Talking to Jurors. Federico Delrosso, Francine Houben, and Job Smeets

The second appointment with the 2019 ADA Jurors

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Talking to Jurors. Federico Delrosso, Francine Houben, and Job Smeets
22/10/2019 - In a few days will be revealed the winners of the fourth edition of the Archiproducts Design Awards!
 
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 DelrossoFrancine Houben (Mecanooand Job Smeets (Studio Job).
 
Federico Delrosso
Federico Delrosso

Federico Delrosso

What are you looking forward to finding in our entries and which features are you going to reward?
In this year’s entries I’m going to reward the freshness and the originality of the projects. I will also particularly appreciate an effective presentation.

Which role do you think a Design Award should have nowadays?
Nowadays, a Design Award should be a vehicle, a means of communication and interaction between the actors involved in the Design industry.
 
In which direction should contemporary Product Design go and how should it evolve to answer people’s needs?
About contemporary product Design, I think it should be more consistent and ready to keep up with the fast changes in people’s living habits. Still preserving its function and authenticity.
 
Francine Houben
Francine Houben

Francine Houben

What are you looking forward to finding in our entries and which features are you going to reward?
Experimentalism and multidisciplinary designs. I often say that I am specialized in things I have never done before, since I believe it’s very important to experiment, change directions, dare to be bold. When we dare to try new things, to think outside the box, beautiful things can happen.

Multidisciplinarity is crucial, especially nowadays. Long are the days where we would work isolated. Working in close contact with other disciplines is essential, we have to learn from each other. Share knowledge. At Mecanoo we share the same values. Aesthetics and functionality are key when evaluating all entries. I will give special attention to that.
 
Which role do you think a Design Award should have nowadays?
Design Awards can be a very important platform for the Designer. Most of all, it’s the recognition of their work. The exposure and visibility can set the Designer into a new business direction, make new contacts and understand what others are doing around the world. This exchange is important as well. Awards, and award events should have a stronger social responsibility component, be agents of change, educate, participate.
 
In which direction should contemporary Product Design go and how should it evolve to answer people’s needs?
The world is in flux — swept up in climate change, ceaseless urbanization, the digitization of systems, knowledge and life, and global shifts in power, population and wealth. The questions are what will these forces demand of Design, and how will Designers respond? We need to shift our focus to these subjects. Focus on people and not on the elite.
 
Job Smeets
Job Smeets

Job Smeets

What are you looking forward to finding in our entries and which features are you going to reward?
I’m looking for the new Picasso in design. We are always all looking for the holy grail. In essence I am looking for authenticity, in combination with other talents such as tactility and character.

Which role do you think a Design Award should have nowadays?
The basic principles of a Design Award should be an objective judgment of all current design, and at that moment in time the person winning fitted the style and times, and fulfilled our imagination. An award gives the winner something to further develop their practice, or at least that they can celebrate with a few drinks with friends.

In which direction should contemporary Product Design go and how should it evolve to answer people’s needs?
I don’t know how or where it should go but probably it will likely go in waves as it always does, and every generation of designers will have their own problems, specific questions to answer, and dogmas. I think contemporary product design can be smug and even naughty. It should be less pragmatic with excel sheet and algorithms, there should be more soul, more identity, more personality. Also foresee that contemporary product design is no longer about the amount of products, I think it going to smaller additions that are better quality and more conscious decision making. I say I think because I hope.

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