Judging Process

Judging for the 2017 D4SD challenge will happen in two rounds:

In round one, a panel of experts in human-centered design, civics, and business will assess the deliverables according to the criteria listed below. Judging will happen online after the Oct 22 11:59pm PDT deadline. Finalists will be announced on Oct 25th at the Design Forward community mixer at Broadway Pier (5:30-8:30pm), on the D4SD website, as well as through email.

In round two, distinguished jurors will assess the finalists during the Design Forward Summit on Oct 26th. Teams must have at least one team member present throughout the day (7:30am-7pm) to interact with the jurors. Finalist teams will also deliver a two-minute verbal pitch that evening during the D4SD Awards Ceremony.


1. Human-centered process

How effectively does the team involve stakeholders, obtain feedback, and leverage data to support design decisions?

2. Novelty

How unique is the solution compared to other available solutions?

3. Feasibility

How likely can this solution be implemented? Will it work in the real world?

4. Impact

How will the solution affect people? Does it have any downsides?


Entries judged to have the most potential will be awarded in cash prizes and exclusive networking opportunities. D4SD will offer $5000 cash as the grand prize for the best team. Also, the top eight finalists will have a chance to make a special pitch directly to the City of San Diego, SCALE SD, and SANDAG for an opportunity to implement their ideas.