This list of frequently asked questions is not exhaustive. Please see our terms and conditions for more information.


What is Dinnovation and who is behind it?

Dinnovation (portmanteau of “dinnerware” and “innovation”) is a student dinnerware design competition sponsored by Gaia Group USA, a recognized Woman Owned, Women Led business.


What is the difference between “tableware” and “dinnerware?”

Tableware includes cutlery, glassware, serving dishes, and utensils. Dinnerware includes the individual plates or bowls (and sometimes mugs) that may or may not be part of a set for a place setting.


Do I need to make a real-world, tangible version of the design that I submit?

No. The design must adhere to the laws of physics (e.g. no weight-bearing vessels made of smoke) but it is not required that you have made it in the real world. If you have made it, however, we encourage you to take photos of it.


What material should I use for my design?

As long as your design is dinnerware (as opposed to drinkware), it can be made of or designed for any material that works with your design. Some examples include silicon, glass, ceramics, plastic, melamine, or compostable materials.


Is Gaia open to designs with rare or new materials (such as hemp, natural fibers, recycled materials, etc.)?

Yes. We welcome rare or new materials, or innovative/non-traditional uses of traditional materials.


Does ease or difficulty in mass-reproduction of the design influence the chances of winning?

No. We encourage entrants to focus on the concept and design rather than the logistics of how it would be manufactured. 


Is there a hierarchy in what the judges are looking for? Does innovation trump aesthetic or vice versa?

No. We want to see designs that excite you. Entries will be based on strength of concept, usability, aesthetics, supporting research, and product benefit, but no one element is more important than another. 

How many pieces should I design?

Include as many pieces in your design as are relevant for your concept. If your concept is about nesting bowls, then design all of the requisite pieces. If your concept is about one plate that does something specific, then design just that one plate.


What medium of images do you accept as documentation? 

We accept images in any medium as long as they are original and clearly represent your design concept. Photographs of hand-drawn sketches, digital drawings, or 3D renderings are all acceptable image styles. If you’ve fabricated the design, certainly include photographs of it.


Is there a fee to submit to Dinnovation?

No. There is no fee to submit a design.


Who is eligible and how do I submit?

To be eligible to participate in the Contest, entrants must be age 16 or older and enrolled in a public, or accredited private university. Submit on the Submission Page after the competition opens on November 1, 2017. 


Are Team submissions allowed?

Yes. Team projects may be submitted as long as all members of the team are students and knowingly included in the application form and dossier.


What if I win and cannot attend IHHS?

If your design is chosen for the grand prize, claiming any portion of the prize, including attendance at IHHS, is optional.


What part of my design will be shown at IHHS?

Gaia Group USA will feature winners of the competition in their booth at the International Home and Housewares Show. The display may include any materials (e.g. written description, photographs, etc.) from any submissions.


Can I submit my design to your competition and other competitions at the same time? 

Yes. Your design may be in consideration for other awards at the same time.


What if I make a mistake on my submission form?

Please contact us directly at [email protected].


Can I enter a design if I’m not an art or design student?

Yes. We encourage students to submit from within art and design programs as well as technology and science students whose submissions meet the competition guidelines. 


Do Dinnovation or Gaia Group USA claim the rights to my design?

No. Neither submitting to the competition nor winning the competition is a transfer of ownership of the Entrant’s intellectual property rights. See our terms and conditions


Will Gaia Group USA manufacture my design? 

There is no guarantee of manufacture. If Gaia Group’s market research suggests that manufacturing a design would have market viability, Gaia will attempt to work with the student to negotiate a mutually-acceptable agreement.


Still have questions? Contact us at [email protected].