1. Format & Post-Competition

Competitors should note that the competition is a call for design ideas. There is no commitment to realise any of the proposals arising from the competition. However, it is hoped that others may adopt the ideas submitted. By bringing better inclusive designs to public attention, they may also help to influence future regulatory standards.

2. Competition Promoter

The design competition is sponsored by Bespoke Hotels Group, which has a number of industry partners and supporters.

Neither the Promoters, nor any judge or adviser to the competition should be solicited for information, as this may lead to disqualification.

3. Eligibility

The competition is open internationally to individuals, groups and design professionals. The competition organisers particularly welcome entries from designers and architects with disabilities. Collaboration between people with disabilities and design professionals is also encouraged, as is collaboration amongst design disciplines. There is no age limit.

4. Registration

5. Evaluation Panel

The Judging Panel which may be subject to change:

Panel Member Affiliation
Robin Sheppard
Chairman, Bespoke Hotels
Celia, Baroness Thomas of Winchester House of Lords
Baroness Grey-Thompson DBE
Paralympian and Crossbench Peer in the House of Lords

Graeme K Whippy MBE
Disability Specialist Channel 4
Sarah Weir OBE
Chief Executive Design Council
Alastair Hignall CBE
Trustee, Leonard Cheshire
Paul Gregory MCIBSE, MSLL
Global Specification Director for Dyson

Additional judges may be announced in due course.

A representative from RIBA Competitions will document the process and provide procedural support. In the event of a Panel member being unable to continue to act through illness or any other cause, an alternative Panel member will be appointed.

6. Programme

The anticipated programme, which may be subject to variation, is as follows:

Competition Launch Tuesday 26 September 2017
Deadline to raise questions Monday 13 November 2017
Memorandum issued in response to questions Monday 27 November 2017
Deadline for submission of design proposals 14.00 hrs{GMT} Tuesday 27 February 2018
Selection of long-listed entries w/c 12/19 March
Exhibition of long-listed entries TBC
Selection of Prize winner(s) March 2018
Announcement of result at the House of Lords Wednesday 18th April 2018

7. Clarification Questions

8. Selection Criteria & Prize Fund

The following criteria will be applied to select the long-listed submissions:

  • Creativity and originality of the concepts, proposals and design ideas submitted
  • Capability for future development and adoption by the hotel industry
  • Clarity of communication

The criteria will be applied according to the opinion of and Panel members’ understanding of the submitted material, at their discretion.

A Prize Fund of GBP £30,000 will be available for award at the discretion of the Judging Panel, the winner of each category will receive £2,000 with an overall winner to be awarded the Celia Thomas Prize who will receive an additional £20,000. The Judges reserve the right not to award prizes if in their opinion none of the competitors meets an acceptable design standard nor satisfies the objectives of the competition.

9. Anonymity - Unique Registration Number & Declaration of Authorship

All submissions will be judged anonymously, via use of the Unique Registration Number [URN] and Declaration of Authorship form issued at the time of Registration. The URN should be prominently displayed / incorporated within each element of the design submission.

10. Disqualification

Submissions shall be excluded from the Competition:

  • If a Competitor discloses his or her identity, or improperly attempts to influence the decision;
  • If the submission has identifying marks [including logos, text, insignia, or images that could be used to identify the submission's authors].
  • If received after the latest time stated under Submission Instruction;
  • If, in the opinion of the Judging Panel, it does not fulfil the requirements of the Competition Brief or if any of the Conditions are disregarded.

11. Submission requirements

The competition language is English. Competitors are required to submit anonymous design proposals in electronic format, as summarised in the Table below and Section 11.1 through to Section 11.4. For a return to be valid, the submission must be received by the deadline stated under Submission Instruction.

