With just under a month left before the Final Deadline of the 2016 Core77 Design Awards hits, it’s time to consider the greater value of participating in this annual celebration of design excellence. Your work has the potential to influence and inspire others on a much larger scale and contribute to a global conversation about the future of design, especially if our independent and internationally distributed jury teams are impressed and decide to honor it.
Give some thought to what your entry could mean to the broader design community and get to know the esteemed leaders of this year’s jury. In Part 3 of our interview series, we’re introducing the Jury Captains of the Strategy & Research, Design Education Initiatives and Visual Communication categories. Make sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 as well, and don’t miss the March 23 Late Deadline!
Director of Design Strategy, Veryday
Malin is leading the Veryday creative team with a focus on service business and customer experience. She is coaching the design and innovation teams to challenge customers and deliver world class, innovative and meaningful service and customer experience solutions. Malin is responsible for building and supporting multidisciplinary teams to leverage the power of a people driven, engaging, innovation approach for solutions that are meaningful to people and that really make a difference to individuals, environment, society and business.
You’ve described your firm’s collaborative ideation process as “wheelchair rugby,” can you tell us more about this?
We work very collaboratively on our projects, often bringing in and engaging stakeholders from many different parts of our clients’ business, or even outside experts. When driving innovation processes in multidisciplinary teams it is key to recognize each individual’s unique competence, but also their history. All players bring their own skills and are handpicked to the team for a reason. We often have very different backgrounds and frames of reference; design, technology, management, business development, marketing and science to name a few. Facilitating this kind of collaboration requires a deep understanding of where people come from in terms of thought-models. As designers we are often hybrids, but just like everyone else we also have world views that are limited to our experiences.
I started using this metaphor after watching wheelchair rugby in the 2012 Paralympics. I saw amazing power and radiant personalities in a seemingly chaotic game, but with clear rules of engagement and focus. I feel this very much resembles our multidisciplinary work. It may seem chaotic at times to get very different people to work together, but the whole point is to create magic out of people’s differences.
You worked as an industrial designer before focusing on design direction and management, what led you to that?
As a young designer I was engaged in a couple of pretty large projects that for various reasons did not make it to market. Many of my nights and weekends had gone into those projects. I was deeply frustrated with my inability to influence the decisions made inside our client organizations. Eventually I realized I needed to understand the mechanisms behind business decisions in order to become a better designer. What difference will a great idea make for people if it ends up in a drawer?
How has the impact of research and strategy on design development changed in recent years?
Design research has become an established capability that the successful companies of the world have come to recognize as a strategic asset. Today the conversation is more about how to build lean processes that still deliver the richness of insights needed for innovation. Basically, how to get there fast and smart. We don’t often need to argue about why design strategy and research is important anymore.
What is the most pressing topic in need of design research today?
I would like to see more companies and governments turn to designers to help find solutions to some of the critical challenges the world faces today; like environmental issues, crime, education, food waste, refugee crises and more. I don’t mean to naively claim that designers are world saviors, I just think designers are a hugely untapped source of creativity when it comes to interpreting human behavior and shaping the ecosystems of tomorrow. I hope to get to review great contributions in this area.
Director, National Institute of Design
Pradyumna Vyas acquired a Masters in Industrial Design from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. In June 2010, Vyas was conferred with an honorary Master of Arts degree from the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham, United Kingdom in recognition of his contributions to design education and design promotion. Vyas has more than 30 years of professional and teaching experience in different spheres of design. In the last 25 years, he has been associated with the National Institute of Design (NID) as a faculty in the Industrial Design discipline.
What are some of the most urgent challenges facing design education?
Systems thinking is most crucial where one needs to understand the eco-system of the society, culture and tradition. There is fast-growing technological development and virtual reality, reducing people to people interaction. Human values and ecological sustenance is taking a back seat, which has to be strengthened in design education and an inclusive approach has to be encouraged.
In these evolving times, what new skills or traits must designers adopt?
Technology is overshadowing the situation. Design should be contextual. Use of technology should only be an enabler to address the issues in the context. We need to nurture interdependency for inclusive development. Inclusive development will result in a more harmonious society. We need to create a future that works for one and all.
What is holistic learning and what types of benefits does it bring to design students?
An interdisciplinary approach and co-creation with stakeholders keeps the diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds in mind. Holistic learning that offers a new model which goes hand-in-hand with economic development as well as environmental sustainability will give an edge to students for handling the complex future.
Principal, Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv
What are some guiding principles to designing branding that stands out in an information saturated age?
Regardless of the era, amount of information, or any other variables really, there are a few principles that stand true. Simplicity in form will always be effective. The necessity for something to be easily replicable is always an advantage for identity design. Distinctiveness is a must for helping an idea stick in the mind and quickly become that pleasurable point of recognition. Lastly, appropriateness should always be evaluated as it really can make or break any concept. Aesthetics often are over valued, and though the are very important, if not paired with the correct concept, they can actually hinder a design.
How has the role of communication designers evolved since you started in the field?
The most obvious area is the development of digital platforms. Mobile is ever growing and it has been amazing to watch how that platform has become a litmus test of kinds for good communication design work. The limitations from screen size to the requirements of app icons have forced designers to reduce and focus their work, and thus has produced some very effective and compelling solutions. The role of the designer as we continue to create these new platforms is ever transforming and multiplying. The most staggering evolution I’ve observed is the necessary growth of the industry as a whole. Communication designers are needed in such a different capacity now, it’s really amazing to think of how integrated we’ll be into every part of business in the next decade or so.
What should designers pay attention to in work and in life to be the most effective in their practice?
This is a very interesting and personal question. I assume for everyone this will be different as we all find value in, and thrive off, different conditions. For me it’s an effective balance of observing the smaller things in every moment mixed with intentionally putting myself in awe inspiring situations. In work I strive to soak in what people seem to gravitate toward consistently, what sticks out to them immediately, and what quickly transforms their opinions. I look at these experiences and observations just like any other tool and rely on them when I have problems to solve, so balance is very important in assuring I’m as well prepared as possible to develop these solutions.
Impress the 2016 Core77 Design Awards juries by entering your best work by March 23rd when Late pricing ends. The final deadline to enter is April 6th. Don’t miss it!