A page of competitions, residencies and other opportunities open to the Gulf’s creative community. If you know of anything we should include, please email us.

DEADLINEWHATDetails

20 May 2019

Audi Innovation Award

Organiser: Audi/Dubai Design Week
Location: Dubai 
Info: website

Medium:
Design

Key elements:

  • Propose a design for an  everyday product that is simplified – easier to use or to transport, made with less material or energy, easier to operate or store, etc
  • Submit proposals by 20 May, shortlist of 10 notified during June, final three in Sept, winner named in Dubai Design Week (11-16 Nov)  
  • Three shortlisted candidates get $2,500 to present their concepts at Dubai Design Week; winner gets “up to $25,000” investment plus trip to Audi HQ in Ingolstadt
  • Enter as individual or group/team/studio/company; only one entry per applicant
  • No entry fee
  • Judging criteria:
    • Innovation Has the design solved a problem in a unique way?
    • Research How does it compare to other products in the market? 
    • Aesthetic Are the material, shape, colour, size justifiable? 
    • Ease-of-use Is the product user-friendly / easily maintained? 
    • How is it made Sourcing, end-of-life disposal, environmental impact etc.
    • Target users Who does the product cater to? How familiar are you with this group? 
    • Development Can the design evolve with updates?
    • Relevance to theme How has the product been simplified? 

Theme:

  • Simplification: “to make less complex or complicated, to design for efficiency”

Qualification:

  • Applicants may be of any nationality but must reside in Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, or UAE

  • No other explicit criteria but successful entries usually come from professional designers

Outcomes:

  • $2,500 development money for finalists plus presentation (and publicity) at  Dubai Design Week
  • Up to $25,000 investment for winner (and more publicity) plus mentoring, advice
DEADLINEWHATDetails

25 May 2019

Made in Tashkeel 2019

Organiser: Tashkeel
Location: Dubai
Info: website

Medium:
Art, design

Key elements:

  • Call for work for Made in Tashkeel 2019, the annual summer group exhibition of selected recent works by Tashkeel members, residents and participants in Tashkeel workshops and exhibitions 
  • For “contemporary art and design work in any medium”
  • Selected applicants notified by 2 June, must deliver works to Tashkeel 8-10 June

  • No entry fee

Theme:

  • None stated, but the call “aims to explore the current depth and diversity of contemporary practice by UAE-based artists and designers”

Qualification:

  • Eligible applicants:

    • Tashkeel members past and present

    • Tashkeel residents past and present

    • Participants in Tashkeel workshops

    • Contributors to Tashkeel exhibitions since May 2018

  • Work submitted must have been completed since May 2018

Outcomes:

  • Participation in Made in Tashkeel 2019 exhibition at Tashkeel Gallery, 19 Jun to 30 Aug 2019
DEADLINEWHATDetails

31 May 2019

Le Grand Prix du Carré Hermès: Scarf Design Competition

Organiser: Designboom for Hermès
Location: International 
Info: website

Medium:
Design/illustration/art

Key elements:

  • Design a scarf for Hermès. According to Hermès’ artistic director, it should be “enigmatic yet clear, simple yet luxuriant, meaningful yet mysterious right down to the tiniest detail; enclosed within a limited space yet free, open to infinite interpretations”
  • Cash prize of €5,000 for up to three winners
  • Register on the website with a profile and examples of previous work
    • Phase 1: Shortlist of “around 100″ notified mid-July
    • Phase 2: shortlisted candidates present their project with sketches and explainer (250 words max)

    • Phase 3: “around 10″ will spend two days at Hermès in Paris during November for a “period of immersion”

    • Final design to scale (90×90 cm) submitted mid-January

    • “One to three” winners named 1 March 2020

  • No entry fee

Qualification:

  • Open to “professionals, students and design enthusiasts, alone or in artists’ collective, from every country in the world”

  • Requirement for “examples of previous work”  implies a career design professional or illustrator

  • Any who has already sold a drawing to Hermès is ineligible

Outcomes:

  • Two-day workshop at Hermès for “around 10” finalists (travel and accommodation provided)