RefItemTo be submitted via RIBA Competitions digital submission portal
11.1Proposal Ideas
up to 5x No. A3 sheets in landscape format
PDF version of each sheet
(each sheet <5Mb file size)
11.2Optional supporting information
1x No. additional visualisation, audio file or video clip (of maximum 2 minute duration)
In readily available format that does not require specialist computer software or hardware. File size to be <25Mb.
11.3Representative publicity images
2x No. representative images of the proposal ideas
JPEG format, 72dpi and 300dpi
11.4Declaration of Authorship Form
Completed and signed
PDF format

11.1 Proposals

Competitors are required to outline their design ideas on up to x5 No. A3 colour sheets in landscape format. The purpose is to enable Panel members to understand readily the essence of the idea, concept, approach or proposed service improvement. Concept sketches, graphics, plans, three-dimensional visualisations should be provided as appropriate, together with brief explanatory notes within the specified limit.

The Unique Registration Number (URN) should be prominently displayed on the front face of each page in the top right hand corner, together with design theme (Architecture, Product Design, Service Design, and Inclusive Employment) and sheet number (1 of 5). The layout should be presented such that the proposals are legible when printed at A3 size or viewed on-screen. Each A3 sheet should be contained within a PDF file of <5mb – total of <25Mb.

Applicants should note that the initial appraisal of ideas submitted will be undertaken on the basis of the A3 sheets unless a preference is stated for another format (eg audio file or video clip – see below)

11.2 Optional supporting information

Competitors may also submit 1 No. visualisation, video clip or audio file. These should be submitted in a format that does not require specialist computer software or hardware. The video clip or audio file should be a maximum of 2 minutes and no larger than 25Mb.

11.3 Representative publicity images

Applicants should select up to two images for potential future use in the media and any associated promotion. The images should be representative of the ideas proposed and be readily identifiable as such. Each image should be submitted in JPEG format and have a resolution of 72dpi and 300dpi.

11.4 Declaration of Authorship form

The submission must be accompanied by a Declaration of Authorship. A form is provided for this purpose which should be completed with the URN entered in the box provided. Each Competitor must satisfy the Competition organisers that the submitted design is an original piece of work [prepared for the express purposes of the Competition], and that he/she is the author of the design proposals he/she has submitted.

Submission of the Declaration of Authorship form acknowledges authorship of the design ideas, and by signing it, Competitors accept all conditions pertaining to the competition and agree to abide by the decision of the Judging Panel. The name[s] inserted on the Declaration Form will be used in all press releases.

No material other than that listed above will be accepted or appraised.

The total upload limit for all elements is 60Mb.

12. Submission instruction

Items 11.1 to 11.4 of the submission requirements must be submitted via RIBA Competitions' digital submission portal. All required elements of the submission must be received by the stated deadline. File names should consist of the Unique Registration Number, design theme (Architecture, Product Design or Service Design or Inclusive employment), item description and file extension, for example:

  • URN#_Architecture_Sheet1.pdf
  • URN#_Architecture_Image1_LowRes.jpg
  • URN#_Architecture_Declaration Form.pdf

A unique link for this purpose will be e-mailed to the contact e-mail address provided at the time of registration. Competitors are strongly advised to familiarise themselves with the digital submission portal and allow sufficient time for their entry to successfully upload prior to the submission deadline. RIBA Competitions will not be responsible for any files that are delayed, corrupted, or otherwise damaged or lost during transmission. The portal will not accept any material to upload once the submission deadline has expired.

13. Exhibition

14. Notification of Result & Publicity

The Competition results will be published after notification has been given to all participating Competitors. Please note that any requests for feedback should be submitted to RIBA Competitions within one calendar month of a longlist, or a result being announced.

In it anticipated that The Celia Thomas Prize and other prizes will be awarded at a ceremony at the House of Lords in the Palace of Westminster, London

Competitors will be expected to honour a confidentiality agreement and must not release their designs for publication, or identify themselves to any third parties until after an official announcement has been made, anonymity and/or any related embargoes have been lifted.

RIBA Competitions and Bespoke reserve the right to publicise the Competition, any design submission, and the result in any way or medium they consider fit. Illustrations of any design - either separately, or together with other designs, with or without explanatory text - may be used without cost. Entries may also be used to promote successive Bespoke Access Awards. Once anonymity has been lifted, authors will be credited and recognised in all associated media and publicity.

15. Copyright

The ownership of copyright will be in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Copyright vests in the authors of entries submitted or, where this is different, the owners of the Intellectual property. The laws of England and Wales govern the administration of the Bespoke Access Awards.

16. Enquiries