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IIDA RMC 2021-2022 BESTawards 



The 2021 - 2022 BESTawards returns spring 2022! 


BESTawards Entry + Judging Guidelines

The BESTawards is a design excellence awards program that recognizes interior design projects going beyond a pretty picture and truly encompassing Brilliantly Executed Spaces and Thinking. We recognize that successful interior design requires a collaboration between many disciplines, consultant teams, project managers, vendors, contractors, manufacturer reps, etc; therefore the awards will acknowledge all who contribute to the project success.

EVENT DATE: April 28th, 2022

CALL FOR ENTRIES DUE:  Dec. 3rd 2021 ** Extended to Dec. 17th @ 5pm **

SUBMISSIONS DUE:  Jan. 14 2022 @ 5pm  ** Extended to Jan. 21 @ 5pm **

The past two years have taught us that flexibility is needed when our teams are inundated with sickness and client demands. We heard from many of you this week and have decided to gift you an extra week to complete your project submissions for the 2021-22 BESTawards. We hope this extension will allow your firm to complete submissions that enable the IIDA RMC – BESTawards Committee to properly celebrate all your hard work. Please note: we feel this extension is necessary, but it does put pressure on our internal timeline for judging. No further extensions will be granted.


  • Eligible projects must be submitted by a designer or firm based in the IIDA RMC Region (CO, WY, MT) who is NOT affiliated with a manufacturer brand or showroom.
  • Eligible projects CAN be located outside of the Rocky Mountain Region.
  • Eligible projects MUST have been built and completed between August 2019 and December 2021.
  • A project may only be submitted in one category. There is NO limit however, on the number of projects an individual or firm can submit.


  • IIDA Member Submission: $250 per entry for IIDA members 
  • Non-Member Submissions  $350 per entry
  • Student IIDA Member Submissions: $5 per entry
  • Student Non-Member Submissions: $30 per entry
  • IIDA RMC Firm of the Year: FREE!
  • Entry fees are non-refundable. There will be no exceptions. Payment is due at time of the Call for Entries Form is submitted.

>>  If you have any issues with the submission portal please email Katie Cavallo at Katie_Cavallo@hermanmiller.com.

>> If you have event questions please email Tess Wilson at twilson@officescapes.com.


  • Workplace [over 40,000 SF] : Office Environments
  • Workplace [25,000 SF – 40,000 SF] : Office Environments
  • Workplace [12,000 SF – 25,000 SF] : Office Environments
  • Workplace [under 12,000 SF] : Office Environments
  • Serve: Government, Institutional, Assembly, Religious, Museums*
  • Give: Healthcare, Senior Living, Medical Office Buildings
  • Play: Hospitality, Hotels, Resorts, Lodges
  • Live: Housing, Multi-Family, Club Houses
  • Live: Residential
  • Learn: Educational, Libraries*
  • Eat & Drink: Restaurants, Bars, Wineries, Breweries, etc.
  • Retail: Customer Spaces, Shop, Retail Branches/Banks
  • BEST on a Budget: Any project $65 or less/SF 
  • BEST Moment: An innovative or daring design feature (grand stair, innovative use of material, unique detail). This is not intended to be a single space.
  • BEST Maker: Custom signage, locally made furniture, etc. (Intended for the actual fabricator to submit)
  • Student: Any college student project completed by an interior design student. 
  • IIDA RMC Firm of the Year:
    • Firm that has shown exceptional support and participation with IIDA RMC over the past year.  The firm must also submit for at least one 2021-22 BESTaward category to be considered.  The firm must fill out Call for Entries application under IIDA RMC Firm of the Year category to be considered.  Award will be judged by an IIDA Executive board other than RMC.
  • IIDA RMC Industry Partner:
    • Manufacturer Representative / Team or Dealer that has shown exceptional support and participation with IIDA RMC over the past year.  This award will be given to Manufacturer Representative / Team or Dealer that has been nominated by the Firms that have submitted for a BESTaward.  IIDA RMC will also send out an open call for nominations from the community.  Award will be judged by an IIDA Executive board other than RMC.  Award will be based on written submission and quantity of nominations from designers.

