The Rotterdam Design Prize is the most prominent design prize in the Netherlands and an important design event in Rotterdam. The prize was established in 1993 by Rotterdam City Council and since 1999 has been organised every two years by the Stichting Designprijs Rotterdam. The foundation’s mission is: ‘to stimulate public debate about design in the Netherlands and to focus attention on the social aspects of Dutch design’.

The Rotterdam Design Prize is a topical prize: nominations are given to exemplary projects, products and research that have been important for the development of design over the past two years.

The Rotterdam Design Prize has a unique setup. It remains one of the few prizes – in the Netherlands and abroad – that makes no distinction between the different design disciplines. Cultural and social issues are considered as important as the quality and execution of the design or the authenticity of the vision. The nominated projects are presented in a prominent exhibition in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. A programme of guided tours, dialogues and a symposium on design criticism helps the public debate. All of this makes the Rotterdam Design Prize the Netherlands’ preeminent platform for reflecting on contemporary developments in design for a broad public.

Selection procedure
Since 2011, under artistic director Joanna van der Zanden, the prize has a new nominations procedure. Designers no longer submit projects themselves, but are nominated by five scouts active in the design field. Each scout nominates three projects, backed up with detailed argumentation. With this approach, the Rotterdam Design Prize seeks to highlight the many developments around design, which do not always occur in the field itself but exert a significant influence on it. The various visions of design are made more explicit by the scouts’ argumentation, giving an extra impulse to the public debate.

The winner of the Rotterdam Design Prize is decided by an international three-member jury. In previous editions jury members have included prominent design critics such as Alice Rawsthorn, Susan Szenasy, Rick Poyner and Paola Antonelli, and designers Ingo Maurer, Bruce Mau and Patricia Moroso. The members of the 2013 jury are: Caroline Baumann, Virginia Tassinari and Edwin Heathcote.

The winner of the Rotterdam Design Prize receives a cash prize of 15,000 euros.

Rotterdam Design Public Prize
The public is invited to vote for the winner of the Rotterdam Design Public Prize. The 5,000-euro prize is sponsored by Het Nieuwe Instituut.  


The Rotterdam Design Prize 2013 is a joint project of Stichting Designprijs Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and Het Nieuwe Instituut.

The Rotterdam Design Prize 2013 is made possible in part by the city of Rotterdam’s art and culture department.