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Talking to Jurors. Federico Babina, Ema Peter and Matthew McCormick

Last appointment with the 2019 ADA jurors

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Talking to Jurors. Federico Babina, Ema Peter and Matthew McCormick
05/11/2019 Alea iacta est. The jury decreed the winners of the fourth edition of the Archiproduct Design Awards which will be unveiled in just a few hours. This year we’ve tasked our jurors with envisioning the future of product design.

Each one of them had their own ideas to share with us and we’ve decided to collect their thoughts in a series of interviews called “Talking to Jurors”. We’ve asked all of them what they’re looking for in an entry and what they’re going to reward. Among all of their predictions and opinions, one stood out – design must be human and provide solutions that meet people’s needs. What is truly unforgettable is the product’s ability to improve the lives of everyone.

This week the word goes to Federico Babina, Ema Peter and Matthew McCormick

Federico Babina, “Design is made by people for the people”

What are you looking forward to finding in our entries and which features are you going to reward?
I don’t have any expectations, I want to be surprised. My attitude in competitions is like a child receiving a gift. A good design is like a beautiful gift. The ribbon and the paper that wraps it represent the object’s skin, the box is the body and the surprise inside is the idea behind the project and it has to be surprising.  

In this year’s entries, I will reward the objects able of surpassing me for the ability to transform and shape the fantasy and imagination into a product.


Which role do you think a Design Award should have nowadays?
I think the jury of a Design Award should be like a group of “astronomers” discovering new planets and new galaxies to understand and expand the limits of this universe.

In which direction should contemporary Product Design go and how should it evolve to answer people’s needs?
I believe Design is made by people and for people. I can hardly see it as an abstract entity. Design changes with the society, flows with it and in some cases drives this change. Taking the challenge to improve our lives.  Every day we live, see, breath, touch and listen to Design. I love when it is capable to surprise me awakening unexpected sensations. This is why I think Design must be able to communicate but above all to listen.

Ema Peter, “I’m looking for the innovation leaders”

What are you looking forward to finding in our entries and which features are you going to reward?
I’m going to reward entries that lead in innovation and represent creative solutions focused on sustainability. I believe we are now in a critical time where we need to address our impact on this earth and care more about our environment – climate change is no longer to be taken lightly.

Which role do you think a Design Award should have nowadays?
A Design Award provides exposure and an opportunity to contribute to the creative community. Acknowledgment by leaders in the industry provides the constructive feedback for those to creative work that is relative and more purposeful.

In which direction should contemporary Product Design go and how should it evolve to answer people’s needs?
As our aging population grows and as we move into a place where climate change needs to be taken seriously, contemporary product Design needs to reflect this change. 

We are now moving into time where we can not simply rely on beauty and function. Our environmental impact is far beyond what the earth can keep up to. We will also face one of the largest aging populations globally. Through Design there is opportunity to re-educate and pivot the end consumer to be less disposable and more accountable.


Matthew McCormick, “A unique design”

What are you looking forward to finding in our entries and which features are you going to reward?
I look forward to being exposed to emerging talent through a broad spectrum of disciplines from across the globe. I am honoured to be sitting on a panel alongside such a distinguished lineup of contemporaries.

In addition to good design, I tend to appreciate originality, authenticity and a fully resolved design idea above all else. I truly value a designer or creative mind who takes full ownership of their aesthetic — honoring a unique authorship without reservation.


Which role do you think a Design Award should have nowadays?
Design Awards are important on many levels — they can help consumers make purchasing decisions, they can indicate a pinnacle of excellence for a designer in their craft, and perhaps most importantly they can inspire and motivate the next generation of up-and-coming designers.

We are seeing consumers make more informed buying decisions because the internet allows for a full scope of product research and peer reviews. From environmental impacts and product lifecycle, to overall user experience, to safety and durability, there is a greater public understanding of product knowledge. Designers have to take this into consideration during the design and manufacturing process, and I think this consumer perception should be recognized on the award circuit.

While there are a range of design-related awards offered across our industry, Archiproducts has always done a commendable job in advocating for good design and maintaining a respected presence on the global stage.


In which direction should contemporary Product Design go and how should it evolve to answer people’s needs?
We live in a world of abundance where consumption is always available and highly promoted. The resulting saturation means that products must endure the test of time, and trends need to be defined beyond just an aesthetic – instead, reflecting a more valuable set of attributes like quality, durability and adaptability.

Over the last decade, the production side of design has seen very little innovation. I believe that we need to shift our focus to more responsible production techniques, using technology to maximize efficiency. This will move us away from our fixation on how to sell and market a product, and instead focus on how to responsibly manufacture an enduring product with inherent long-term value.

The language of design continues to evolve, but in my opinion, it’s our responsibility as creators to aim for timelessness and lifelong durability. As designers, we have a very clear mandate to research materials and processes that will not harm our ecosystem, thus keeping consumerism at bay. Good design should ultimately inspire people to do better and live better.

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