Design Prize Switzerland was held in 1991 for the first time. The competition, which is held every two years, is designed to boost the importance of Swiss design, so prizes are awarded for outstanding performance in seven professional fields. The competition does not see itself as being just a prize contest - at the same time it is an institution which aims, through the award of prizes, to establish Swiss design more firmly in the economy.


In a two-phase procedure, the projects submitted are nominated by acknowledged specialists for consideration by the jury. The jury, composed of international experts, then awards prizes to the best of the nominated works. Entries for the competition come from Swiss designers, companies and institutions based in Switzerland or abroad, as well as designers from other countries who are working in Switzerland. Products that have been made in Switzerland are also eligible for entry. As a result, Design Prize Switzerland achieves a broad spectrum of competition entrants and a wide relevance. Diploma projects are represented, as are commercial brands, manufacturers and institutions.


The high prestige of Design Prize Switzerland in the Swiss design scene is based on its being focused on the market economy, and on the fact that it undergone ongoing development. Its increase in significance is also partly attributable to the international travelling exhibition, which drew a lot of attention to the prizewinning entries in 2009 and 2011.  The travelling exhibition is designed to open up growth potential in markets abroad.