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The View From The Judges Table

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We caught up with some of the BIID Interior Design Awards judges to get their advice for entrants

The Awards launched in January and will conclude with an awards ceremony in October. After the closing date of 10th April, we enter into the judging period which will include shortlisting, site visits, and, of course, choosing the winners. We caught up with some of our judges to get their views on what they're looking forward to and what they want to see the most from projects.

We spoke to Mathew Freeman, BIID Past President: "I have been involved in a few different ways; I visited the Scottish shortlisted projects in 2022 and one in 2023. I was a judge in 2023 and of course presented the awards at the first ever BIID awards - which was an amazing day - lots of emotional winners."

When asked about his favourite part of judging, he told us: "Seeing all the wonderful projects, discussing them as a team and really spending time reading the submissions. It’s lovely to feel the passion that has gone into the projects. "

Harsha Kotak, Founder of Women in Office Design, is returning as a judge again this year. "I have been on the BIID award's judging panel for the last two years and enjoy reviewing the high-quality project entries that come in from around the UK. I am looking forward to meeting my fellow judges again this year to go through the judging process."

We asked her what she's looking out for in projects: "The all-round approach to design is what I am looking for. A project that is not only focused on the aesthetics and purpose of the space but also encompasses factors like environment, social value, and well-being will always stand out from the rest."

Entries are welcomed from all, whether residential or commercial, from the north or the south, so being shortlisted is a significant achievement. "Organizations like BIID represent the industry's drive toward excellence and being recognized with an award that is vetted by BIID and its experts is a big achievement."

BIID President May Fawzy's Top Tips:

First of all, talk about the brief and how you addressed it. This is important to bring everyone up to speed on the challenges you faced and how you answered those. It makes a massive difference for the success of a project how you answer the brief and how you come up with a design solution, so make sure you demonstrate that. The sustainability of the project is key. As a designer you always get involved in thinking about sustainability, whether its part off the brief or not, so it is essential to communicate the sustainabilty journey of the project.  Think about why your design is exceptional and why your solution solved the client's problems?  It’s great to see gorgeous photos of the end product but we always want to see how you arrived at that solution via the design process and client discussions. Explain to us how you applied innovation in your design solution and what was unique or unusual about your approach. Discuss the choices you made with regards to the finishes and materials and be specific rather than just talking in general terms. Is there an interesting sotry related to a particular element - tell us about it. Good luck! 

Entries close on 10th April but take advanatage of early bird rates until the 13th March. Read our guide on entering here