Reneì d'Harnoncourt (1901 – 1968).

René d’Harnoncourt (1901 – 1968).

Charles and Ray Eames - Bucket Chair - 1951 ⸻

Philip Johnson, MoMA Director, Department of Architecture and Design, 1949 and Alfred H. Barr Jr., MoMA Director of Museum Collections, 1949. The Chicago Athenaeum Archives


In 1949, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) organized the “Prize Designs for Modern Furniture” to encourage the best of contemporary design by exhibiting the most notable examples in the furniture industry thereby stimulating production by manufacturers for the mass-produced market.

Seven decades later, Global Design News and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design are relaunching this historic event.

The idea of the competition was to draw the attention of technicians and designers from all over the world to produce new and fresh ideas leading to the manufacture and wide distribution of a new type of furniture for today’s new homes.

The Program

Prize Designs for Modern Furniture + Lighting presents a unique opportunity to present new furniture, lighting, and materials to the world’s architects, corporate end-users, furniture specifiers, and the public.

The new, reformatted program showcases the best and the most outstanding new examples of furniture and lighting created by some of the most renowned international designers and architects and produced and marketed by the best and most innovative manufacturers worldwide.

Thanks to its global reach and highly reputable jury, the winners of the annual Global Design News Prize Designs can be considered as the definitive list of the world’s best furniture, lighting, and fabric/textile products.

Prize Designs for Modern Furniture, 1950. ⸻
Organized by Edgar Kaufmann, Jr., Prize Designs for Modern Furniture opened in 1950 at MoMA in New York. Winning furniture designs in 1950 included new works by modernist trailblazers as Charles Eames, Davis J. Pratt, Don R. Knorr, Georg Leowald, Theodore Luderowski, Augusto Romano, Willy, and Emil Guhl, Hans J. Wegner, Jørn Utzon, Franco Albini, Luigi Colombini, Ilmari Tapiovaara, Abel Sorensen, Junzo Sakahura, Oliver Lincoln Lundquist, and the new Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius’ Institute of Design in Chicago who all emerged after World War II. The Chicago Athenaeum Archives.

Award Categories


1. Seating
2. Chairs
3. Office Chairs
4. Office/Home Desks
5. Office Pods
6. Storage Units
7. Closets
8. Tables
9. Wall and Ceiling Partitions
10. Built-in-Furniture
11. Fabric/ Textiles
12. Floor and Wallcoverings
13. Urban Furniture
Collections: Individual items in any collection should be submitted as one entry


1. Table Lighting
2. Ceiling Lighting
3. Wall Lighting
4. Floor Lighting
5. Outdoor Lighting
Collections: Individual items in any collection should be submitted as one entry

PRIZE DESIGNS FOR MODERN FURNITURE International Competition for Low-Cost Furniture Design. New York- Museum of Modern Art, 1950. The Chicago Athenaeum Archives.

Design for Use Exhibition at MoMA, 1944 Photograph by Soichi Sunami. The Chicago Athenaeum Archives.

Prize Design for Modern Furniture at MoMA, 1950. The Chicago Athenaeum Archives.

How to Apply

Please fill out postal or online applications, noting the following:

  • One submission must be completed for each project.
  • Images should be in high-resolution (300 dpi, 1920×1080, up to 6Mb each), and of .jpg / .jpeg / .png format.
  • Project descriptions should not exceed 500 words.
  • For online applications, after completing the registration and submission process for your project a form summary of your application will be sent to your email.
  • For postal applications, images and project descriptions of each project can be sent either through WeTransfer or Dropbox (or any other similar platform) along with a fully completed form at
  • Entry Fee: €295 per submitted project. After we receive the filled-out form and check all materials an invoice will be sent to your email.
  • Please provide the bank transfer receipt with your payment together with all other materials of your application.

IMPORTANT: The information provided here MUST be accurate as it will form the basis for any future publication as well as the web presentation that will become part of the exhibition.

If you enter this information on behalf of the designer OR manufacturer, the information must be correct.

Note: Please take time to ensure that this is the case, as changes/corrections in the submitted information may incur costs, should any changes be needed during the publication process.

2024 Submission

Submission Deadline for 2024 Award Program: March 15, 2024

Submission Deadline for 2024 Award Program: March 15, 2024.