Lack of Substance
Every swimming pool industry design award is lacking a critical element - substance.
Though the projects that are awarded Gold Medals, Medallions in a magazine, Guava Award or Mastery of Design recognition are all pretty projects - that's just the point. They are merely pretty!
None of the projects are judged on the merits of the builders construction practices, compliance with building codes, industry or workmanship standards.
These awards went straight for the dessert. They skipped the appetizer (review of the plans, soils reports and structural engineering) and bypassed the salad (client comments). The main course (review of the construction practices, methodologies and installation practices) was deleted for expediency sake.
Some organizations have even given awards to the builders of the pools, that merely executed the plans and designs of someone else (this has happened to me on THREE occasions). Because they do not review the plans for the project, they actually have no idea who was the creative force behind it's conception.
Industry awards exist for ONE PURPOSE - self-promotion.
The industry collects pretty pictures that they then use to promote the industry to consumers. Pool builders and designers use the awards to tout "Look how great I am!"
Consumers see pretty pools, but do not understand exactly what the acquisition of the award entailed.
Pretty Picture Contest
Because award contests lack substance, they are really nothing more than Awards for having the prettiest picture of a pool.
This is why, as a general rule, I do not enter Award Contests.
If someone wants to grant me an award, they must evaluate what's behind the curtain. Otherwise it's just smoke and mirrors for publicity sake.
Aquatic Artist, Consultant and Expert Witness
"Creating water as art."™
Aquatic Technology Pool and Spa