Bolia Design Awards

At Bolia, we believe that the future lies in new, emerging talent, which is why we established the Bolia Design Awards back in 2007, with the desire to pay tribute to talented designers who haven't had their big breakthrough yet, giving them a chance to put their abilities to the test and give the winners a place in future design collections. This year's Bolia Design Awards have drawn to a close and the winners have been selected.


Nearly 900 submitted design ideas have been scrutinised with great admiration, and the field this year has again been very impressive. We've received design ideas from all over the world – from Australia, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan and Germany to South Africa, India, Brazil, New Zealand and Denmark.

Our jury has selected the winners, and each design has been evaluated based on potential, creativity, innovation, functionality and sustainability. The winner of the Sustainability Prize, which is a brand new award this year, was selected based on the criterion that sustainability should be the predominant, pervasive element of the design and cover the entire journey from the first sketch to the finished design.

The Zen Rug series was realised during the recent Corona Virus lockdown period when our normal, fast paced lives were flipped upside down, resulting in many of us spending our waking hours in the confines of our homes. With an overwhelming need to feel secure, grounded and having a sense of calm in a time of such uncertainty, the importance of the spaces we occupy and the objects we choose to surround ourselves came into focus.

Just like the Japanese rock gardens, ‘Karesansui’ or ‘Zen’ gardens that were intended to represent the various calming elements in nature and aid in contemplation and mediation, the Zen Rug series has been created to bring a grounding foundation to our homes and improve the everyday life through simple forms and quality, sustainable materials.

I believe that a well-designed product is the best form of sustainability. With a focus on good quality design, clean uncluttered lines, the use of sustainable materials and best possible craftsmanship, this in turn leads to products that will last and age gracefully with us. The ambition with the Zen Rug series is to explore the use of sustainable materials such as recycled PET yarn to bring new life to used and unwanted plastic bottles.

Unlike many other synthetic materials, PET yarn has the luxurious look and feel of wool with no synthetic coating. It has a high durability, is easily kept clean as does not absorb liquids or any spilt substances such as coffee or red wine and most importantly, can be recycled over and over again. With a lower carbon footprint than virgin PET and significantly less CO2 emissions than virgin polyester, recycled PET is an excellent example of how recycling gives way to more sustainable production. In terms of colours, we are taken on a journey through some of the typical elements found in Denmark’s natural environment: Sand, Pebbles, Moss and Water. These are also the key elements that form the foundations for most Zen gardens and the inspiration for the overall Zen Rug series.

The aim of this project was to recycle porcelain waste and to find a sustainable product solution. A method was developed to create a solid material that is made from 100% recycled porcelain by grinding and sintering old porcelain shards. The result was a new material that offers a natural cooling effect through its porous structure making it suitable for storing food.

RELICS are containers, which enable fruit and vegetables to have a longer shelf life. A tray from the inside of the container absorbs cold water by holding it under the tap. When the tray is placed back in the container, an evaporative cooling process is triggered that lowers the temperature and increases the air humidity inside the container. For most fruits and vegetables these conditions ensure gentle storage and have a positive effect on shelf life and quality. Without using the cooling effect, the container forms a storage option for fresh foods that are sensitive to the cold, lose their aroma or have to ripen briefly. The containers thus offer optimal climate conditions to extend the shelf life of fruit and vegetables and reduce food waste.

With RELICS, porcelain waste is recycled, food stays fresh longer by a sustainable cooling method and therefore a resource-saving lifestyle is supported.

The idea was to design a beautiful lightweight folding chair made of sustainable materials such as wood, with durable, natural and long-lasting qualities. The chairs are easy to deliver in a small, flat-packed package, reducing the transport of air and in turn aiding sustainable transportation. At the same time, it is a sturdy and lightweight chair for everyday use and will be useful both in small smart-apartments and in cafes.

The idea came, when I realised so few beautiful folding chairs exist. Many are made of some non-environmental materials, such as plastic or aluminium, and according to this, the goal was to make a beautiful wooden folding chair.

Bolia Design Awards 2021

We're already looking forward to Bolia Design Awards 2021, which will kick off in spring 2021. We look forward once again to celebrating the budding talent that embellishes, develops and shapes our design world in unexpected and challenging ways every day. Follow us on social media or sign up for our newsletter to be among the first to hear about the Bolia Design Awards 2021.

See you in 2021!