Index Award Rules
What you need to know before you nominate

What’s eligible for The Index Award?

  • Designs that address genuine needs and improve life or hold the potential to do so;
  • Tangible design (products, digital design, architecture, urban planning) or intangible design (concepts, policies, strategies, services, systems);
  • New design: sheer restyling of known designs is not sufficient unless it creates a genuinely new use or adds new value;
  • Designs that are no older than five (5) years;
  • Design that wasn’t previously selected as a finalist or winner for The Index Award;
  • Finally, we recommend that your project is at least at the prototype stage.
  • Please note, all nominees for The Index Award may be considered for, and may receive, investment from funds in which The Index Project has an interest.


Who can nominate?

Anyone! You can nominate yourself and on behalf of others.


How much does it cost to nominate?

There's no fee required for nominating or becoming a finalist for The Index Award.


What language should the nomination be in?

All nominee presentations must be in English.


How do I nominate?

Click here to start the process of nominating. You need to create an account to save drafts and submit the application, which you can do beforehand or just before submitting.

How many designs can I nominate?

As many as you'd like! But you can only nominate each design once.


When's the deadline for applications?

For Index Award 2023, the deadline is the 15th of March 2023, 23:59 CET. So, your last day to nominate is the 15th - don't wait to apply! The winners will be announced at The Index Award Ceremony on Thursday 28th September 2023.


I submitted my nomination, can I make some edits?

Sure! Go to the Login/Profile page. Here you'll be able to see all your submitted nominees and drafts. To edit a nominee, click on the name of the nominee and then you'll see an option to Edit.


How are the nominated designs assessed?

First, the Index team reviews all nominations and makes a shortlist for the jury. There are often more than 2,000 designs per cycle, so this is an essential process to ensure a thorough and optimised judging process. 

The jury then receives the shortlisted designs and assesses them individually using our criteria of Form, Impact and Context as the basis.

  • Form is concerned with the general aesthetics of a design such as the colour, materials, user interface, surfaces etc.
  • Impact is about the positive effect of a design. How does it improve life and for how many people? How socially, economically and environmentally sustainable is the design?
  • Context is about meeting the needs of where the design will be used. How well does it work with the society, culture, religion, climate, geography and ethics.

Following the jury’s selections, all finalists are notified and asked to provide additional material for the final judging round.

Who are the jury?

The jury will be announced in early 2023 and is formed of independent third parties with expertise in the fields of design and sustainability. All jury members are independent of The Index Project.

Material Rights

Nominated designs must be original and may not infringe on the rights of a third party. Designs failing these requirements will be excluded from The Index Award.

All rights to the nominated designs belong to and stay with the legal bearer of the rights. The Index Project organisation does, however, reserve the right – without payment – to use any nomination-related text and visual materials uploaded to the online nomination form for communication purposes; including, but not limited to, press material, catalogues, websites and third-party marketing. For example in printed or electronic media. The nominating person/entity must in advance ensure that these rights can be transferred to The Index Project with the permission of the designer.