Designing to Win - Overcoming the Hardest Part

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Overcome the hardest part of interpreting competition schedules: Starting.

I'm Mark Pampling and I have a strategy that helps me work through any schedule to make sure my design meets the brief and scores as highly as possible.

Let me share it with you.

Eighteen designers have already submitted designs to the theme Uncommon Threads, which I've analysed and reviewed in a recorded live design forum, for our shared learning.

What insights and learnings did they gain - and how will they apply them?

Join me and learn when we review the designs and the learnings in the live forum on

5 March.

  • "I highly recommend this course to anyone who is involved in floral design and judging The feed back and the exercises are extremely valuable in judging your own work and others as well."

    - Gwen

  • "…  I learned much more from attending as a member of the audience than I thought possible."

    - Terry

  • "This course has boosted my confidence and understanding of what is expected in good floral design. The practical, eloquent and positive feedback has been really valuable."

    - Celéste

Join the live forum on

5 March

to see how the they've reimagined their designs, building on the feedback from the first forum.

You'll see their learnings come to life as you view the original and final submissions by side and hear (and read) the detailed feedback that they've utilised.

Two Design Forums

The program includes two design discussion forums which you can view any number of times.

Listen as I provide over three hours of the kind of detailed analysis that you normally only hear from the judges in actual competition.

Gain in-depth insights that normally come only from actually competing yourself.

Reach out to me via email and I'll answer your questions.

Designing to Win - Floral Competition Essentials - eBook & Video

Floral Competition Essentials is my essential guide to maximising your chances of success in floral design competitions. It is suitable for anyone who wants to improve their competing game or give themselves a refresher before getting back into competing, or for floral creatives who would like to know more about the competition process.

This eBook covers a broad range of aspects of competing, including how to research competitions, analysing and interpreting the schedule, understanding the marking criteria, designing, planning and preparing for competitions, right through to tips for reviewing your competition successes and learnings.

This eBook is included in your registration.

Designing to Win - Applied Interpretation - eBook & Video

Applied Interpretation is an eBook + video presentation giving a fully worked example of my method of approaching competition schedule interpretation. It shows you how to analyse a theme and find design solutions that answer the schedule and marking criteria.
I take a competition schedule written for this course and closely examine the theme from different perspectives.

I will guide you through my structured research method, identifying key aspects and examining them through the principles and elements of design, taking into account how the theme relates to any botanical matter referenced in it.

This eBook is included in your registration.

Designing to Win - Competition Learnings - eBook & Videos

Competition Learnings is a compendium of all of the designers’ items submitted for the first and second Design Forums, with the detailed notes from Mark’s critical appraisals, highlighting, for each designer, the learnings realised from the first design to the second.
It contains a wealth of analytical observations on design which can be of use to anyone who creates with flowers, especially so in competition.

This eBook is included in your registration.

Customer Reviews

Based on 22 reviews
David Berger
Designing to Win Uncommon Threads

Designing to Win Uncommon Threads. The course provided the unusual opportunity to respond to a competition brief not once but twice. Using Mark’s detailed ebook as a guide to interpreting a marking scheme and competition brief. All participants produced a design. In a group forum we all received Mark’s insights and expert analysis, including advice on improvements and modifications. Producing a second design with this feedback. Mark held a second forum discussing the second design interpretation from the feedback given. Such a study in floral design and self improvement. Flower Thinking and Mark provide designers to tools to make considered choices in floral designing. I look forward to the next course and learning journey.

Marleen Pratt OAM
Uncommon Threads

I enjoyed the critiqued detail of the 1st design presented by participants in the theme Uncommon Threads. 2nd design was changed to improve its presentation to fill the brief of an opening Event for a fashion boutique.

