What is SPARK?
Spark is first and foremost a community of designers and creative people, bound together by the idea that Design can make significant, positive changes in the world and help make it better. The way we promote this Good Design is through the annual organization of international design competitions, exhibitions, blogs and workshops.
What makes SPARK unique?
Spark is unique in a world of many design competitions because it is multi-disciplinary, reflecting the modern fact that most designers work on teams in this fashion. Spark sees technology as a great enabling tool, that is helping all of society to be more creative, productive and innovative. Spark is “aspirational,” believing that design is a process for improving our life and the planet we live on.
Why we need SPARK
No other group or competition pursues this broad and ambitious agenda. There are many fine, major competitions, but they tend to be narrowly focused on commercial promotion, regional representation or specific disciplines. Spark is aspirational, international and trans-discipline. Many in the Spark community consider this the most contemporary approach, one that agrees with their own modern experience and sensibility.
Who supports SPARK?
Spark has always enjoyed the friendship and partnership of forward-thinking individuals, schools and companies. The Spark Advisory Council, Community Boards and Juries include some of the greatest of designers and some of the hottest young talent. Spark corporate support has included companies like Hewlett-Packard and Autodesk, who create and promote a vast range of creative tools for every level of designer.
Spark works with major schools and universities, assisting in co-promotion of events, interchange programs and advanced studies.
Spark has strong relations with important design media like ArchNewsNow, Archinect, Bustler, Curve Magazine, Design 360, Taxi and Core77. Spark is also very proud of its association partners, like the Global Design Network, Guangdong Industrial Design Association, Taiwan Design Association, Shenzhen Industrial Design Association and the Hong Kong Designers Association. This is an opportunity for increased collaboration and sharing of design DNA.
Even though Spark is a young competition, now in its 8th cycle, participants have flocked to it from around the world. Top designers, design firms and major companies like Whirlpool and BMW all compete for the highest honors that Spark bestows.
Why companies join SPARK
To explore what “Design that Makes a Difference” can offer their marketing efforts. This can help their in-house designers keep in touch with the latest trends in design theory and application. Spark also helps companies that are making an effort in eco-conscious design to communicate their efforts to the world. The Spark Judging Criteria are the first serious attempt to outline and measure the important considerations that designers must include to be relevant in this new era.
Why professionals join Spark
In similar fashion, professionals gain greater understanding of the progress being achieved in the world of Better Design. They can see the most modern work, and have their own work judged in context to it. Only a very few entrants will win a top Spark! Award, but all who take part gain a deeper understanding of inter-connected world. The key thing most designers agree on—that it’s very important to “get the work out there.” Spark provides the most modern context for that work.
Why students should join SPARK
Students are the young green trees that will grow to mighty size, with time and the right experience. Exposure to the Spark competitions and community offers a valuable modern context for young designers, and helps them gain recognition for their efforts. Over time, young designers closely observe a steady river of the finest contemporary design, helping them understand—and ultimately take part in the international community of design, brand and innovation. Already, student entries make up a significant portion of Spark winners—and some of its best work.
What designers gain from SPARK
An opportunity to take part in a great new wave of design, and to help form a community that supports and promotes a strong and modern design consciousness. Not American, not European, not Asian—but worldwide.