The Good Design Awards is a comprehensive program for the evaluation and encouragement of design organized by Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization (JIDPO).
The award’s parent organization is the Good Design Products Selection System (commonly known as the G Mark system), established in 1957 by the then Ministry of International Trade and Industry (the current Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry). At that time, Japanese citizens had a hard time scraping together enough food to get by. This award system was born out of the belief that design was essential in breaking out of this cycle of poverty. Since then, the Good Design Award has been given to outstanding designs for more than 50 years in the pursuit of prosperous lives and industrial development. Approximately 35,000 Good Design Awards have been given in continuing these efforts.
The most distinguished designs are selected from those submitted for consideration for the Good Design Awards. JIDPO receives approximately 3,000 submissions from more than 1,000 companies and designers every year. These designs are screened by about 70 design experts, who select and recommend those designs worthy of the Good Design Awards. However, the Good Design Awards is not a beauty contest, nor is it an award that assesses the design’s outcome in economic terms. Rather, the Good Design Awards is a system that aims to channel the eminent powers of distinctive designs to build prosperous lives and encourage sound industrial development. Indeed, it is a campaign to brighten and enrich society through design.
Much of the Japanese public now recognizes the Good Design Awards, and many companies and designers from Japan and neighboring countries participate. The reason that this award system has prospered and expanded since it was first established more than 50 years ago lies in the growing importance of design. Design that was once limited to the commodity and advertising sectors now goes far beyond this scope, and has a crucial role in a wide range of new domains, such as service and business development, urban environment planning, lifestyle adjustments and the development of new social systems. Design is essential to improving the lives of every individual in the twenty-first century.