  • Cash prize €5,000 (exc taxes) for up to three winners, including the purchase of the winning designs “with a view to reproduction in one of its future collections”

DEADLINEWHATDetails

1 June 2019

Sharjah Film Platform Open Call 2019

Organiser: Sharjah Art Foundation
Location: Sharjah 
Info: website

Medium:
Film

Key elements:

  • Submit original film to show at the second Sharjah Film Platform (11-21 December)
  • Only one submission per director will be considered
  • Only Vimeo and YouTube screeners will be considered
  • Open to any filmmaker anywhere
  • No entry fee

Qualification:

  • “SFP provides a critical platform for emerging and established filmmakers, producers, critics and students alike”

  • Film must be original

  • All rights and copyright permissions must be in place

Outcomes:

  • Selected films shown at SFP (and included in SFP publicity)
  • All films automatically qualify for jury awards
DEADLINEWHATDetails

1 June 2019

Open Call: Vantage Point Sharjah 7

Organiser: Sharjah Art Foundation
Location: Sharjah 
Info: website

Medium:
Photography

Key elements:

  • Submit up to six 300dpi images for exhibition at VPS7 
  • Still images only
  • Open to any photographer anywhere
  • No entry fee

Qualification:

  • Completely open (formerly limited to GCC, now international)

Outcomes:

  • Selected images exhibited at SAF’s Galleries 1 and 2 in Al Mureijah Square (13 Jul to 6 Oct)
DEADLINEWHATDetails

2 June 2019

Middle East Emergent Designer Prize 2019

Organiser: Tashkeel
Location: Dubai 
Info: website

Medium:
Design

Key elements:

  • Submit proposal for a functional product design on the theme ‘Cyclical’ 
  • Only one submission per applicant
  • Although it is sponsored by Van Cleef and Arpels, proposals for jewellery or watch designs will not be considered
  • Shortlisted applicants informed on 23 June and invited to final-stage interview
  • No entry fee

Theme:

  • ‘Cyclical’ – the prize “wishes to explore the essence of the cyclical state that is integral to life itself”

Qualification:

  • Open to “emerging designers” but it seems that (a) no professional design qualification required and (b) any and all applications will be considered

  • Must live within (ie be citizens or residents of) UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia or Kuwait 

Outcomes:

  • Finalists will be commissioned to create their products
  • Winner gets a five-day all-expenses trip to Paris to attend courses at L’ECOLE Van Cleef & Arpels
DEADLINEWHATDetails

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12 June 2019

Abu Dhabi Flamingo Observation Tower

Organiser: Bee Breeders / Environment Agency Abu Dhabi
Location: Abu Dhabi 
Info: website

Medium:
Design

Key elements:

  • Design a new observation tower for the Al Wathba Wetland Reserve
  • First prize: $3,000 plus construction. Second: $1,500. Third: $500. Additional: $500 best student, $500 Green Award
  • Project spec:
    • Max tower height 12m
    • Max combined floor area 400 m²
    • Durable, vandal-proof, easily repaired
    • Accessible for disabled visitors
    • Access by flexible modular boardwalk system
    • Environmentally responsible and energy efficient construction
    • Little or no mechanical excavation
  • Project proposal:
    • No set budget, but construction costs should not exceed $200,000.
    • Submit four A2 presentation boards (no video files accepted)
    • Registration fees: $90-140 per submission, depending on when you register (discounts for students)
    • Enter as individual or team (max four members)

Theme:

  • none

Qualification:

  • Open to all, no professional status required

Outcomes:

  • Prizes and publicity for winners, plus permanent construction for first-place project
  • Publicity for six commended projects
DEADLINEWHATDetails

22 June 2019

Urban Commissions

Organiser: Dubai Culture/ d3 / Dubai Design Week
Location: Dubai 
Info: website

Medium:
Design

Key elements:

  • Propose a design for a public installation (probably a piece of outdoor furniture) suitable for installation in Dubai Design District
  • The installation should feature a novel way to display the current time: the brief references traditional methods such as sundials and hourglasses, solar-powered analogue or digital clocks, and innovative solutions using light, composite materials, kinetics or “new technologies” 
  • Max footprint 4m2, max height 2.5m, weight below 400kg per m2, must be movable
  • Must be produced in the UAE and manufactured/installed within a budget of AED 50,000
  • Apply with up to five hi-res digital files
  • AED 50,000 grant to winner to manufacture the design
  • Enter as individual or group
  • No entry fee

Theme:

  • Telling Time: the public installation should be a unique design with a novel way to display current time

Qualification:

  • UAE residents

  • Can be students or professionals 

Outcomes:

  • AED 50,000 for producing the winning design
  • Installation at d3 and attendant publicity
DEADLINEWHATDetails

26 June 2019

Commercial Interior Design Awards

Organiser: Commercial Interior Design magazine (ITP)
Location: Dubai 
Info: website

Medium:
Interior Design

Key elements:

  • Awards “recognise and reward those regional and international players that have gone above and beyond in terms of their industry contribution
  • 17 categories covering projects, design firms and individuals:
    • Interior Design Of The Year: Hotels
    • Interior Design Of The Year: Bars & Clubs
    • Interior Design Of The Year: Food & Beverage
    • Interior Design Of The Year: Office
    • Interior Design Of The Year: Public Sector
    • Interior Design Of The Year: Residential
    • Interior Design Of The Year: Retail
    • Best Outdoor Design of the Year 
    • Interior Fit-Out Project of the Year 
    • Best Interior Design Concept of the Year 
    • Behind The Scenes Award
    • Young Interior Designer of the Year
    • Interior Designer of the Year 
    • Interior Design Boutique Firm of the Year
    • Interior Design Firm of the Year
    • Fit Out Firm of the Year 
    • Best Use Of Lighting In Interior Design 
  • Third-party and self-nominations are accepted
  • Shortlists in each category determined by CID editorial team, then independent judges decide final placings
  • Submit statement (500 words or less) plus supporting documents, renderings and images in a single DFF of up 10MB
  • No entry fee

Qualification:

  • Commercial and residential projects from the MENA region

  • Must have been completed between July 2018 and July 2019.

Outcomes:

  • Winners announced at the Commercial Interior Design Awards ceremony (ticketed black-tie gala event) on 11 September 2019
  • No cash prize, but plenty of kudos and industry recognition
DEADLINEWHATDetails

11 July 2019

James Dyson Award

Organiser: James Dyson Foundation
Location: UAE
Info: website

Medium:
Engineering design, product design,  industrial design

Key elements:

  • Enter with visuals, prototypes, or finished products (even if it is already on the market)
  • Entrants retain all IP rights
  • No entry fee
  • Entries are judged on their overall strength, not just the project itself (i.e. Demonstrate need, show development process, demonstrate a trial-and-error approach)
  • Process:
    • Stage 1: National awards – local panel of design/engineering professionals select three entries from each country or region. One will be named the National Winner, all will be entered into the international contest
    • Stage 2: International judging – panel of Dyson engineers select a shortlist of 20
    • Stage 3: Final judging – James Dyson personally selects winner of the grand prize, plus “up to” two runners-up.

Qualification:

  • Current university students of engineering, product design and industrial design; or those who have graduated in these subjects in the last four years; or teams containing at least one member who fits the above

Outcomes:

  • National winner gets £2,000 and a place in the international competition
  • Overall winner gets £25,000 plus £5,000 for the winner’s university
  • “Up to” two international runners-up will get £5,000
DEADLINEWHATDetails

22 Aug 2019

Tamayouz International Graduation Projects Award 2019

Organiser: Tamayouz Excellence Award
Location: International
Info: website

Medium:
Student projects in architectural design

Key elements:

  • Open to graduation projects from architecture, urban design and landscape design students worldwide
  • Aims:

    • recognise excellence in architectural design and education

    • promote and provoke architectural debate

    • share experience and knowledge among young architects and academics

  • Individuals or team entries (though Team Leader only is required to register)

  • Assessment by independent international jury

  • Assessment criteria: “aspirational and transformative projects tackling local and global challenges informed by a holistic understanding of context”

