements of winter. For one year only, we have decided to make the judging days strictly virtual events, which although is disappointing that we can’t convene in person, the decision is certainly cause for celebration for those who remember the snowstorm of 2018.

Video presentations

As we’re unable to hold the judging days in real life this year, shortlisted designers will be asked to create a three-minute film of their design, exploring its features and explaining how it meets the award criteria. This is a definite win for those who hate presenting in person and feel the pressure of all eyes on them. Inevitably you end up forgetting to mention something key and only remember after the event. However, if you plan your video well, that should not be an issue this year.

Don’t panic though, the judges will not be expecting a highly polished and professionally edited looking video – a video recorded on a mobile phone camera is perfectly fine – but the clarity of the communication of the designer’s vision in the submitted video is bound to have influence.

Judging day postponement

This may seem like an odd thing to be cheerful about, particularly as we are all sick of the disruption that coronavirus has caused to our everyday lives. However, the deadline extension and postponement of the judging days hopefully means if you haven’t yet entered, there is still time to do so (obviously), and if the third lockdown was preventing you from being able to film a prospective entry, you will also have a longer deadline to make necessary arrangements.

The deadline for the Design Guild Mark is now 26 February 2021. If you wish to enter, go to

The Design Guild Mark judging panels for 2021 will be:


Joanna Biggs – GA Design

Sarah Bryan – ID:SR

Elliott Koehler – Layer Design

Jeremy Myerson – Royal College of Art

Tom Pearce – Farrah & Pearce

Campbell Thompson – The Conran Shop

Terence Woodgate – Terence Woodgate Design

Lighting Design

Simon Alderson – twentytwentyone

Tim Rundle – Tim Rundle Design Studio

Simon Terry – Anglepoise

John Tree – Jasper Morrison

Sebastian Wrong – Established & Sons

Textiles, Wall Coverings, Surfaces, Carpets and Floor Coverings

Linzi Coppick – Forme UK

Daniel Hopwood – Hopwood Design Studios

Professor Clare Johnson – Royal College Of Art

Natasha Marshall – Natasha Marshall

Corinne Pringle – TP Bennett

Peter Thwaites – Rapture & Wright

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