AN INTERNATIONAL DESIGN COMPETITION
Gold-star design is the centerpiece of our celebration. Now in its 5th year, GRAY Awards recognizes the incredible work happening around the world the fields of ARCHITECTURE, INTERIORS, LANDSCAPE, PRODUCT DESIGN, and FASHION. Winners are selected by an esteemed panel of international design luminaries who, together with GRAY and the design community, will toast to the most exciting ideas in design today.
apparel, shoes, accessories
PLUS 2 MORE SELECTED BY GRAY
DESIGN FOR GOOD
Project or product that has made a positive impact through design on a humanitarian, community, or environmental issue.
THE LEGACY AWARD
This lifetime achievement recognition is reserved for a designer based in the Pacific Northwest.
ONE OF THE MOST PRESTIGEOUS AWARDS IN THE WORLD. WINNERS RANGE FROM INDIVIDUALS TO LARGE DESIGN STUDIOS TO STUDENTS.
Each working at the top of their game, designers around the world utilize their experience, industry knowledge, and expertise to determine who walks away with coveted GRAY Award trophies.
FOUNDER, JONATHAN ADLER
Potter, designer, author, and television personality, Jonathan Adler is noted for his designs in furniture, lighting, accessories, and iconic interior design projects.
CREATIVE DIRECTOR, MARCEL WANDERS
Gabriele Chiave is the creative director of the renown design studio Marcel Wanders, where he oversees all projects in product, interior design, and art direction for a range of premium brands including Alessi, Baccarat, Bisazza, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, KLM, Louis Vuitton, and Puma.
Kathryn Gustafson, FASLA, PLA, is a landscape architect and lecturer whose ground-breaking designs include the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. She is slated to redesign the area around the Eiffel Tower for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
FOUNDER, INDIA MAHDAVI
Architect and designer India Mahdavi is internationally recognized for her furniture, objets, scenography, and interiors in hospitality, residential, and retail spaces.
FOUNDING PARTNER, MORPHOSIS
Distinguished architect Thom Mayne is founding partner of architecture and planning firm Morphosis, co-founder of the Southern California Institute of Architects, where he lead the Now Institute, a graduate-level thinktank for urban sustainability and resilience. He served on President Obama’s Committee for the Arts and Humanities from 2009 – 2016.
OF THE AWARD
GRAY Awards trophies are delightful, one-of-a-kind objets custom-designed and hand-crafted exclusively for GRAY by internationally acclaimed glass artist John Hogan. His experimentation with form and quiet determination to push the medium into a contemporary realm are just two reasons among many why we chose him to design our coveted GRAY Awards trophies. His critically lauded work spans both functional objects in design and architecture and fine art sculpture, is highly distinctive in its exploration of refracted light.
THE AWARDS PARTY
Pending current health regulations, The GRAY Awards party returns to Seattle in December. A game changer in and of itself, the Party is the design industry’s version of the Oscars and Vanity Fair’s after party rolled into one. The guest list for this black-tie event includes a dynamic cross-section of international design elite, industry leaders, and design connoisseurs who come to find out who won, and stay for the surprise-filled experience.
A portion of ticket proceeds go to: The BLOCK Project, an initiative by Seattle-based non-profit Facing Homelessness, that place 125-sq-ft homes in the backyards of single-family lots to build community around individuals afflicted with homelessness. Each is an off-grid, self-sufficient, and amenity-rich dwelling. “By saying, ‘Yes, in my backyard,’ we nurture the empathy needed to catalyze a global movement.” Learn more on their site.
Details, ticket price, and capacity are contingent on the status of the pandemic at the time of the event. Capacity will be limited and tickets will be available on a first-come-first-served basis. Finalists of the 2021 GRAY Awards will be granted early access to purchase tickets.
With or without a party, the winners will be featured in a video presentation with appearances by the judges and musical guests. The video will be published on our YouTube channel, website, and IGTV. Each winner will receive a version clipped to their big moment, sponsor recognition included in all.
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS FOR MAKING GRAY AWARDS POSSIBLE
At Marvin, we are driven to imagine and create better ways of living. With every window and door we make, we strive to bring more natural light and fresh air into homes, and to create deeper connections with the natural world. We put people at the centre of everything we do by designing for how people live and work, and imagining new ways our products can contribute to happier, healthier homes.
As a fourth-generation, family-owned and operated company, Marvin fosters a culture committed to living our values. Our commitment to doing the right thing, working stronger together, and thinking differently inspires us to be better every day. Made with exceptional skill, our products deliver quality you can see, touch, feel, and offers performance that stands the test of time.
Driven by a spirit of possibility, our commitment to people goes beyond the products we make. We commit to long-lasting and trusting relationships with our employees, customers, channel partners, and communities.
