Time spent working from home, staying in one place, communicating with each other via new and unfamiliar media has inspired a long hard review of our immediate surroundings. If we must be here for a while, how can we make things better – simpler, more efficient, nicer to look at, easier to use, more pleasing to handle?

We’re launching the Wallpaper* Smart Space Awards to celebrate the objects, accessories, services and tools that combine contemporary design, innovation and style.

Smart Space: what does it mean?

We are looking to acknowledge ideas that inspire and products that last – employing cutting-edge technology and design know-how to make the places we inhabit noticeably smarter, creating a positive impact on our lives.

For the past year, confined for various periods during the pandemic, we’ve been editing the products that surround us – upgrading and recycling, clicking and collecting. We’ve marvelled at the really good, well-made and reliable stuff and looked to replace what no longer provides beauty, joy or service. Being static, it seems, has also encouraged us to multi-task and move forward.

We have also become ever more aware that rampant consumerism, the accumulation of flimsy, frivolous products that come pre-loaded with looming obsoletion and gimmicky fashionability, is not the way ahead. Good design is beautiful and clever; it offers a long life of loyal and hardy service.

We want to champion wonderful wearables, illuminating lighting innovations, the most goddess-like domestic appliances and most eloquent audio. We’re looking for tantalising social media tools, timely transportation services and good mixers for our home bars. 

Choosing the winners

A panel of Wallpaper* editors – comprising Sarah Douglas, Editor-in-Chief, and Jonathan Bell, Technology & Transport Editor – alongside designers and industry experts, will judge each award category based on quality, impact and user experience: does the product create a notable, positive impact on the life of its users? Does its design improve the aesthetic of their surroundings? What elevates the product above the rest of its market sector?

A Wallpaper* Smart Space Award will be more than just an industry accolade. An edit of the award-winning products and services will be featured in the print edition of Wallpaper*, on our digital platforms and across social media channels.

Who can enter?

Anyone can enter. The Wallpaper* Smart Space Awards 2021 call out to big tech brands and boutique makers alike, start-ups and innovators, designers and thinkers. We ask that they nominate the stuff that beautifies, enhances and improves the spaces that surround us. All things considered. The smarter, the better. §