Held every three years, the renowned International Furniture Design Competition Asahikawa (IFDA) celebrates the ingenuity of woodworking. The platform promotes the love of the age-old material, not only its traditions but also its innovation. IFDA 2024 calls for such novelties as it marks its 12th edition, rewarding winners and finalists with cash prizes, production opportunities, and networking events.
Founded in 1990, IFDA promotes the skills of the heartland of furniture in Japan, Asihikawa. Its woodworking industry has flourished as one of the leading centers in creating wooden furnishing pieces. In fact, the city joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the field of design in 2019. It is one of only three cities of design in Japan and one of just 40 in the world.
Every edition unites expertise and design approaches from the industry around the world, making it a must-visit hub for professional and aspiring designers to build connections and share knowledge. With an impressive total of 9,433 entries from 77 countries and regions to date, over 50 entries to the competition have gone into production as Asahikawa furniture products since. The 2024 edition looks to inspire even more talented designs on their way to realization.
IFDA 2024 marks a new era for the competition, building upon 33 years of experience as a platform and over a century as an industry in Asahikawa. The new edition announces a roster of new opportunities for its entrants. For the first time, finalists have the chance to present creations before the final round of judging and the announcement of the results at the awards ceremony. This not only elevates the sense of occasion but offers valuable networking moments.
CRITERIA AND JURY
For the prestigious competition, the judges for 2024 include equally celebrated names in the creative field: Sou Fujimoto, architect and chief judge; Masaaki Hiromura, graphic designer; Anne-Louise Sommer, museum director, adjunct professor Design Museum Denmark; Tucker Viemeister, industrial designer; and Michael Young, industrial designer. The international judging panel will assess entries based on the theme of wooden furniture – a tribute to the competition’s original mission. Submitted designs are welcome from around the world, but they must be newly created and previously unpublished.
In addition to production opportunities and networking events, winners of the IFDA 2024 will also receive publicity as the possibilities of showcasing their furniture increases. Laureates will receive cash prizes to help further their careers, ranging from 3,000,000 yen (approximately $20,300 USD) for the Gold Leaf prize to 1,000,000 yen (approximately $6,700) for the Silver Leaf prize, and 300,000 yen (approximately $2,000 USD) for both the Bronze and Maple Leaf prizes.