Designing to Win - Maximise Your Success In Competition


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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.

The theme for this edition of Designing to Win is Uncommon Threads.

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.

What does it take to succeed in floral design competitions?

We all focus on Design, Interpretation and Workmanship when we create and especially so when competing, as that is how we gain points, and hopefully more than our competitors.

The game of Floral Design Competition has rules, and how well we play to those rules can decide the difference between a great design and the highest scoring great design.

We know succeeding in floral design competitions takes more than good design and creative interpretation.

The difference between a great entry and a high scoring great entry can come down not just to excellent design but also to how well the design plays to the rules of the game, The Marking Schedule.

You can increase your success in competitions by sharing Mark's learnings from thirty years in competitions - as a competitor, judge, mentor and competition convenor.

Designing to Win will show you how to balance your energy between interpretation, design, workmanship and the all-important marking schedule to achieve the highest placing possible in design competitions.

Learn by Doing

Join as a Designer in a simulated competition environment which we will organise for this learning event.

The theme for this iteration of Designing to Win will be Glass and Grass.

Design an item to the competition-style schedule written for this course and submit a photo of your item just as you would in an online competition.

Attend the First Design Forum (online) and hear Mark give you detailed competition-level feedback (with written notes) on your item.

Take your learnings from the forum and create a new design to the same schedule. Photograph and submit it too.

Then, in the Second Design Forum (online), hear Mark appraise your new item (again, with written notes).

See your learnings come to life as your first and second items are compared side by side. Gain detailed insights into your competing game that can only be obtained through this kind of hands-on experience.

Is your time on a budget?

Perhaps you don't have the time or energy to participate as a designer this time.

You can still join as a member of the audience and access all the included material in the Designing to Win package - just without experiencing the hands-on part of the process this time.

Join as Audience Instead

Designing to Win - Floral Competition Essentials - eBook & Video

Floral Competition Essentials is Mark Pampling's 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 will later be listed for $29.95 and it is included in your enrolment fee.

Designing to Win - Applied Interpretation - eBook & Video

Applied Interpretation is an eBook + video presentation giving a fully worked example of Mark’s 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.
Mark takes a competition schedule written for this course and closely examines the theme from different perspectives.

He guides you through his 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 will later be listed for $29.95 and it is included in your enrolment fee.

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 will contain a wealth of analytical observations on design which can be of use to anyone who creates with flowers, especially so in competition.

This eBook will later be listed for $29.95. It is included in your enrolment fee, along with three months bonus access to the recordings of the two Design Forums, valued separately at $39.95.

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.

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

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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.


    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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    Flower Thinking

    Designing to Win (Designer)

    Designing to Win (Designer)

    Join Designing to Win as a Designer

    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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