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International and Multidisciplinary Classification of Design, Arts and Architecture Fields and Studies

International and Multidisciplinary Classification of Design, Arts and Architecture Fields and Studies

This paper discusses how to derive design competition categories based on the existing but separate classification systems provided by other institutions

If we would like to define a wide set of design competition categories acceptable worldwide, we should refer to existing classifications as defined earlier by organizations and institutions which have conducted studies. However, as these categories are defined for specific purposes such as for intellectual property, taxing or cataloging, it is wise to refer to all of these resources to build a new classification system that covers all fields and disciplines. Design categories are classified by several different types of institutions: 1. Intellectual Property Organizations and Patent Offices, 2. Classifications by Design Associations, 3. Classifications by Information Cataloging Purposes, 4. Classification by Tax Authorities, 5. Sub-Classification by Industry Organizations, 6. Classification by Statistics and Consensus Agencies, 7. Classification by Education Institutions and 8. Classifications by Design Awards. Furthermore, Architecture and Arts can sometimes be included into the wider definition, and they are further classified differently. Industrial design itself is one of the biggest categories, but other disciplines and multidisciplinary studies should also be considered which are developed recently, as they are usually not clearly defined in existing classification schemes that were developed many years ago.
Industrial Design is classified in very detail especially because of its commercial viability. The classifications are offered by Country-Based Patent Offices and World Intellectual Property Organization and International Treaties. All of these treaties, agreements and public papers give a very detailed description of classes and their contents. When determining the industrial design categories for a product design competition, it is wisest to use the existing design classifications as a basis rather than following the best-practices by other design awards and competitions. During the selection of A' Design Award & Competition's product design categories, multiple sources were used in order to arrive at the widest range of categories.
It is best to have as many different categories you can for several reasons: The main reason is because, this helps jury to compare designs easily and fairly. Second, this helps us to determine and form a better jury, based on the categories. Third, the classifications and sub-categories help designers to relate more to the competition, as they would be joining not a generic category, but a specific sub-category, which in turn, increases the amount of entries.
Some major industrial design classifications are as follows: Classification of Industrial Design based on Nice Agreement, The Japanese Classification for Industrial Designs, The Locarno Classification of Industrial Design, and US Patent Office Classification.
Locarno Classification: Locarno Agreement establishes an international classification for industrial designs, under 32 headlines. The classes are defined by a committee of experts, formed by representatives from each country that signs the agreement. This classification was developed for intellectual property protection and widely used in Europe.
List of Lacorno Classes: 1. Foodstuffs, 2. Articles of clothing and haberdashery, 3. Travel goods, cases, parasols and personal belongings, not elsewhere specified, 4. Brushware, 5. Textile piecegoods, artificial and natural sheet material, 6. Furnishing, 7. Household goods, not elsewhere specified, 8. Tools and hardware, 9. Packages and containers for the transport or handling of goods, 10. Clocks and watches and other measuring instruments, checking and signalling instruments, 11. Articles of adornment, 12. Means of transport or hoisting, 13. Equipment for production, distribution or transformation of electricity, 14. Recording, communication or information retrieval equipment, 15. Machines, not elsewhere specified, 16. Photographic, cinematographic and optical apparatus, 17. Musical instruments, 18. Printing and office machinery, 19. Stationery and office equipment, artists' and teaching materials, 20. Sales and advertising equipment, signs, 21. Games, toys, tents and sports goods, 22. Arms, pyrotechnic articles, articles for hunting, fishing and pest killing, 23. Fluid distribution equipment, sanitary, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment, solid fuel, 24. Medical and laboratory equipment, 25. Building units and construction elements, 26. Lighting apparatus, 27. Tobacco and smokers' supplies, 28. Pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, toilet articles and apparatus, 29. Devices and equipment against fire hazards, for accident prevention and for rescue, 30. Articles for the care and handling of animals, 31. Machines and appliances for preparing food or drink, not elsewhere specified, 32. Graphic symbols and logos, surface patterns, ornamentation.
In United States, the classification is provided by the US Patent Office, to help ease of efficient access and classification of industrial designs. The US Patent Office states that the classification of design patents is based on the concept of function or intended use of the industrial design disclosed and claimed in the Design patent. Industrial designs that have the same function are generally collected in the same Design class, even though individual designs may be used in different environments. There are 33 design patent classes.