  • Entry fee $50 (discounted to $30 for payment in May and $40 in June. Whole-course registration available too institutions for £250 

  • Register in advance; all entries are anonymous and referenced only by their registration number
  • Longlist announcement September, winners October 2019

Qualification:

  • Final-year students of Architecture, Urban Design, Urban Planning, Architecture Technology and Landscape Design

  • Submitted entries must be final year graduation projects (presented between 1 Sep 2018 and 31 Aug 2019)

Outcomes:

  • Winner: MSc Scholarship for two years at the University Polytechnic of Milan (accommodation, flights, fees) + Tamayouz Medal + Certificate + hotel and flights for Award Ceremony 
  • Two runners-up: $1,500 Travel Scholarship (accommodation, flights, workshop fees) for seven days to attend the Award Ceremony and five-day Design Workshop
  • Seven Honourable Mentions: Tamayouz Medallion + certificate
  • Shortlisted and longlisted entries featured in online publications and social media
DEADLINEWHATDetails

1 Sept 2019

Rifat Chadirji Prize: Barjeel Museum for Modern Arab Art

Organiser: Tamayouz Excellence Award
Location: Sharjah
Info: website

Medium:
Architectural design

Key elements:

  • Design a museum of modern art with all services to house a collection of art from across the Arab world
  • Should be “an architectural and cultural landmark”
  • Should reflect Sharjah’s cultural heritage and environment without being “a historic  pastiche”
  • Plot location is predetermined (Al Tarfa, Sharjah), size approx 6,600m2 
  • Entry fee £75 (can enter with multiple designs). Early bird discount available to 1 June
  • Register in advance; all entries are anonymous and referenced only by their registration number
  • Submit one A0 board as JPG containing plans, sections, elevations, visualisations, diagrams, etc plus one Word doc of max 250 words
  • Assessment based on …
    • Relevance (contextual parameters identification of local challenges, construction, natural environment, living culture)
    • Response (clear, aspirational, transformative, original projects preferred)
    • Resolution (architectural intent and design vision)
  • Individuals or team entries (up to four per team)
  • Results in November 2019

Qualification:

  • None specified. Can be architects, students, engineers, designers (multidisciplinary teams welcome)

Outcomes:

  • Winner: Rifat Chadirji Prize Award + $5,000 + certificate + hotel and flights for Award Ceremony (location probably Amman)
  • Two runners-up: $1,000 + certificate + hotel and flights for Award Ceremony 
  • People’s Choice Award: $500 + certificate + hotel and flights for Award Ceremony (unclear how this will be determined)
DEADLINEWHATDetails

1 Sept 2019

Women in Architecture and Construction Award

Organiser: Tamayouz Excellence Award
Location: NENA (Near East and North Africa)
Info: website

Medium:
Architectural design, built environment

Key elements:

  • Women-only prize
  • Award aims to …
    • support women from NENA region working in the fields of architecture, construction and landscape
    • empower women working in male-dominated professions
    • recognise and celebrate achievements of young women
    • showcase female-driven achievements
  • Two categories:
    • Outstanding Achievements: positive contribution to architecture and the status of women in the field
    • Rising Stars: excellence in design, leadership, early career achievements and a bright future ahead
  • Potential candidates Include …
    • architects, landscape designers, civil engineers, site supervisors, project managers, urban designers, urban planners, site labourers, clients
    • academics and researchers in architecture or construction
    • activists promoting the environment and conservation of national heritage
    • public sector employees with architecture or construction backgrounds “who are making a difference locally or in the wider region”
  • Selection based on career achievements and contribution to the fields of architecture and construction
  • No entry fee 
  • Nominate or self-nominate
  • Judging (by independent panel) during October, winner announced November 2019

Qualification:

  • Women from the NENA region (eligible countries listed on the website)

  • Must be employed in the region in architecture and construction, or must have had a direct impact on the built environment in the NENA region

  • Also must have made “contributions in their communities”

Outcomes:

  • Winners receive Tamayouz Excellence Medal + hotel and flights for Award Ceremony in Amman
If you know of anything we should include
please email us with some information!