LEARN MORE AT marvin.com
HOW TO ENTER
The 2021 GRAY Awards trophy
Recognition during the GRAY Awards Party* and video
Editorial coverage in the December "LEGENDS" issue of GRAY magazine
Recognition of winning project and firm on GRAY’s digital and social media channels, with additional exposure through the GRAY Awards media and industry partners, press releases, and more
1 ticket to the GRAY Awards Party*
Recognition during the GRAY Awards Party* and video
Announced in press release
Exposure/coverage across all of GRAY’s social channels
Editorial consideration for an upcoming issue of GRAY magazine
ALL ENTRANTS RECEIVE
The opportunity to purchase tickets to the party* before they are released to the public.
A 1-year subscription to GRAY magazine. Offered to new subscribers only, limit one per address. Mailing name and address must be specified on entry form. By entering GRAY Awards, you are requesting a 1-year subscription unless GRAY is otherwise notified.
The 2021 GRAY Awards are open to each of the following:
1) Projects must be less than two years old (completed after June 2019) to qualify. Due to the timeline necessary for landscape projects to mature, Landscape Design projects may be up to four years old (completed after June 2017).
2) For the categories of Architecture, Interiors, Landscape, Fashion, and Product Design: Projects must be completed/built/fabricated, not concepts. For Student Design and Wild Card categories, concept renderings or drawings are suitable for submission.
3) Students must be enrolled, or just graduated, in 2020/2021 design or architecture programs.
AESTHETIC QUALITY: Does it have elevated visual quality? Does it defy the status quo? Does it raise the standards of its category of design in some way? Has it been professionally photographed, and will the images look stunning in print?
OVERALL CREATIVITY AND FUNCTION: What problem is it solving? How well does it work? How original is the idea?
INNOVATION, ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES, AND SOCIAL GOOD: Are any or all materials from sustainable sources? If it’s a commercial building, does it contribute positively to the fabric of the community where it’s located? Are there any conceptual or material innovations that make this project exceptional?
Must be eligible (see ELIGIBILITY above).
Entries must be submitted and received via the online entry system by midnight PST August 22, 2021 (for Late Entries). Early bird deadline, June 20, 2021
Full payment must be received by the submission deadline or the submission will not be eligible for judging. Payment is only accepted online through the submission portal.
Images: You may submit up to 15 images and/or drawings/renderings per entry. Entries with images that do not meet the following specs will be disqualified.
.jpg format, at least 300 dpi
Horizontal images: at least 16” wide x 11" tall
Vertical images: at least 8" wide x 11" tall.
Do not include any firm names or logo watermarks on images.
Single images only. Collages or multiple photos submitted together in one file will not be considered/used.
Name image files: “Project Name_Photographer Name_Image Number.” If it is a rendering and does not require attribution, name it “Project Name_Rendering_Image Number.”
You may include video in .mov or .mp4 as part of your image bank.
See FAQs for more about photography.
Project Description: Fill out the entry form, detailing the “who, what, where and why” of your project. Consider sharing the process, materials, design challenges, innovative solutions, and significance in the big picture of design. NOTE: This is the only source of information GRAY will refer to for editorial coverage, so please be as detailed as space allows, and include all other firms or sources that should be credited.
Entries received by midnight PT June 10, 2021
$150 for first entry, $75 for each additional entry;
Student category $75
Entries received by midnight PT August 10, 2021
$250 for first entry, $125 for each additional entry;
Student category $75 each.
Entries received by midnight PT August 22, 2021
$390 for first entry, $125 for each additional entry;
Student category $125 each.
NOTE: If you are submitting multiple entries (either in one category or in multiple categories), you must enter the project's information and pay entry fees each time you complete a submission. Please contact if you would like to submit more than five entries in one category.
Prices shown in US dollars.
TERMS + CONDITIONS
Only complete entries will be considered. Incomplete or ineligible entries will be disqualified without notice or return of payment.
By entering, the submitter authorizes GRAY Media, LLC to publish the project in print and digital editions of GRAY magazine and across our digital and social media platforms, and share with any media and/or industry partners affiliated with the GRAY Awards, with photographer attribution. The entry may be reproduced, in whole or in part, for editorial and promotional purposes. Photography fees and publication rights are transferred via the submitter only, and GRAY will not be held responsible for obtaining photography usage rights by any means. For winning residential projects, homeowners must be willing to sign an agreement allowing GRAY to publish their home (unless directed otherwise, GRAY will keep clients/residents anonymous).
GRAY Awards judges reserve the right to not award a winner in a category and/or to reassign an entry to a different category as they deem necessary.
No refunds will be issued under any circumstances.
If I entered last year do I need to create a new login?
Nope! The good news is that your login info is saved via Submittable. If you don’t remember your login info, retrieve it via the recovery process inside of Submittable.