List of US Patent Office Design Classes: 1. Edible Products, 2. Apparel and Haberdashery, 3. Travel Goods, Personal Belongings, and Storage or Carrying Articles, 4. Brushware, 5. Textile or Paper Yard Goods; Sheet Material, 6. Furnishings, 7. Equipment for Preparing or Serving Food or Drink Not Elsewhere Specified, 8. Tools and Hardware, 9. Packages and Containers for Goods,
10. Measuring, Testing or Signaling Instruments, 11. Jewelry, Symbolic Insignia, and Ornaments, 12. Transportation, 13. Equipment for Production, Distribution, or Transformation of Energy, 14. Recording, Communication, or Information Retrieval Equipment, 15. Machines Not Elsewhere Specified, 16. Photography and Optical Equipment, 17. Musical Instruments, 18. Printing and Office Machinery, 19. Office Supplies; Artists’ and Teachers’ Materials, 20. Sales and Advertising Equipment, 21. Games, Toys and Sports Goods, 22. Arms, Pyrotechnics, Hunting and Fishing Equipment, 23. Environmental Heating and Cooling, Fluid Handling and Sanitary Equipment, 24. Medical and Laboratory Equipment, 25. Building Units and Construction Elements, 26. Lighting, 27. Tobacco and Smokers’ Supplies, 28. Cosmetic Products and Toilet Articles, 29. Equipment for Safety, Protection and Rescue, 30. Animal Husbandry, 31. Washing, Cleaning or Drying Machines, 32. Material or Article Handling Equipment, 33. Miscellaneous.
A Convention that is respected in Asia is the Japanese Patent Office Design Division's classification of Design. This classification features 13 sub categories, divided into further groups, and sub groups. The classification bases on the concept of usage of articles, and if necessary, on their function and forms.
1. Processed Foods and Favorite Goods , 2. Clothing and Personal Goods, 3. Goods for Daily Living, 4. Housing Equipment, 5. Hobby and Recreation Goods and Athletic Implements , 6. Office Supplies and Merchandising Goods, 7. Transport or Conveyance Machines , 8. Electric and Electronic Machinery and Instruments, Communication Machinery and Instruments , 9. Common Machinery and Instruments , 10. Industrial Machinery and Instruments , 11. Supplies and Equipment for Civil Engineering and Construction , 12. Various Basic Products which do not belong to Previous Groups, 13. Any Other Articles.
In addition to the Lacorno Classification, World Intellectual Property Organization also provides the Nice Classification for Goods and Services. This classification is not based on or developed for industrial design but rather for the purposes of the registration of marks. There are 34 sub-classes under Nice Agreement.
Nice Classification of Goods: 1. Chemicals used in industry, science and photography, as well as in agriculture, horticulture and forestry; unprocessed artificial resins, unprocessed plastics; manures; fire extinguishing compositions; tempering and soldering preparations; chemical substances for preserving foodstuffs; tanning substances; adhesives used in industry., 2. Paints, varnishes, lacquers; preservatives against rust and against deterioration of wood; colorants; mordants; raw natural resins; metals in foil and powder form for painters, decorators, printers and artists., 3. Bleaching preparations and other substances for laundry use; cleaning, polishing, scouring and abrasive preparations; soaps; perfumery, essential oils, cosmetics, hair lotions; dentifrices., 4. Industrial oils and greases; lubricants; dust absorbing, wetting and binding compositions; fuels (including motor spirit) and illuminants; candles and wicks for lighting., 5. Pharmaceutical and veterinary preparations; sanitary preparations for medical purposes; dietetic food and substances adapted for medical or veterinary use, food for babies; dietary supplements for humans and animals; plasters, materials for dressings; material for stopping teeth, dental wax; disinfectants; preparations for destroying vermin; fungicides, herbicides., 6. Common metals and their alloys; metal building materials; transportable buildings of metal; materials of metal for railway tracks; non-electric cables and wires of common metal; ironmongery, small items of metal hardware; pipes and tubes of metal; safes; goods of common metal not included in other classes; ores., 7. Machines and machine tools; motors and engines (except for land vehicles); machine coupling and transmission components (except for land vehicles); agricultural implements other than hand-operated; incubators for eggs; automatic vending machines., 8. Hand tools and implements (hand-operated); cutlery; side arms; razors., 9. Scientific, nautical, surveying, photographic, cinematographic, optical, weighing, measuring, signalling, checking (supervision), life-saving and teaching apparatus and instruments; apparatus