Surge 2024: Build Your Dreams

Calling all design firms! Collaborate, innovate, change the world. Join Surge’s Design Challenge 2024!


Submission deadline: 17 May 2024

Each year, during the searing summer months, we wait with excitement for the announcement of Surge’s next Design, Dine, Make a Difference challenge. And true to form, Surge comes up with better, more unique ways of engaging the region’s A+D community towards a singular purpose – to provide sustainable and safe water, sanitation and hygiene solutions to the world.

The Surge journey starts with a design challenge, where designers battle it out in a thrilling race to create the best, most unique piece of lighting or furniture, and it culminates in a glamorous and giving awards night gala event. Each team tries their best to develop a product that not only fulfills the criteria but also leaves a lasting impression.

This year too, starts with a challenge, but with a unique twist – it will be a team collaboration towards a creative, innovative solution. Read on for details…

The Design Challenge 2024

Individuals in the communities we support, face a myriad of limitations but yet amidst these challenges there is hope.

Today, we encourage you to embrace the magic of your childhood dreams and watch as they unfold into the extraordinary reality you’ve always imagined. Remember those moments of wonder, where anything felt possible? Now is the time to reignite that spark, to tap into the endless realms of your imagination and Build Your Dreams!

Let go of inhibitions, dare to dream boldly, and believe in the power of your fantasies to shape your destiny. There are no limits – only boundless opportunities waiting to be seized. So, close your eyes, summon the whispers of your inner child, and captivate us in an immersive adventure of a lifetime. Whether it’s virtual reality, augmented reality, interactive installations, or a blend of various mediums, your imagination is the only limit.

Your dreams are calling – will you answer?

  • Push the boundaries of design: Challenge yourself to think outside the box and explore innovative ways to engage with your audience.
  • Showcase your talent: This is your opportunity to showcase your unique design perspective and unleash your creativity on a platform that celebrates diversity and ingenuity. 
  • Connect with the community: Join forces with fellow designers, artists, and creators from around the globe. Share ideas, collaborate, and be inspired by the wealth of talent within our vibrant community. 
  • Make an impact: Your design has the power to inspire, evoke emotions, and leave a lasting impression. Create an experience that resonates with people and sparks meaningful conversations. 
  • The budget should not exceed AED 2,500 
  • If the piece may be a physical, below are some of the guidelines:
    • Overall size should not exceed 90*45*200 cm 
    • It must be freestanding. 
    • Sustainability criteria (Eco-Design): At least 60% of the design must contain recycled/reclaimed/upcycled materials that are made or sourced in the UAE. 
    • Construction methodology has to be as sustainable as possible. The usage of the piece must limit negative impacts through functionality, durability, and ease of assembly/ disassembly. Innovation in technology, originality and efficient production BRIEF processes are encouraged through the build.

Final Submissions

  • A1 (portrait orientation) storyboard. It will be printed by the Surge team and displayed at the Gala next to the piece. Files should be high resolution (.ai, .eps, .tiff or .png) 
  • 3D rendering, images and detailed specifications for the future build.
  • Completed scorecard for judges to review creation.
  • Build Partners must provide signed cost sheets with information on material, labour and other costs incurred during the build process. 
  • High resolution design and bio pictures, logos, social media handles, inspirational blurb to be shared on social channels and Love That Design’s voting page for the People’s Choice Award. 
  • Design Teams will have a display area of 1 to 2 pallets to showcase the inspiration behind the design solution at the DDD gala. The space should include the finished piece and materials that have inspired the design.

To support participants, we will conduct a workshop to introduce and support various aspects of the theme Build Your Dreams.

Judging Criteria

The judging panel includes a select board of design professionals, media and key sponsors. Participants will fill and return a detailed Scorecard to help the judges cover the following criteria:

  • An all inclusive piece in compliance to the design brief. 
  • Shared Value: positive social outcome is generated. 
  • Surge’s Values: Designs should incorporate Surge’s mission and core Values. 
  • Team Work: There has to be demonstrated collaboration between the Design Firm and Partner. 
  • Eco-design, including a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the environmental impact. New/ Reused/ Renewed. 
  • Innovation 
  • Quality of craftsmanship 
  • Impact: Networked approach to raising awareness and making a contribution to our community.


The various categories for the awards include:

  • MASTER CRAFTSMAN (Awarded to build partners only)

This event is made possible because of Surge’s Sponsors.

About Surge

Surge invests in communities with safe water, sanitation, hygiene and menstrual health solutions to help end the cycle of poverty. In a world where over 2 billion people lack access to safe water, Surge delivers community-led, sustainable solutions. In a world in which 2,300 people die every day because of inadequate drinking water and sanitation, Surge takes a multi faceted approach to reach as many people as possible. Since 2008, the organisation has impacted 1 million people in 11 countries. 100 percent of public donations received fund safe water, sanitation and associated education projects. 

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Date added:

21 March, 2024

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