How do I know what the entry form will ask?
By clicking the ENTER button on this site’s ENTER page, you will be taken to the submission portal, powered by Submittable. Once there, click on a category. After creating a free account, you will be taken to the entry form where you'll be able to see the questions. The entry fee won’t be collected until you’ve completed the entry form.
If I entered last year and didn’t win, can I enter the same project again?
As long as it is still less than two years old (four if a Landscape project), you may enter it again.
If I enter a project for the awards, can I also send it to GRAY for regular editorial consideration?
We do not wish to receive editorial pitches that have been submitted for the awards. However, our editors carefully review every entry for regular editorial consideration and will reach out to you if they find there is a good fit for an upcoming issue.
Is a product collection counted as one entry?
If the collection is a group of products that are variations of the same design (i.e. chair design in multiple finishes, or the same design is also available as an extended bench) it can count as one entry. If a wallpaper design, for example, comes in multiple colors, you may include images of all the different color ways, and that is still counted as one entry. Collections that have multiple types of products, such as a rug and a chair and a table, or are the same product but not of the same design (such as all rugs with different patterns) do not count as one entry.
What are Editors’ Picks?
"Editors’ Picks" or "Best Of" are GRAY's way of spotlighting even more award-worthy designs, beyond the winning 13. Our team combs through all entries, looking for additional noteworthy stand-outs to include in our awards issue. It's another opportunity you have for media exposure, so don’t hesitate to enter!
Where will I receive communication about the GRAY Awards?
Submitters will find out if they’ve been chosen as a finalist on October 10, via Submittable (the online entry portal). Group communication will largely happen via Submittable, but you may also be contacted via for individual communication.
What if I realize after entering that I’ve made a mistake on the entry form?
We have activated “Request to Edit” in Submittable, so please send us a request and we will grant it up to one week in advance of the final entry deadline.
How do I name photographs in my entry if it’s a rendering or there’s not a photographer to name?
If it is a rendering and doesn’t require attribution, name it “Project Name_Rendering_Image Number.” If circumstances dictate that there is no photographer to attribute (such as it is the submitter’s own photo and they do not wish to be attributed), then name the photo files “Project Name_No Photographer_Image Number.” This ensures that attribution wasn’t left out inadvertently.
How do I know if my image will work?
See image requirements above. We prefer that you include a mix of vertical and horizontal images. They need to be image files, preferably CMYK and .jpeg. Images may not contain watermarks or text (that is not part of the image). It is important to follow these specs to ensure good quality reproduction in GRAY magazine should your project be selected. A good rule of thumb is when in doubt about image size, bigger is better.
Video files are accepted, just be sure to also include a selection of still images as winners are published in GRAY magazine.
Got any more image tips?
You may wish to include floorplans or schematics for clarity, note that these are unlikely to be published. We recommend utilizing your 15 uploads for professional photography of the project. Imagine that your project has won—GRAY selects only from what was included in your entry to be published in the Awards Issue, so make sure the photography is high-quality and editorial-ready.
My project or product was designed more than two years ago, but we’ve made an addition, or my old design now comes in a new color. Does this count as being under two years old?
We require that projects/products be less than two years old (from June 2019). If a project has phases over many years (for example, it was started more than two years ago and is only now completed), it meets our requirements. For new additions to old projects, only the new part will be considered for the award. If you have an old design that now comes in a new color or finish, that does not meet the requirement. Ask yourself: does this truly update the existing project/product in a way that it can be considered a new design?
My product uses eco-friendly materials. Can I skip the entry fee for Product Design and enter into Design For Good?
We consider eco-friendly design a basic consideration for any new design, and therefore merely being eco-friendly will not get you a Design For Good award. If you have created an entirely new eco-friendly material that’s never been seen or utilized before but has the potential for becoming widely used in the design/building industry, that would qualify. The most successful submission will likely have many layers to the concept of “design for good,” such as a charitable cause or providing help to an underserved community.
Will tickets to the GRAY Awards Party be available at the door?
No. We strongly suggest buying tickets as soon as they are available, capacity is limited.
What do I do if I think one of the finalists misrepresented their entry?
It is up to the submitter, and the submitter alone, to verify that all the information detailed in their entry is correct and truthful. It is up to the submitter, and the submitter alone, to include co-designers, collaborators, team members, etc. The entry process asks for this information, and GRAY is not responsible for doing further research into entries, and will only work with the information that is provided by the submitter. If you have definitive proof of misrepresentation, reach out to us at and we will determine the course of action.
Why don't winners receive a complimentary ticket to the party this year?
The GRAY Awards Party is an extremely popular annual event, and this year has especially limited venue capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for plenty of social distancing. Finalists of the 2021 GRAY Awards will be granted early access to purchase tickets, but complimentary tickets will not be provided this year.