The judging of the designers work is extremely subjective. Each person that sees the design will make their judgement based upon personal preferences for design styles and flower choices. There is no set of common criteria used in making decisions about whether a person likes or dislikes a floral arrangement. In fact, there is not a standard criteria list which is used by everyone. To further convolute matters, judging actually comes from more than just one or two people _ they come from the recipient, the customer who placed the order, and third party observers (anyone else who sees the arrangement). Therefore it is virtually impossible to please everyone with each design that is created.
Western style arrangements typically consist of a free form assemblage of flowers in a container. In contrast, Ikebana is more of a disciplined form of art, governed by well_defined rules, principles and techniques. For example, certain precepts regulate elements like the light and the shadows. There is also what is known as the three points of balance _ shin_fuku_tai in Japanese _ which symbolize man, heaven and earth, respectively, and that have to be in harmonious equilibrium in order to give true life to an Ikebana flower arrangement. This and the fact that stems and branches are used in addition to flowers, are perhaps the most obvious differences with western_style flower arrangement.