(*) Upon receipt of submissions, judges reserve the right to split category based on size of projects


  • Judges reserve the right to abstain from awarding a category if they feel the entries are not exemplary. Judges and IIDA RMC reserves the right to re-classify a project into a different category if deemed necessary (including too few submissions in one category). Refunds will not be given to projects within a category that was not awarded nor will refunds be given to projects that have been recategorized.
  • Entry materials will not be returned. All entries and materials become the property of the IIDA Rocky Mountain Chapter. Photography and images submitted in the Entry Kit can be used by the IIDA Rocky Mountain Chapter for the exhibition, publication, and promotional purposes.
  • Entries must include all required information and submittals for entry submissions. Read descriptions carefully. Submissions that do not meet the required criteria will not be considered.  Projects can only be entered in one category.  Previously entered projects cannot be submitted.
  • ALL winning entries will be considered by the judges for the highest honor of “BEST of the Best.”
  • Entrants must submit a separate Call for Entries application form for each project.


  • Entry Kit Submissions for judging is paperless! The submissions include narrative responses and project images which will be submitted on the OpenWater website for judging.
  • Each entry in the BESTawards program will be judged on the success with which it has met its individual requirements. Entries will be weighed individually, and not in competition with others. Jury decisions will be based solely on the materials submitted.

Judging criteria will include:

  • Design concept & description
  • Innovation
  • Originality of the design solution
  • Design Details
  • Sustainability
  • Finish Palette
  • Project photography and support of the descriptions (a min. of 3 project images are required)
  • Process photos/sketches/materials
  • The authorship of each project will remain concealed throughout the deliberations of the jury. If the authorship is revealed on any of the submission submittals (i.e.: jpgʼs, narratives) in the Entry Kit, the jury may choose to disqualify the entry.


Summary is listed below, all answers are required to be submitted into the Open Water platform

Note items with (*) are considered required for submission


  • Project Type * (New Construction, Remodel in Place, Tenant Improvement)
  • Certifications: (LEED, Well, FitWel, Other, None)
  • Project Construction Cost per sq. ft. (excluding fees)*
  • Provide a concise concept statement* (will be used for publication and read aloud if project wins)
  • Provide Project Narrative*: BEST - Brilliantly Executed Spaces and Thinking evolves from a strong concept, process and project story. Tell us your story. Each project is unique, and we want to learn how your project conveys these attributes and how your firm got there. Statement should address project constraints and challenges, client objectives and should convey your overall concept. (No more than 400 words, and reminder not to include design firm’s name.)


  • Provide at least one floor plan in PDF format. These PDF’s must be CLEAN images (no titleblocks, captions, firm logos, etc.) Only one pdf per upload section
  • Floorplan PDF*– if you want to submit multiple plans you can attach a pdf with multiple pages. Be sure to include the plans you want the judges to see most on the first page or two of the document. (BEST Maker category please provide a detail drawing)
  • Provide a minimum of 6 project images*. These images must be CLEAN images (no titleblocks, captions, firm logos, etc.) Only one image per jpeg. RESERVE PROJECT PHOTOS FOR SUBMISSION SECTIONS 1-6. If you want to submit project boards, existing photos or additional finished project photos please submit those items in sections 7 and 8. Please consider including at least 1 jpeg of your process documents in the optional Process Photo 1-2 sections. This can include but is not limited to: blocking plans, early sketches, sketch-up model shots, preliminary renderings, finish boards, etc.
  • Project Photographer*
  • Project Photos 1 through 3*:
    • High-Resolution (1920x1080 pixels recommended). Should be the ones you would like displayed at the event and in print should your project be selected as a winner. Consider submitting landscape photos for better display on presentation.
  • Project Photos 4 through 6*:
    • High-Resolution. Additional project photos, landscape or vertical orientation allowed
  • Project Photos 7 through 8 (optional):
    • High-Resolution. Additional project photos, process documentation, etc. See paragraph above for suggestions
  • Process Photos 1 through 2 (optional):
    • High-Resolution. See paragraph above for suggestions
  • Optional Video Upload or URL Link can be provided.

REMINDER: Remove any reference to your firm’s name or logos for all digital submissions.


  • Design Team Main Project Contact* (Name; Role/ Title, Email)
  • Design Team* (Max of 6 – provide Name; Role/ Title, Email)


  • Project Directory (this is not a judged category and is not required. It is intended to be a space to call out exceptional partners that helped make this project exceptional! Can include key consultants on the project, i.e. MEP Engineers, Project Managers, GC’s, etc)
  • Primary Product Sources (this is not a judged category and is not required. It is intended to be a space to call out exceptional partners and products that helped make this project exceptional! Can include key manufacturers names or products)


Because BESTawards may include a virtual experience, please be prepared to include a brief voice recording we can incorporate into the digital experience. We will gather comments from all submissions and intend to use the winner’s remarks.

Further instructions will be made available and in time for the submission deadline.