IFI Design Distinction Awards (IFI DDA)

A global design competition, IFI’s Design Distinction Awards (IFI DDA) recognize excellence in the design outcome of built projects and offer a quality peer-reviewed assessment of completed interiors from across the world.

Those recognized with an IFI DDA are leading the way in Interior Architecture/Design practice through their built work; contributing at the highest level to raising the bar of design innovation and excellence.

Entries comprise built projects from around the world, submitted by Interior Architects/Designers working across a broad spectrum of expertise and contexts. All Interior Architects/Designers are encouraged to enter this design competition, and affiliation with an IFI member is not a condition of entry. 

IFI DDA entries are considered in detail by jurors representing the top practitioners and firms globally. Finalists are invited to attend the IFI CONGRESS in November, where winners will be announced at a special ceremony and gala dinner.


The Design Distinction Awards are open to all our Interior Architects/Designers, working across a broad spectrum of expertise, who have completed a project within the last three years. All Interior Architecture/Design focus areas are eligible to enter, including a special category for outstanding work by design students. 

While IFI member affiliation is not a condition of entry, we encourage all our member networks to support the IFI DDA program as a unique opportunity to highlight the best in creative talent from them respective countries; showcasing those leading the way in design innovation on an internationally recognized world stage.

Entries are submitted via an online entry platform which allows entrants to start, save and return to entries prior to submission. Please see below for full program details including entry categories, entry fees and eligibility, and for future IFI Member communications.


1. Habitat including dwellings, domicile and places of abode
Sponsored by Creative Home Furniture Co., Ltd. (Theodore Alexander)

2. Commerce including retail spaces, showrooms and innovation spaces
Sponsor to be announced

3. Health including hospitals, medical and nursing facilities
Sponsored by GROHE

4. Stayincluding hotels and guesthouses
Sponsored by AXENT Group

5. Learning including schools, colleges, universities, learning and educational facilities
Sponsored by to be announced

6. Humanitarian including museums and galleries, sports arenas, places of worship, performing arts centers, libraries
Sponsor to be announced

7. Sustainability – exemplary integrated design solutions that improve well-being whilst reducing negative impacts on the environment
Sponsor to be announced

8. Student design projects related to any other IFI DDA entry category, by a current full-time Interior Architecture/Design student
Sponsored by MULI

9. Playincluding restaurants and bars, retail spaces, fitness and wellness centers
Sponsor to be announced

10. Work including offices, industrial spaces and technical labs
Sponsored by Moorgen

IFI DDA 2019

Entries to the 2019 IFI Global Awards Program are now closed. Our thanks to all entrants and nominating IFI Members for their participation!

Check back soon for program updates. Winners will be announced at the IFI CONGRESS & General Assembly (GA) in Feburary 2020.


Eligible projects must have reached practical completion within the last three years. For 2019 entries this mean projects completed no earlier than 1 January 2016 *Exception applies only to Student entrants – see below for details

IFI DDAs are open to Interior Architects/Designers globally, and IFI Membership or affiliation with an IFI Member is not a requirement to enter.

Entrants must be the primary/lead designer of the project being submitted. Consent from the building client or owner is also required at the time of entry.

Eligible projects can be entered into more than one category, as long as the work submitted meets the criteria.



Student Entrants

Entrants must be a current, or immediate recent graduate, Interior Architecture/Design student as a university (or equivalent higher-education level) to enter in this category.

Students must enter under the Student category, regardless of their projects’ relation to other categories.

Eligible projects must be design works produced within the last three years. For 2019 entries this means projects completed no earlier than 1 January 2016. Works do not have to have been built for consideration in the Student category only.


IFI DDA Professional Entry Fee: $250 USD

IFI DDA Student Entry Fee: $60 USD

Entry also incurs a USD$0.30 processing fee per entry. Payment is by credit card only. All card payments incur a process fee of 2.9%. Accepted cards: America Express, MasterCard, Visa, Diners Club and Discover. Currency conversion takes place at the time of entry and is based on current exchange rates.