Lawrence Kwong
"Designing to win" is a winner

The intriguing theme,"Uncommon threads", captured my attention and thinking. I initially thought this short course,"Designing to win", would be too challenging. I found that it was actually comprehensive, well organized and structured, and rewarding eventually. This course was about understanding the rules and schedule of a competition. It was about learning how to evaluate one's design for a competition against an essential list of marking criteria for judging. Mark conducted two virtual discussion forums fluently, meticulously and constructively by giving clear analysis with concise explanations. He posed questions and made suggestions on each participant's design in #1 submission. The task of improving/adjusting/changing in order to achieve a better outcome became the necessary challenge for #2 submission.
The learnings from all the other submissions was just as important as those of mine. After having completed this course, I gained a better understanding of the entire process of designing to win and the crucial decision making that hinged on the points/marks for judging. The "wow factor" which can contribute to winning can be achieved by more critical evaluation of a design. Learning to be a better designer is always my aim in participating in Mark's courses. I truly felt that I achieved it and it was a likely "win" for me. The instructional eBooks and video tutorials on competitions were valuable bonuses given after completion of the course.

Thank you, Mark, for this great opportunity to learn from you.

Sue Fingleton
Designing to win uncommon threads

Excellent course, I learnt a lot just need to put it into practice now.😊

Fiona Leman Leman
I thought it was a good title with lots of scope for interpretation.

I thought it was a great course! I learnt a lot from the in depth evaluations of each design, and I think the true value of the course can be seen in the huge improvements of all the submitted designs. Thank you Mark.

Designing to Win Timetable


Tuesday 16 January

  • eBooks and instructional videos released

Friday 2 February

  • Submission #1 Due

Tuesday 6 February

  • First live design discussion

Thursday 8 February

  • Meeting notes and video released

Friday 1 March

  • Submission #2 Due (Designers)

Tuesday 5 March

  • Live design discussion

Thursday 7 March

  • Meeting notes and video released

Monday 11 March

Join now and get immediate access to all the program so far, and the live design forum, videos and eBooks.



Course dates for 2025 are yet to be announced.


All times listed are Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT - Sydney). You can compare your local time zone to Sydney time  at

Stay Updated

If you'd like us to update you on new course dates and other developments in Designing to Win, you can register your interest here.

    Participation Guide

    The Participation Guide is your guide to getting the most out of your participation in the Designing to Win program.

    If you have questions about Designing to Win, some answers may be found in it, and you are also welcome to ask us any question directly.


    You can view some of the submissions and excerpted learnings from past participants in the Designing to Win Gallery.

    Mark Pampling has been designing, competing, teaching and judging for thirty years now and is as well known for his clear, linear design style as for his patient and inclusive way of sharing his knowledge.

    • 2019 Beijing World Flower Art Contest – Champion
    • 2015 Interflora World Cup, Berlin – Judge
    • 2014 Fusion Flowers International Designer of the Year – 1st Place
    • 9th China International Orchid Show (Sanya) – Best Creative Award
    • 2014 International Flower Contest Japan – Best in Show, Gold Award and Design Innovation Award
    • Asia Cup 2014 (Japan) – 1st Place – Surprise Table Display
    • 2013 Fusion Flowers International Designer of the Year – 2 Silver Awards & 1 Bronze Award
    • 2012 Fusion Flowers International Designer of the Year – 4th Place
    • 2012 Interflora Australia Cup – Winner
    • 2011 Interflora Australia Cup – Winner
    • Australian Competitor 10th Interflora World Cup 2004 – 3rd Place

    You can learn more about Mark here.

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    Designing to Win (Audience)

    Designing to Win (Audience)

    Join Designing to Win as part of the Audience

    Maximise Your Success In Competition

    Lead by Mark Pampling, Master Florist, World Champion

    Learn How To Maximise Your Success In Competitions, from seasoned Competitor, Teacher, Judge and Student of Floral Design, Mark Pampling.

    Participate in a comprehensive learning package that includes two educational videos, three eBooks and two live forums.

    The program timetable and detailed information on how to participate can be found in the Participation Guide.

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