The Global Design Rankings is a list of countries with the most award-winning designers residing within its borders.
Just like the revered rankings of the world's top universities, party schools and so on, a list based on subjective opinions must always be taken with a grain of salt. The Olympics serve as a more objective example since a nation's population determines the total number of Olympic medals it can potentially receive. It is only natural that large countries like the United States and Russia tend to lead with taking home the highest amount of medals, but why don't we keep track of countries with the highest quality of athletes? After running the numbers, the Netherlands' 41 participating athletes brought home 24 medals leading to the highest number of award-winning athletes were Dutch. But I digress...
Designers whom received the most award credentials may have won the numbers contest, but in terms of design leaders, we'll take quality over quantity any day. Which countries on the World Design Rankings produced the highest quality designers per capita? We rolled up our sleeves and crunched the numbers.
For the list, WDR took all countries with submissions to international juried design competitions and awards into account. Qualifying for the ranking, the annual A' Design Award and Competition receives submissions from around the globe and seeks out projects which emphasize superior qualifications of designs, design concepts and design-oriented products in nearly 100 creative disciplines and industries.
With only minor place movements since last year, the top 5 countries taking home the most awards in 2015 include the United States in first place with 252, Turkey in second with 220 and Hong Kong in third with 178, followed by Italy and China. Exemplary spatial projects from the leading countries include American practice Theodore Touloukian's 38 Newbury Street, a Bostonian office interior which maintains the integrity of an existing building's concrete structure and Pentagram's graphic identity for PepsiCo during Super Bowl XLVIII at Met Life stadium. Hong Kong-based P+ONE's exhibition display space exudes the studio's design modus operandi and Chinese interior designer Kris Lin's platinum award-winning Tai Chi is a space ship-esque sales centre for prolific Chinese real estate developer Vanke.
With extra points given to the platinum award winners and less for the following gold, silver, bronze and iron A'Design Awards, the countries with the highest number of awards - USA, Turkey and Hong Kong - scored quality averages of 3.61, 3.58 and 3.64 respectively.
Although receiving far less entries, the ratio of quality design submissions to winning entries originate from Kyrgyzstan and Chile - 58th and 74th places respectively - with an average of 5.0 and for its first time ever to appear on WDR, Bangladesh came in 73rd place with the list's highest quality average of 5.50.