Recognizing “the best of the best” at Design Caribbean

The Design Caribbean Prize competition is organized by Caribbean Export Development Agency and will be awarded annually from among the exhibitors to the Design Caribbean trade show. The Prize aims to highlight the best designs and design-oriented products at the show. It is a celebration of innovation, design and creativity. There is no entry requirement as all exhibitors are automatically considered for the prize. The works on exhibit at Design Caribbean will have been pre-screened as made in the Caribbean and resulting from the transformation of a raw material by the artisan. Only products on display at Design Caribbean can be considered.

The best designs are selected according to form, functional and emotional aspects of the product. Designs are considered for their degree of innovation, aesthetic qualities, functionality, usefulness, ergonomics and human interaction.

On the first day of Design Caribbean the judges will award orange ribbons to all the booths they are considering for prizes. The aim is to select three winners in each of the following categories:

  • leatherwork
  • ceramics
  • metal
  • natural fibre
  • weaving
  • stone and marble
  • new materials
  • textiles
  • wood
  • jewelry
  • packaging

Each category winner will get a certificate and a trophy. The overall prize winners will be selected from this list of category winners and announced on September 4 2011 at the closing ceremony of Design Caribbean.

Cash awards will be as follows:

  • 1st Prize: $5,500usd
  • 2nd Prize: $3,500usd
  • 3rd Prize: $2,000usd
  • Special prize to young artisan (less than 30 years old): $1,000usd

In addition to the cash prizes, winners will receive a free booth at Design Caribbean the following year. Carib Export undertakes to promote the winner through extensive marketing and communications services and to ensure the winner meets with business people to realize their product ideas or to reach a wider range of buyers for their existing products.

The Jury is composed of leading academics and professionals in the field. Their decision is final and there is no appeal.


Jenny Polanco

Jenny Polanco
Dominican fashion designer with over thirty years of professional experience in Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Bahamas, Paris and New York. Her pret-a-porter and couture designs are specially known for their classic yet avant garde feel as well as their sophisticated lines infused with handcrafted artistic detailing of the Dominican vernacular, such as amber buttons, horn carvings, larimar, mother of pearl and coral among others. For the past 10 years she has also been designing and creating jewellery inspired by the tones and transparency of amber stone combined with pearls, leather and semi precious stones. Her products are unique with hand crafted characteristics and always emphasize femininity as well as Caribbean elegance. Polanco owns several boutiques in Dominican Republic located in Altos de Chavon, Marina in Casa De Campo Romana, Casa Virginia, Bella Vista Mall and the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo. Just recently she opened Project, a conceptual art and handcrafts store curated to support local talent.

Cindy Bowden

Cindy Bowden
Cindy Bowden is the President of the World Craft Council of North America, one of the 5 hemispheres represented in the World Craft Council. Working with the American Craft Council, the Canadian Craft Federation, the Puerto Rican Craft Council and UNESCO our goal is to revive the participation of North America in the World Craft arena. We want crafts people to enjoy making a good living while preserving the crafts of their cultures and exploring new arenas in the field.

Bowden has worked on international projects with the Chinese Crafts Council, the Zambian Crafts Council, the Museo des Belles Artes in Santiago Chile, the Japanese National Paper Association, the Museo Carta E Filigrana in Italy, the National Museum and Art Gallery of Papua New Guinea and the Puerto Rican Crafts Council. She is the Executive Director of the American Association of Woodturners, the second largest crafts organization in the United States with over 14,000 members in 72 countries. She has been a Director in the non-profit craft, museum and education fields for over 30 years.