and instruments for conducting, switching, transforming, accumulating, regulating or controlling electricity; apparatus for recording, transmission or reproduction of sound or images; magnetic data carriers, recording discs; compact discs, DVDs and other digital recording media; mechanisms for coin-operated apparatus; cash registers, calculating machines, data processing equipment, computers; computer software; fire-extinguishing apparatus., 10. Surgical, medical, dental and veterinary apparatus and instruments, artificial limbs, eyes and teeth; orthopedic articles; suture materials., 11. Apparatus for lighting, heating, steam generating, cooking, refrigerating, drying, ventilating, water supply and sanitary purposes., 12. Vehicles; apparatus for locomotion by land, air or water., 13. Firearms; ammunition and projectiles; explosives; fireworks., 14. Precious metals and their alloys and goods in precious metals or coated therewith, not included in other classes; jewellery, precious stones; horological and chronometric instruments., 15. Musical instruments., 16. Paper, cardboard and goods made from these materials, not included in other classes; printed matter; bookbinding material; photographs; stationery; adhesives for stationery or household purposes; artists' materials; paint brushes; typewriters and office requisites (except furniture); instructional and teaching material (except apparatus); plastic materials for packaging (not included in other classes); printers' type; printing blocks., 17. Rubber, gutta-percha, gum, asbestos, mica and goods made from these materials and not included in other classes; plastics in extruded form for use in manufacture; packing, stopping and insulating materials; flexible pipes, not of metal., 18. Leather and imitations of leather, and goods made of these materials and not included in other classes; animal skins, hides; trunks and travelling bags; umbrellas and parasols; walking sticks; whips, harness and saddlery., 19. Building materials (non-metallic); non-metallic rigid pipes for building; asphalt, pitch and bitumen; non-metallic transportable buildings; monuments, not of metal., 20. Furniture, mirrors, picture frames; goods (not included in other classes) of wood, cork, reed, cane, wicker, horn, bone, ivory, whalebone, shell, amber, mother-of-pearl, meerschaum and substitutes for all these materials, or of plastics., 21. Household or kitchen utensils and containers; combs and sponges; brushes (except paint brushes); brush-making materials; articles for cleaning purposes; steelwool; unworked or semi-worked glass (except glass used in building); glassware, porcelain and earthenware not included in other classes., 22. Ropes, string, nets, tents, awnings, tarpaulins, sails, sacks and bags (not included in other classes); padding and stuffing materials (except of rubber or plastics); raw fibrous textile materials., 23. Yarns and threads, for textile use., 24. Textiles and textile goods, not included in other classes; bed covers; table covers., 25. Clothing, footwear, headgear., 26. Lace and embroidery, ribbons and braid; buttons, hooks and eyes, pins and needles; artificial flowers., 27. Carpets, rugs, mats and matting, linoleum and other materials for covering existing floors; wall hangings (non-textile)., 28. Games and playthings; gymnastic and sporting articles not included in other classes; decorations for Christmas trees., 29. Meat, fish, poultry and game; meat extracts; preserved, frozen, dried and cooked fruits and vegetables; jellies, jams, compotes; eggs; milk and milk products; edible oils and fats., 30. Coffee, tea, cocoa and artificial coffee; rice; tapioca and sago; flour and preparations made from cereals; bread, pastry and confectionery; ices; sugar, honey, treacle; yeast, baking-powder; salt; mustard; vinegar, sauces (condiments); spices; ice., 31. Grains and agricultural, Horticultural and forestry products not included in other classes; live animals; fresh fruits and vegetables; seeds; natural plants and flowers; foodstuffs for animals; malt., 32. Beers; mineral and aerated waters and other non-alcoholic beverages; fruit beverages and fruit juices; syrups and other preparations for making beverages., 33. Alcoholic beverages (except beers)., 34. Tobacco; smokers' articles; matches.
Services are normally not included in common design competitions, however, they should be, as currently the role of design has become wider and interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary design approaches are followed for creating and planning systems, product-services, and services. The Nice Agreement classification is again helpful to group and classify services for inclusion in a design competition. There are 11 service design categories.