1. Originality and authenticity

  • Clarity of conceptual framework
  • Display of creativity and originality

2. Functionality

  • Response to client brief
  • Response to identified user needs
  • Quality of practical application

3. Innovation

  • Presents alternative approaches to common design challenges
  • New directions in design thinking
  • Potential to positively impact the Interior Architecture/Design field

4. Quality of design solution

  • Standard of research and final design solution
  • Relationship to built form and context
  • Cost to value outcome

5. Sustainability

  • Ecological, economic and/or social sustainability considerations and impacts
  • Benefit to the environment through design

Award Process

  1. Entries are made via an online entry system. Entrants can save and edit their entries, prior to full submission, through to the entry deadline (1 July 2019)
  2. Submitted entries are checked for eligibility by IFI Secretariat
  3. Entries are reviewed by one of four juries, comprising international representative from the worldwide Interior Architecture/Design community. Each jury considers projects in two entry categories.
  4. Each jury identifies a shortlist of finalists in each category, for further consideration (September)
  5. Winner selections are made, comprising a single Gold, Silver and Bronze for each entry category. Winners are announced at the IFI GAP Gala Dinner as part of the IFI CONGRESS (Dubai, UAE – February 2020)

Entry Materials

As part of their entry, entrants are asked to provide the following project information and materials:

  • General project details, including completion date, location, cost, etc.
  • Project awards to date
  • Details of design team to be credited
  • Client details, including proof of consent to enter the IFI DDAs
  • Written descriptions that summarize the project, detail the challenges of the brief and the solutions implemented, as well as how the project demonstrates design excellence and positively impacts well-being
  • A representative mixture of project images, plans and drawings

Terms and Conditions of Entry

  • Entered project(s) must have been completed no earlier than 1 January 2016
  • Only completed and built projects will be taken into consideration (exception for Student category entrants only)
  • Entries must be submitted before the entry deadline and shall be compliant to rules stipulated
  • Entered projects must be assigned to one relevant IFI DDA entry category per entry. Projects can be entered into multiple entry categories, providing they are relevant.
  • IFI reserves the right to move entered projects to alternative entry categories, if necessary
  • There is no limit to the number of submissions one entrant can make
  • All entry fees must be paid to guarantee jury review
  • Each entry is only valid for one IFI Global Awards Program (IFI GAP) cycle; qualifying non-winning projects are eligible for re-submission in a future IFI GAP cycle
  • Entrants are required to declare any direct family or work connection to jury members
  • The entrant shall warrant that the submitted project is original and independently created, and does not infringe, breach, prejudice or violate the property, interests or rights of any third party
  • The entrant agrees to full indemnify IFI against any type of action which may occur as a result of any break of the above mentioned warranty
  • The entrant declares that has been authorized by the owner of the submitted project to enter the Awards
  • By entering the Awards, the entrant warrants that has obtained client’s written approval related to the submission/promotion of the project to this competition
  • The entrant confirms that the submitted entry materials do not infringe any copyright, intellectual property rights, confidentiality or similar
  • The entrant agrees to fully indemnify IFI from any liability relating to confidentiality, intellectual property or similar issues that may be raised by any party
  • The entrant grants, on a gratuitous basis free of any fee, royalty or remuneration, to IFI the right or license to use, edit, amend, copy reproduce or publish in any size the submitted entry materials in any promotional/exhibition materials or publications related to the Awards
  • Information provided by entrants will only be accessed by IFI authorized staff and appointed judges, except where necessary by law
  • These terms and conditions shall be governed by the Constitution of New York
  • Any claims or dispute must be determined exclusively by New York Court of Appeals
  • IFI reserves the right to cancel or amend the Awards program at any time at its sole discretion
  • IFI will not be liable to entrants or any other party for any consequential losses (including but not limited to loss of business, loss of goodwill, loss of revenue, or loss or damage to data or information) arising in connection with the Awards
  • IFI will not be liable for any failure to meet its obligations with regard tot he Awards if it is prevented from doing so by circumstances beyond its reasonable control




For information about opportunities to support IFI’s Global Awards Program through Category Sponsorship, please contact the IFI Secretariat at staff@ifiworld.org