Nice Classification of Services: 1. Advertising; business management; business administration; office functions., 2. Insurance; financial affairs; monetary affairs; real estate affairs., 3. Building construction; repair; installation services., 4. Telecommunications., 5. Transport; packaging and storage of goods; travel arrangement., 6. Treatment of materials., 7. Education; providing of training; entertainment; sporting and cultural activities., 8. Scientific and technological services and research and design relating thereto; industrial analysis and research services; design and development of computer hardware and software., 9. Services for providing food and drink; temporary accommodation., 10. Medical services; veterinary services; hygienic and beauty care for human beings or animals; agriculture, horticulture and forestry services., 11. Legal services; security services for the protection of property and individuals; personal and social services rendered by others to meet the needs of individuals.
Furthermore, for defining a wide range of design competition categories, we could also rely on the Industry Classification Systems which are used by statistics, census or tax bureaus worldwide. One of the most developed ones is the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), as it also features a very detailed description of sub categories.
NAICS Categories: 1. Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting, 2. Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction, 3. Utilities, 4. Construction, 5. Manufacturing, 6. Wholesale Trade, 7. Retail Trade, 8. Transportation and Warehousing, 9. Information, 10. Finance and Insurance, 11. Real Estate and Rental and Leasing, 12. Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services, 13. Management of Companies and Enterprises, 14. Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services, 15. Educational Services, 16. Health Care and Social Assistance, 17. Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation, 18. Accommodation and Food Services, 19. Other Services (except Public Administration), 20. Public Administration.
Graphic Design itself is a very large category, and should be classified differently. These categories can be derived from industry classification systems, but more importantly through publications of graphic design associations. As an example, AIGA Suggests 11 sub-categories for Graphic Designs, likewise other associations provide details and descriptions for each class.
Graphic Design Categories as Suggested by AIGA: 1.Advertising and Promotional Design, 2. Corporate Identity Design, 3. Design Strategy and Management, 4. Editorial Design, 5. Exhibit and Signage Design, 6. Interaction Design, 7. Motion graphics design, 8. Packaging Design, 9. Illustration, 10. Information Design, 11. Production etc. These categories are further divided into several sub-categories.
Architecture is another design competition category where the sub categories must be developed clearly and in-depth. In most cases, many countries provide legal classifications, such as the "Classification Summary of Buildings and Structures defined in the Building
Code of Australia", or others. Some of these classifications are based on the safety requirements, and others on functional forms.
Fine-Art, on the other hand can be incorporated to design competitions as well, especially when the object is "Functional Artwork", which is similar to a "Limited Edition Industrial Design Piece", and in between, there is also crafts, and ready-made designs and other categories. Fine-Arts are classified as: Visual Arts, Architecture, Sculpture, Drawing, Design, Illustration, Painting, Print Media, Decorative Arts and Arts in General based on the Library of Congress Classification. However, as I stated earlier, we define Design, Architecture and Graphics separately as they are very large categories. The sub-classes are more than hundreds for each category. Library of Congress is mainly for the classification of books, however it provides insights on possible sub-categories for category determination purposes for design competitions. Performing-Arts classification can be also derived from, for example statistics classification schemes developed by countries. Such as the Canadian Classification of Instructional Programs defines over 100 categories for performing arts and related issues.
US Patent Office. (2011). Classification of Design Patents. URL: Accessed 20th August 2011.
World Intellectual Property Organization (2011). WIPO Resources - Locarno Classification. URL: Accessed 20th August 2011.
Design Division - Japanese Patent Office (2006). Japanese Classification for Industrial Designs. URL: Accessed 20th August 2011.
World Intellectual Property Organization (2010). WIPO Resources - Nice Classification. URL: Accessed 20th August 2011.
United States Census Bureau (2012). North American Industry Classification System. URL: Accessed 2 April 2012.
American Design Council (2010). Federal Economic Classification of Graphic Design. URL: Accessed 2 April 2012.
Building Services Authority (2011). Classification Summary of Buildings and Structures defined in the Building Code of Australia URL: Accessed 20th August 2011.
Library of Congress (2011). Class N : Cataloging and Classification of Fine-Arts (2011). URl: Accessed 20th August 2011.
Statistics Canada (2011). Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) Canada 2011. URL: Accessed 20th August 2011.

This article was added on Monday, 27th of January, 2014 at 06.26 am by author Onur Cobanli Tags: design competition categories, design classification, design contest categories, design award categories, classification of design. Read our copyright policy here.




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